>A Christmas Tale II


My mom absolutely adored Christmas. She had a knack for it. Whether it was picking out exactly the right gift or decorating our little tree, she nailed it like no one else I know. No small feat considering our poverty.

We grew every kind of food imaginable, except citrus fruits. My grandpa and uncles grew cattle, pigs, and chickens. Summers were for canning and freezing and working in the garden. We always had plenty of food.

People Mom worked with, as well as an older cousin, were always giving us hand-me-downs, so we had clothes, too. We loved the hand-me-downs….it was like Christmas all over again!

She was also quite the seamstress. Mom created dresses and jumpers and pant-suits for us till I was in the 5th grade….

I had no idea we were poor until the 7th grade when a friend asked why I didn’t wear Levi’s. What were Levi’s, I wondered?

Our tree should have looked like this little tree. Not just in scrawniness, but with the same lack of presents.

In fact, all the way up to Christmas Eve, there would be no presents when we were little. (At that time, it was just Sister and me.)

The magic would happen while we were asleep.

We shared a bed, Sister and I, and we’d whisper far into the night about staying awake to see Santa and wonder about what he would bring.

More times than I could count, we’d hear Mom call down the hallway and tell us to be quiet and go to sleep or Santa would skip right over us. Of course, we’d just go off into fits of giggles then…..

One of my favorite memories, one that held so very much magic for me, was the morning we woke and found a child sized table with two chairs….just for Sister and me! Sitting in the chairs were two dolls and the table was laid out with a tea set. That was the first time I truly believed Santa had been in our home and that he’d set up that table for us. Just for us!

Our stockings had been stuffed full of candy and gum and crayons and coloring books…..

I can close my eyes and remember the magic of that morning.

My mom was pretty amazing at Christmas time. She was magical that way….

Now, knowing that she’s the one who took such care to make things special for us, that she had to sacrifice to do it, the memories I have of those Christmases are all the more precious to me.

We may have been poor, but we always felt like we had an abundance…..


About CuriousCat

I love to learn new things-anything from how to create a junk journal to the way light moves through space; why cats present their behinds to us to the effects of chemicals on our endocrine system. If it interests me, I can spend hours reading and learning about it.

Posted on December 8, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. >What a beautiful and touching tale. You mother was a very special lady.

  2. >Your memories are wonderful. Your mom loved you very much.

  3. >good'un, b… my own life much resembled yours….

  4. >What a lovely story.However, looking at the facts you present I would ask whether you truly were poor? I was watching an interview documentary the other night about the highly probable collapse of our economy in the future and the best means of surviving that was described was exactly how your life growing up sounds. We need to get back to the land and simpler life because our investments may not be worth much soon.LeeTossing It Out

  5. >Beautiful, magical and I can identify with it too. :O)

  6. >this is such a warm, inspiring piece.:)

  7. >*Ellie-thank you, she certainly had her moments!*Carol-my memories, especially the Christmas ones, are precious to me.*Laughingwolf-that's why we get along so well =P Sometimes, it helps us to appreciate more….*Lee-I would describe us as land rich and cash poor. The 7th grade was enlightening, to say the least. We had to participate in some sort of thing like a census (but not a census) and I learned what tax brackets were and what was considered to be poverty level. We actually lived quite a bit UNDER the poverty level….candy and soda and those types of things were treats.And I completely agree with you. I think it would be better for us if we could move back to that kind of lifestyle for all sorts of reasons: less reliance on government, less preservatives in food (our bodies), healthier…and so on.*Madeleine-thank you; it's nice finding kindred spirits.*Ed-thanks and it's good to 'see' you!

  8. >What amazing, wonderful memories of Christmas. Your mom sounds like a very special person. It is the simple things in life that are the real treasures.

  9. >I don't really have any Christmas memories of my own youth…but, I hope that my children have memories similar to yours…I like to think that they do anyway:)

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