Tag Archives: my childhood

Feeling all nostalgic about Christmas traditions

crying santa

I was really not feeling this Santa.

In addition to being super grateful that I am not spending this year recovering from major surgery (I can walk around! And go places! And do things!), I’m feeling super nostalgic for all the Christmas Eve rituals that mom and dad and I used to participate in.

Santa photos took place from the time I was a(n ugly—according to mom) baby until I was 12 at the Frederick & Nelson downtown (Nordstrom now occupies that building. It’s a really beautiful building!), sometimes in outfits my mom made herself. When I was 10, I wanted to wear jeans instead of the skirt that went with the satin blouse mom made. I remember her being really upset about this, but I wouldn’t budge.  My favorite thing about the Santa pics was that it meant we were going to the F&N café for lunch, which involved Frango CAKE afterwards. That, and the awesome windows that you could place your hands on to control the trains (Macy’s STILL has these!).

Christmas Eve always involved cookie making in the morning (sugar cookies cut into Christmas shapes; butter spritz, jam-filled thumbprints) and wrapping the last of the gifts to place under the tree. And this was ALWAYS done to the same three holiday albums: Elvis Presley’s Blue Christmas and just his plain Christmas Album, and of course, Christmas with the Chipmunks—ALLLLVVVVINNNN!

We listened to them so much that whenever I hear a song from one of the Elvis albums, my brain immediately expects the next one on the album to come up and gets totally confused when it doesn’t.

 Christmas Eve also involved food, and lots of it. Traditionally baked ham, but without any of that pineapple slice bullshit; mashed potatoes; the ever-present 70s green bean casserole, white dinner rolls, and fruit salad (canned fruit salad mixed with COOL WHIP, fresh bananas added). Plus, pre-dinner snacks—lots and lots and lots of them. Continue reading

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Being an only child is weird, sometimes

Lite-Brite, hell yeah!

The other day, my boyfriend was relating a story about how he and his sister would purposely flood the sidewalk in front of their house so they could create a puddle to drift their Big Wheel across, and I said, “Oh man. Sometimes I wish I had a brother or sister so I had stories like that.

I had cousins, sure (lots of them, actually), and because our families were close, I spent a lot of time with them. But it’s not quite the same. I love the memories I have with them, when you’re an only child, you’re the only non-adult living in your house, and as much as mom and dad love you, they don’t want to spend hours watching you construct complicated Lego cities or elaborate scenarios involving Mr. Potato head. They also don’t want to see you blow up your plastic Death Star (that they paid a LOT of money for), or watch Han Solo punch Ken in the face so he can take out not 1, but 3, different Barbies for the evening.

Was I spoiled? Sure. As an only kid, I definitely reaped the benefits of getting pretty much everything I wanted—within reason. My dad refused to buy me Guess jeans, Nike shoes, and other designer clothes because I didn’t need them. (He was right, I totally didn’t.) But as far as toys went, the only thing I remember being denied was the Millennium Falcon because it was just a little too much money for a hunk of plastic that I would probably destroy by slamming it over and over into the sliding glass door.  Continue reading


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