Do any of you have any? How about fond memories growing up?
The reason why I love "A Christmas Story" is because, as a "member" of that older generation, it does remind me alot of my youth. Some of those traditions in that movie were real to me. Especially being bundled up in those snow suits where you could barely move. If you fell over, you were like a turtle lying on it's shell, waiting for someone to come by and help you up.
And my younger brother did get his tongue stuck to the flag pole we had in our yard. Dad was not too happy with me at all.
I remember having white Christmas'. Does it even snow any more on Christmas? It's been close to the 50's around here lately.
My brothers and I were outside constantly - building snow forts, having snowball fights, sledding with the neighborhood kids at the local hill, ice skating at the local pond, and making .75 cents for shoveling driveways/sidewalks. That was big money then.
My Mom was Donna Reed. It was almost like the Stepford Wives in the neighborhood. She, and all the neighborhood ladies, would make dozens of Christmas cookies that we neighborhood kids were always running around and delivering to each other's houses. And these were cookies made from scratch too. Not a Pillsbury roll.
On Christmas Eve she'd always leave a plate of cookies and hot chocolate on the table with a note to Santa. Good ol' Mom.
Freaked the crap out of my brother and I when we saw our Dad eating them one year. We laid in bed with paranoid thoughts of Santa doing a "flyover" over our house because our Dad ate his snack.
We had a fireplace with stockings over it. Which was always the last thing checked by us on Christmas morning.
Do parents today still do the stocking thing?
And of course there was the Christmas card racket. My Dad worked for the post office, and always had to work OT during that time of year, so he didn't care much for it.
But Mom would always take the cards and hung them around the various door openings.
And of course Dad would decorate the outside of the house. We had one of those very same Santa in the sled with the reindeers that Chevy Chase launched at the end of Christmas Vacation. Every year Dad would climb up on the roof and set this thing up.
We all loved driving around and looking at Christmas lights.
I don't really know if they had artificial trees back then. All I know was that it was a joyful family affair to go out at the beginning of December to get the live tree. They were usually sold at the local fire stations.
And there was always the annual family sledding party with various cousins and relatives in tow. We would go to a local farmer that had one of the best hills for sledding too. But it was no fun trudging back up that hill. My uncle had a solid oak 8 ft toboggan that belonged to him and my Dad when they were kids. It had been around for decades and was solid as a rock. They would wax that thing up a couple weeks before use. We kids also had our American Flyer sleds that we got at the local Western Auto store (anyone remember those?), and they were always beat up and nailed back together because of all the things we use to wreck them in to. And their was always the bon fire to get warm by and to cook hot chocolate. Great times!
And of course it was a family tradition to watch all of the great Holiday classic movies, children's TV specials, and of course the Christmas specials with the Bing Crosby and Andy Williams families.
On Christmas Eve, my brothers and I would always TRY to go to bed around 8 o'clock because we wanted to get the evening over with and get right to the next day. One of the longest nights of the year for a kid!
And while my Mom was Dona Reed, my Dad was Dagwood Bumstead. The guy was a piddler and couldn't be on time for anything. Every morning Mom would yell up the stairs that his eggs were getting cold, and he'd come running down, gulp what he could, and go flying out the door, just to make it to work at the buzzer. It was his daily routine. We all still laugh about it today, though Dad is gone.
On Christmas morning, we all had to wait until he got through in the bathroom (shaving, etc). To my recollection, these were the only times I ever had thoughts of wanting to hurt my Dad; but to a kid, sitting there in view of all those presents, it was pure psychological torture!
And of course, when it did come time to open the presents, my Dad would always tell us beforehand "Try to save the paper and bows", because they would save them and re-use it next year. A very practical man my Dad. We tore through ours while he'd sit in his favorite chair and meticulously try to peel away the scotch tape, not harming the paper, and very carefully unwrap the present. We were done in 5 minutes. He still had gifts to unwrap at 10 AM.
And afterwards came the huge family get-together and dinner. We'd have our basement all decorated and set up with numerous tables. My Mom and Dad came from very large families, so our Christmas get-togethers were huge. And the food was always excellent.
My biggest worry though was trying to keep my cousins from coming over and breaking any of our toys THAT DAY. We reserved that honor for ourselves.
Very fond memories.
I have done my best to build those "traditions" with my kids.
The yearly trek to go and get the tree. Watching the Holiday movies/specials together.
Next week, since we are all off, we will go tubing over at Madriver Ski Mountain if it gets cold enough. They make their own snow. We always have a blast there.