Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Gifts - Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories

Here's the Rogers (& Scott) family, all dressed up. No date, but I'd say about 1956? at Vancouver, B.C., Canada

December 10 - Christmas Gifts
What were your favorite gifts, both to receive and to give?

Ah, presents! For kids, isn’t that the big thing about Christmas?

Well, I’ve already complained about the 'one for two', birthday/Christmas presents, so ‘nuf said about that, but I do remember some small presents we gave each other. Even for our neighbourhood, which wasn’t that well off, these were a bit unusual.

I believe I always got a book or two. Books aren’t really unusual, but I had, and I wanted, more books than any kids I knew. I used to hide behind the couch to read so I wouldn’t have to ‘go and play outside’. The floor lamp there even had a light in the base for me to read by. Some of these books are now my treasures, for example, the English childrens’ book one of my great aunties gave me. Oh, yes, I have that floor lamp still too. The thing about the Christmas (and birthday books) was that they were new. Most of my books came from rummage sales and the like, (still do!) but a 'present' was always a brand new one.

I remember new mittens, and I think I remember new flannel nighties for Christmas. I remember a kaleidoscope one year. Beside these, many times there was a can of black olives wrapped up for me, labeled ‘Do Not Open Till December 25th”. I do still love olives!

My dad almost always got that jar of pickled walnuts – his very favourite. (Ugh!) And sometimes – close your eyes, children – we gave him a wrapped up package of cigarettes. (He quit smoking when my brother was about twelve.)

Some years my mum wrapped up a little cartwheel of cheeses too –were these for me or for dad? One year, however, that present went to Twink, the cat, who ‘opened’ the wrappings and ate most of the contents. I think that was the last year there was any cheese under the tree.

My mum got ‘hand made’ things from me – once I made her a little scrapbook of KahlĂșa® ads cut from magazines, since she was always interested in pre-Columbian art and that’s what the ads showed. She saved that; I found it in her boxes many years later.

What little things did my brother get? I don’t know. I must have been too busy with my own presents, I guess, to pay attention. What do you remember, little brother?

For more Christmas Gifts stories, click on the December 10 ornament here: http://destinationaustinfamily.blogspot.com/

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