Tag Archives: Christmas Memories

My Christmas Memories

Every year at Christmas I love to reflect on past holidays. One of my earliest memories is getting out all the Christmas decorations, and start to  listen to all the fantastic music of the season. It was magical taking things out of boxes that had been stored away for an entire year while listening to Andy Williams sing It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. To this day,  I love decorating for Christmas, and never get tired of listening to the music. This ritual of listening to holiday favorites starts the first of October every year.

Coming from a large family has it’s blessings. I learned early on that making things home made saved a lot of money and allowed you to enjoy things that cost much more in the store. We loved making fudge, old fashioned taffy, popcorn balls, peanut brittle, and lots of cookies. We also made many strands of popcorn for our tree. We created silver bells out of egg cartons, and wrapped them in aluminum foil so they would shine. I remember being disappointed when I was very young opening a small present on our tree, and finding nothing in it realizing that it was a just a decoration.

Growing up on a little farm I was taught from a young age that the animals get fed first, and the goats got milked before you ate, this included on Christmas. I remember watching a movie one year where a boys gift to his dad for Christmas was waking up early, and doing all the farm chores before his dad got up. My brothers and myself decided to do this for our dad. He got a little emotional when he realized what we had done for him.   

Because there were so many kids, our parents gave us the idea of all sleeping together downstairs. I say the word sleep very loosely. We mostly played games all night on Christmas Eve. We were told once you go down stairs you are to stay there until morning. One year we decided to hang the girls long stockings for Santa to fill. At about 2:00 am, we snuck upstairs to see what we got in our stockings. We dumped all the loot on the floor in one big pile when we heard our oldest sister telling us to put the stuff back in the stockings. We hurried and put it all back. Then went back down stairs. In the morning when we looked in our stockings all the things were mixed up. I think I got nail polish, and my sisters got matchbox cars. Everyone had a good laugh. My dad seemed to know how to straighten it all out. 

Later when my youngest son was a baby he was such a medaling child my wife, and I decided to put our Christmas tree in his play pen so he wouldn’t take the ornaments off the tree. Another year we decided to go with our friends to chop down our own tree. We got home, and the trunk was too big to fit in the base. I started cutting more of the trunk off, then kept cutting until it fit. I was so frustrated by the time it fit it looked like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. I think that year as soon as we opened all the presents I took the tree outside because the tree was dead and all the needles were falling off. 

I have so many fond memories and love reflecting of past Christmases. I wish you the very best, and hope your new year is full of many positive blessings.  

Poopsie and Other Pets

Chicken and dogI have enjoyed several pets as a child. When I was four I lived in Kanab, Utah a small country town where many western movies were filmed in the 1950-60s. This was the perfect place to have a dog. We had a Collie named Skippy. My parents said if they couldn’t find me they would call for Skippy, where I was soon to follow. Our family moved from Kanab, to Salt Lake City, Utah. My parents knew Skippy was a country dog, so he was left with friends in the country. I felt bad we didn’t bring Skippy with us but understood only as a four year old could.

My mom is very frugal. One year for Christmas she made a lot of homemade stuff. In addition to her homemaking skills we received a snow sled and a red wagon. Best of all, we got a beagle we named Snoopy. I loved that dog. I loved pulling him in our wagon or he would run after us on the sled. It is a blur to me what happened to Snoopy. I have a hunch he disappeared when we moved into the house my dad built. I was so excited about moving into a home with a small farm I didn’t notice Snoopy was missing from the picture.

Our farm was was so magical for me. I was the kind of kid that could entertain myself for hours. When I wanted to play with someone, I had nine siblings to choose from, so I rarely went looking for a friend to hang out with. Most kids wanted to come see the animals we had. I loved showing the neighborhood kids what it was like living on a farm.

A few of our favorite animals on our farm were our eight milk goats. I loved feeding them hay, petting, and singing to them. I would hang out in the barn for hours. I still can remember some of our goats names. We had Maggie, Pearl, Tiny, and George to name a few. They produced lots of milk, and yes, George, was a she. When I wasn’t with the animals I was in our hay loft hanging out in our private hay hideout made from the bails of hay that were neatly stacked to hide the entrance, it was so cool. We even had a quick escape from the hayloft’s back window.

We had several dogs, the one that stands out the most was our dog Dolly. This was our beloved family pet until it had an accident then it was my dog, and I needed to clean up the mess. I loved Dolly, She had gray and black hair. I taught her to do many tricks, and her favorite one was begging for food. One day my sister played a trick on me, and said we got a new dog. She had dyed Dolly’s hair jet black. I knew it was Dolly when I had her beg, and she begged only as Dolly knew how to. This dog was way too friendly to be a strange, new member of the family.

One pet that sticks out in my mind was our pet chicken Poopsie. We raised her from the time she was a small chick so she never associated with the other chickens. She spent all day hunting for bugs, and worms in our garden. At night Poopsie would roost under the porch by my window. One day she didn’t come in to roost. One of the hunters had mistaken her as a pheasant, and shot her. We were pretty upset.

I have loved all the animals that I was able to have as pets growing up. I have many wonderful memories that also taught me a great number of responsibilities. I was able to experience the circle of life, learn about the birds and the bees, also understand how important it is to take care of animals.