Share a lovely Christmas memory

(42 Posts)
Justshabbynochic Fri 29-Nov-13 03:19:10

I'm ill with tonsillitis and need something warm and fuzzy to read to cheer me up...please!

I'll start: Years ago when I was about 12 or 13, my parents were going through a pretty difficult year financially. We had to decorate our houseplant for a tree that year I remember.

Anyway on the evening of the 1st of December, we had a knock at the door. No one was there, but there was a note and a poinsetta plant on the ground.

The note said in a cute little rhyming poem something like "we are your Christmas pixies, and every day until Christmas Day we will be sneakily bringing you a treat."

So every night at different times we'd check and there would be stuff left for us. We never caught them out, they were always really clever and sneaky.

All the gifts were little things: baked goods, a craft set, loads of bubble gum, etc. but the surprise, mystery, and kindness totally saved Christmas that year.

A year later I went to my best friend's house, asked to borrow some cellotape and she absent-mindedly told me where to find some in her parents' study. I accidentally found the stickers and printed paper they used for the 'Pixie' cards.

I confronted her and she admitted it was her family. They were a big family of 6 children all in their teens and 20's, and every year they would pick a down and out family and do this very special, lovely thing for them.

The kids would make a big thing about putting on black and smearing war paint on their cheeks and make a game of being as stealthy as possible when leaving the surprises. They did a great job...we never heard them once!

It's definitely something I'd like to do some day when the DC's are older.

Anyway, does anyone else have a special fond memory, tradition, or nice story to share about Christmas? It's the most wonderful time of year, after all. smile

callmekitten Fri 29-Nov-13 04:00:12

Two years ago, my DD began asking for an American Girl Doll. We are American and those things are everywhere here. They are just too expensive for our budget and I told her so. As Christmas approached, she realized that she could ask Santa for one. We do not get her everything that she wants for Christmas but always try to get her her greatest wish and an American Girl doll was her greatest wish that year. I really tried to figure out a way to get it for her but just couldn't work it out. In the end, Santa left her a little note saying that he was unable to bring her one. DD was a trooper though and although she was clearly disappointed, she put on a brave face.

Then last year, as Christmas approached, she again began saying that she was going to ask Santa for an American Girl doll. It just about broke my heart to not be able to get her one, especially since it was likely to be the last year she would believe in Santa. Then one morning I went on the internet while I was on my break at work,(not something I do that often) and came across a deal that they were running on two of their historical dolls- 50 dollars each for a doll, book and accessory set. I jumped on it and was able to get one of the dolls. I was so excited! I later found out that the deal sold out in less than an hour!

So, Christmas got closer , and with just a few days to go, DD started saying that she wasn't going to ask Santa for an American Girl anymore. I think she was just preparing herself to be disappointed again. On Christmas Eve when we put out the presents, I tucked the package with the doll in it back behind the tree where you could hardly see it.

Christmas morning we got up, DD opened her stocking and we all did gifts, except for the doll, which hadn't been spotted yet. We then got settled with our cinnamon rolls and coffees and DD began playing with her new toys. After a short time I asked her what was that behind the tree. She pulled it out and was excited to see it was for her. She started to pull the paper off, saw the box and just froze. Then she said "I told him he didn't have to..." And then she set that box down so gently and finished unwrapping it. I thought she was going to burst into happy tears at any moment. It was the greatest gift giving experience I have ever had.

thekitchenfairy Fri 29-Nov-13 06:20:17

Those stories are lovely, eyes all a bit teary now!

My mum eventually left my dad after suffering years of violence and EA after a particularly awful Xmas. I was 6 and DB was 4. We fled in the night leaving all possessions behind, and of all things I was most upset about a plastic pencil case with new coloured pens that came from Father Christmas.

We stayed with my GPs while DM got sorted but nearly a year later we were all in our own tiny flat. No money, but safe and happy. We moved in the second weekend in December it was a lovely pretty village but we kind of felt a bit removed from all that jolly stuff.

On the last day of term a chap from the local church turned up with the most enormous hamper, bursting with festive treats, fruit and veg etc. it was huge! I remember a cadburys Yule log for some reason but also crackers, tree lights and decorations plus basic store cupboard food.

Mum was embarrassed to accept but couldn't say no, but while DB and I were thrilled with all the treats, the Xmas decs and food for meals meant mum had a bit of cash she used for a tree. Our first ever real tree. She told me later it also enabled her to fill the stockings a bit better for us.

Right at the bottom of the box was a drawing pad and pencils for me, a tiny Lego kit for DB and some Avon hand cream for my mum. I just remember the joy at getting the tree and decorating it, and feeling so very very lucky that someone had done this for us and after a fairly shit few years this kindness to our little family restored a lot of my faith in the world.

When mum asked why it all came to us the chap said it was "a care package that was sent with love and blessings for everyone deserves to have a little something, especially a child at Christmas".

I always think the last day of term is when the festivities begin for me and I try to make it a special night at home for my own DCs. Oh and I always have a real tree, it is a very powerful memory-scent.

Justshabbynochic Fri 29-Nov-13 06:35:01

Oh my, I've cried at both of yours! Thank you!

ILiveInAPineappleCoveredInSnow Fri 29-Nov-13 06:50:18

Those are beautiful stories!!! I'm sat here feeding my four week old baby splashing tears on his little face!!!!

TheXmasLogIn Fri 29-Nov-13 06:54:59

Mine doesn't compare to those above but it is my personal favourite Christmas memory.

Our first year living in this house, after separating from XP, DC were aged 2 and 3. I wasn't really looking forward to my first Christmas as a lone parent, with no other adult around to share the enjoyment as DC opened their presents.

It would also be the first Christmas both DC were out of cots and sleeping in proper beds and they had asked to hang stockings at the end of them, like they had seen in Christmas story books/films. I completely expected the DC to wake up in the morning and rip straight into their presents, they were so excited.

Instead I was woken at some unearthly hour (approx. 4am) by two tiny figures, dragging their stockings into my bed and saying "wake up mummy, FC has been" It makes me teary just remembering that morning, the three of us snuggled in my bed opening gifts together (something we always do now) and when I asked them later why they chose to bring their stockings to my room they said "cos we wanted to do it all together, cos we are a family"

That was the first of many memories we now have of doing things together, just the three of us, that made me realise that it didn't matter that we weren't the traditional 2 parent, 2 kids family. We are just as happy (probably more now than we would have been if XP had stayed) being a family of 3, because we all love being together, and that is what makes us a family.

DrankSangriaInThePark Fri 29-Nov-13 06:59:07

Oh honestly!

I'm trying to put my makeup on here and you're making me cry. (but in a good way)

Mine is the Christmas I was, I think, either 5 or 6. I distinctly remember walking home from my Gran's after delivering presents, and it being really frosty, and walking up the street with my Mum and just feeling so happy I thought I would pop- can there be anything better than Christmas Eve when you are that age? Being just that happy.

The following morning, my presents were handmade doll's furniture, a cot, a wardrobe and a chest of drawers from my grandparents, (all my friends had Sindy dolls, and Tiny Tears and all branded stuff but mine were all homemade) hand knitted dolls' clothes from the woman up the street, and twin dolls.

All of those things are in the attic at my Mum's. I'm 48 now and my Mum is forever saying to me "I think we can get rid of these now" but never never no not never.

Justshabbynochic Fri 29-Nov-13 08:08:57

Beautiful! I remember my DM's best memory was when she couldn't sleep one Christmas Eve back in 1955 or so and her dad, my grandad, took her over to the window, pointed up at the sky, and she swears to this day her little imagination went into overdrive and she SAW Santa's sleigh flying over the night sky.

She said she flew under the covers and closed her eyes tight until she fell asleep. grin

Xmas2013SantaB9702 Fri 29-Nov-13 08:49:50

When DH and I were first married money was tight, we had about fifteen pounds a week for food and little to spare, on a good week. We scoured the charity shops for a second had tree a bought a small set of decorations each week from about October. There were little elves in felt stockings we bought at a street fair for next to nothing, Victorian style paper balls and bells and little musical instruments.

Quite a while later we had our one DS and he has added paper decorations that he made at nursery and school. As times change some of the things we bought aren't really my taste and yet each year I can't dress our tree without them.

Xmas2013SantaB9702 Fri 29-Nov-13 09:23:35

blush Hadn't realised I have been posting all over the place in my Santa name! Will have to get used to this name change thing sorry!

Justshabbynochic Fri 29-Nov-13 09:30:19

That's ok, it's very festive at least! smile

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Fri 29-Nov-13 09:35:21

My grandma died in January 1976, when I was 7. She'd been poorly for a long while and we lived abroad so weren't able to see her regularly. My parents taped us opening our Christmas presents (those being the days before video and dvd) and when, a few days later, it was clear she wasn't going to live for much longer, we made the trip back to the UK to see her. She was in hospital, barely conscious, but we were able to see her and played our tape, and she smiled and smiled and smiled.

Justshabbynochic Fri 29-Nov-13 09:47:07

Aww TheReturn that's lovely. thanks

MonkeysInTheFog Fri 29-Nov-13 09:56:02

I only have vague, fragmented memories of this but.....

When I was 2 or 3 my mum had a rocking chair. I loved sitting in it either on her lap or alone.

We went to spend Xmas with my grandad. How the hell my parents got all the presents in the car I don't know.

Come Xmas morning I walked into the front room and there in front of the tree and the other presents was a tiny rocking chair, pretty much an exact miniature of mum's, with a bow on it. I didn't say a word - just walked towards it, sat down and rocked for ten minutes straight with a dreamy smile on my face.

Mum and dad never had much money but she told me years later that she'd been walking past the Co-Op furniture store, seen this little chair in the same fabric as hers and decided she just had to get it, come what may.

I think I had to admit defeat and stop sitting in it at about age 9, by which time I'd resorted to sitting ON it, sideways across the arms.

I've still got it and although neither of my boys really sat in it much, hopefully at least one of their children will grin

wonderingsoul Fri 29-Nov-13 10:00:32

oh i LOVE this thread.

this is what christmas is all about.

mine is nothing compared to these, but i dont have many memories from when i was younger.

but i rember getting this magic box that make things disapear on christmas eve, come christmas eve night i decided to try and set up a trap to catch santa..which invloved the magic box.. string and someother things.. i have no idea what i was thinking or hwo it would cath him but my room that night was boobie traped.

in the morning it was all still in place but with a little note saying.. better try next year, with a chocolate coin next to it.

Justshabbynochic Fri 29-Nov-13 10:18:19

Oh wow wonderingsoul, that must've seemed so magical!

My mum bought a felt elf hat one year when I was about 5 and casually left it by the fireplace so it seemed to my DB and I that it had been accidentally left behind. She even faked a phone call to The North Pole to inform them an elf had lost his hat at our house and she hung up the phone and said "they said thanks very much for reporting it but we can keep it."

I was SO excited.

SicknSpan Fri 29-Nov-13 11:01:15

Lovely thread! My memory isn't spectacular but just gives me a lovely warm feeling.

We grew up in a fairly small rural town and it was traditional for the men to go "Merry Making" amongst the neighbours houses on Christmas morning. This involved taking it in turns to visit each other's houses for a brief spell, wish everyone merry Christmas and have a quick drink at each home. It was a boozy, jolly, neighbourly time. Only lasted about an hour and a half but I remember watching out of the window as this big train of men snaked in and out of the houses in the street! My best Christmas memory is of going with my dad one year- normally my sister and I stayed with mum and the grandparents but this one year I asked if I could go with him. He was chuffed that I wanted to go and I got to ride on his shoulders, which I didn't normally do because I was a right chubster! He must have been feeling strong. I was made a real fuss of by everyone, got lots of Xmas morning treats like Twiglets and Skips and chocolate footballs. Just remember the lovely feeling of it being me and my dad, sort of being his "favourite" for the morning (not that he had a favourite of course but I felt very special) going between the houses with his friends and visiting their families before ending up at our house.

I'd not thought about this in years, thank you for prompting the memory!

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Fri 29-Nov-13 11:42:18

CALLMEKITTEN am in floods here...have not even read the others...

Justshabbynochic Fri 29-Nov-13 16:02:18

Yes I think Callmekitten wins best pull-at-your-heartstrings-story award!

MammaGnomes Fri 29-Nov-13 16:37:04

justshabbynochic: I have that exact memory!! we were staying at my nana and grandads and my mum came upstairs (probably to put my book at the end of the bed) and noticed I was up she pointed out of the window and there he was!!! I was probably at that age where I was starting to doubt as well. it kept me going for a couple of years (in fact im still convinced it was him)

Justshabbynochic Fri 29-Nov-13 17:42:39

Mamma that's so funny! To this day she swears she saw him, too!

kiwidreamer Fri 29-Nov-13 18:38:52

Gosh you've all given me leaky eyes!

My best memories are of my Nana (widowed) coming to stay on Xmas eve, she usually had to work and didn't come until after we'd gone to bed but I'd peek out my window when I heard her car and the excitement of seeing her unload her goodies into the house was wonderful and wondering what exotic things she'd bring to eat (she was very British)

I also distinctly remember the Christmas I pulled a multipack of knickers out of my stocking and being mortified that Father Christmas had chosen pants for me --lowers the tone--

I also remember my great-grandmother, who my Mum adored, coming to have Christmas Eve dinner with us and falling asleep on the couch... she was almost 6ft tall even at 80/90yrs old so it was quite a sight to see her stretched out on the sofa.

After 12 Christmas' in the northern hemisphere I still think its odd that the streets aren't filled with kids trying out their new bikes / skates etc etc on Christmas morning

MissLurkalot Fri 29-Nov-13 18:57:53

Sleeping up in my older sister's loft bedroom on Christmas Eve when I was 6 or 7 yrs old, and looking out the window and seeing my Dad walk with our neighbours to the church for what must've been Midnight Mass.
I can remember the sheer excitement that Santa would be coming soon.
I can remember the weight and the rustling sound of my stocking on the end of my bed.

Last year, the father from whom I was estranged since I was 14 came with his new partner. I did the whole turkey dinner bit, and he spent some time with my children. They were only here for about three hours, but for the first time in my life I felt like I had a family Christmas.

thegreylady Fri 29-Nov-13 19:19:38

When I was little I remember looking out of my bedroom window for Santa.I didn't see him but I did hear him-sleigh bells first quite loud then gradually fading.It was magic.It was years later that my Dad desribed hiding under my window ringing some ornamental bells and then creeping round the side of the house still tinkling and clanging away!

stickysausages Fri 29-Nov-13 19:41:03

Lovely posts!

I hope DS grows up with some lovely memories like these grin

And yes... I have done the flour footprints on the carpet... but the nay-sayers can bog off, as he still thinks it's amazing!

Katieweasel Fri 29-Nov-13 21:04:55

My favourite memory is sitting on the sofa with my beloved Grandad when I was about 4. I just remember telling him that there were only 3 sleeps to go and he gave me a big squeeze x

Justshabbynochic Fri 29-Nov-13 21:12:40

smile My grandparents made our Christmases pretty special, too.

They used to wear matching Christmas tree jumpers for a start. (Way before it was trendy!)

Showy Fri 29-Nov-13 21:29:46

I have such fond memories of my childhood Christmases. Just memories of magic and feeling loved but my best memory comes from being an adult.

When dd was 3 my Mum was diagnosed with cancer just before Christmas. DD has always been close to my parents and we were honest with her about what was happening. On Christmas day we sat at my Mum's table with my Dad, Grandma, Aunt, brother, cousins etc and we were having a lovely meal and everything was as it should have been but the diagnosis was like a black cloud and the adults in the room were particularly struggling with forced jollity in front of the grandchildren.

Anyway, dd got the sixpence from the pudding and was allowed a wish. At 3 years old I was expecting a wish for a toy or a day out or some sort of treat. She clutched her sixpence, closed her eyes and just wished for grandma to get better. I felt very proud and extremely tearful.

On the 11th January my Mum had surgery which was a success and she was declared in remission a while afterwards. The day she had her surgery, I found out I was pregnant with ds who is 2 years old now and will be there at that Christmas table this year with his beloved Grandma serving up the dinner, just as it should be.

Justshabbynochic Fri 29-Nov-13 21:34:37

Oh,*Showy*. thanks

Just as it should be, indeed.

imnotweirdimlimitededition Fri 29-Nov-13 21:34:46

I was about 7 or 8 & it was bedtime about a week before Christmas. My mum had me looking out the window & there was Santa with a notebook & pen outside our house ( I later found out it was my dad dressed up). I was petrified & ran from bedroom to my brother who was 6 years older! That memory is still fresh in my mind & now my father is no longer with us I love to recall it as he made Christmas special.
I know my parents had very little money but he spent weeks painting & repairing a 2nd hand bike for me. Those were the days when u got satsuma in paper in your sock-the simple things

AliceinWinterWonderland Fri 29-Nov-13 21:40:58

When I was 5yo (many years ago grin), we (me and my sisters) left a Polaroid camera out and in our letter to Father Christmas asked him to take a picture of the reindeer for us.

When we got up Christmas morning, there was a reply written on the bottom of our letter to Father Christmas (in mysteriously different handwriting to either of our parents LOL) saying basically "I tried to take pictures of the reindeer but as you can see, Rudolph's nose is just too bright!" Next to the letter were two polaroid pictures - both showed a bright red light in the middle and just hazy to the edge of the pictures.

We were so excited - told everyone we saw for days that we had a picture of Rudolph (well, his nose anyway grin). Of course, when I was older, I worked out that he had taken a very close picture of one of the red lights on the tree (back when they had those big bulbs on the string of lights).

It's just one of those silly things that I love looking back and remembering how excited we were. smile

AliceinWinterWonderland Fri 29-Nov-13 21:41:27

*"he" being my father, of course.

I have so many wonderful memories of Christmas. That feeling of pure excitement.
When we put the tree up the fairy would always appear on it the next morning. I would spend hours staring at her willing her to come to life!
I remember sitting on my mom's lap Christmas eve morning saying that I wanted to go to bed again.
Also on Christmas Eve we visited all our relatives to deliver presents. last we would visit my grandma and grandad and I would just be so excited that I could virtually touch Christmas.
And waking up and feeling my stocking on the end of my bed. ahhhhhh.

IslaMann Fri 29-Nov-13 22:18:12

Think I'm allergic to this thread as my eyes keep running ....

Pancakeflipper Fri 29-Nov-13 22:38:46

One Christmas Eve it snowed and and snowed. We lived very rural and were supposed to be at an Aunt's house for Christmas Day 5 miles away. But roads were not passable on Christmas Day. And our dodgy phone line was not working.

I was about 5 and trying to not be sad about not seeing my cousins and playing the usually family games. It would Christmas snowed in.

At midday my grandparents appeared at our door. My grandad had spent the morning making a sledge and filled it up with the Christmas presents. They collected us. I was pulled all the way on my sledge by my dad and grandad taking turns also pulling my brother in his sledge. My grandma pulling the presents sledge.

We got there at 3pm just in time for Christmas dinner.

I was pulled back home in the sledge much later that night covered in my Aunt's blanket and I apparently slept all the way home whilst the grown ups did the hard work of towing us back home. Dad says there was a small bottle of whiskey involved aiding the grownups to keep warm and happy.

callmekitten Fri 29-Nov-13 22:56:49

Well. thanks for the tug-at-your-heartstrings award. smile I personally think all these stories deserve one. Talk about the true meaning of Christmas!

Cathycat Fri 29-Nov-13 23:28:04

Loads ... hearing Jingle bells outside when I was younger (that sounded suspiciously like the China ornaments in our house), huge paper concertina decorations, hubby getting an unexpected bonus that meant that we could add a family present of a Wii machine to our fairly modest presents that year at the last minute. The children were very happy about it! The funny / sad thing was it was opened last and my eldest son opened a Wii game first and said, quite sadly "oh someone thinks we have a Wii, never mind!" Best though are the routines - carrots and a drink for Santa and the comments like "why do the carrots not get finished but the drink does?" Lol.

cheesypastaplease Sat 30-Nov-13 07:32:58

This is a lovely thread!

insummeritreinsdeer Sat 30-Nov-13 09:08:47

Not sure I should read this thread as have only read the OP and almost in tears! Lovely thread idea.

BiddyPop Sat 30-Nov-13 10:39:25

My favourite memory of Christmas is the first year I started my own wee tradition. My parents had a lot of functions to attend in the run up, and when I was 16, they let me babysit the other 5 some nights rather than always getting a sitter in - she was getting on in years. My siblings were all watching tv in the kitchen/ family room, but I sat in the sitting room and made myself a sneaky jack Daniels, then lay on the floor to drink it in the lights of the tree only. It was such a nice quiet time in our chaotic house, that I looked forward to it every year, not always a JD, a beer or even soft drink many years.

I still do that here, one night when DH is out, and dd in bed, I sit on the floor in low twinkly lights, and just contemplate the year and life in general. It is a rare and needed time out for maybe ten minutes or half an hour.

MrsClauswearsspanx Sat 30-Nov-13 21:23:27

Not so stealth bump...any others? These are lovely to read! smile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now