And in honor of the recent festivities and all around Holidayness I offer my little trip down the Memory Lane of Holidays passed...
Perhaps I have already used up my allowance for walks down memory lane, but I thought of a few truly memorable holidays. *Warning* These are stories that (yet again) make Hunky Hubby look pretty dang good...
It was our first Christmas together; a bygone era of compulsory frugality yet abundant affection, and a sweet young couple who, while they have since added a few kids, several pounds and a handful of wrinkles, are still madly in love and still quite prudent!
On his walk home from campus that afternoon, Hubby had seen a cub scout troop closing up there little tree lot. They offered him their last little sapling for free. He carried it home on foot. As he drug it in the front door, the neighbors saw him, lent him a string of lights and he decorated it with Christmas cards and ribbon tied into bows. When I walked in, there he sat, under the tree with little wrapped gifts in hand. The presents turned out to be a coloring book and crayons. Still my best Christmas gifts ever.
We had been married 6 months ,we were both in school, money was not tight...there just plain wasn't any. We would finish finals that semester and then head to my parents' home for the holidays. I really wanted our little basement apartment to have a Christmas tree, even if it were only for a few weeks, but Hunky Hubby reminded me that we scarce could afford to splurge when we would not even be there to enjoy it on Christmas morning, so we went without. We went about our routine; classes, work and homework as we neared the holiday and the end of the term. Gifts for each other were barely on the radar. We had some small handmade offerings for our parents that we hoped would be received in the spirit in which they were given. I knew what I wanted to buy for my sweet new husband, but I also knew we could not afford it. HH walked and biked to and from campus with only a frayed, patched and rather pathetic old backpack to lug his huge books back and forth. I nearly cried when I bought the new one. Thirty-eight dollars. More than a week's worth of groceries. I prayed he would not be upset by my extravagance . I did not expect anything from him. But then...my little Christmas miracle.
I arrived home from class one day, opened the door to our little flat and beheld what is still likely the most beautiful Christmas tree I have ever seen.
The second story is of a more recent Christmas. I have always wanted to learn to play the flute. Maybe not always, but a long time, for sure. About 9 years ago I mentioned this to HH, and he remembered. At Christmas, I was never more surprised to unwrap a gift in my entire life. I always ask for, and usually receive, very practical, useful and frugal gifts. Anything else has always seemed extravagant. This gift still makes me smile and was worth a little extravagance. Every time I pick it up to play, I think of that wonderful Christmas! Thanks babe.
Now, lest you think my life is all peaches and cream...a slightly less happy memory, that actually turned out to be a rather happy memory, or at least one that I can tell the kids when they get to whining about stuff that they don't have! I was away at college Thanksgiving 1990. Money was tight, so I stayed at school for the holiday break. (If my mom reads this ... I know you would have flown me home, but I didn't want to spend the money, ok!) My friend Pam was in the same boat (I know she is reading this!). We were the only 2 in our whole building who did not go home for the break (insert sniff). We were in dormitories with no kitchen, but our "House Mom" said that we could use her kitchen If we wanted. Only it never occurred to Pam or me to get any food to cook in this kitchen! We were fine the first day or two of the break, with the cafeteria and restaurants open. Then...Thanksgiving morning. We head to the kitchen to cook up a nice, even if perhaps untraditional, Turkey Day feast! I am sure you have figured out by now what we found! (Laughing yet Puma?) Ya, nothing much. The only thing in the kitchen was Rice-A-Roni, icecream cones, and some tremendously freezer burnt vanilla icecream. That was our feast. And believe you me, we were grateful to have it! We boo-hooed and felt sufficiently sorry for ourselves for most of the day. But...guess what else? The pizza places deliver after 5:00pm on Thanksgiving...who knew!? Probably still my best Thanksgiving ever.
Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. Great things to come in 2011!
Quote of the Day: "God Bless Us Everyone!"--Tiny Tim