Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Memories - 5

21. Dad's Christmas Spirit was almost totally opposite Mother's. However, if an expenditure met his criteria, such as needy, deserving persons he could be unexpectedly generous. He was the sole breadwinner in a family founded in the Great Depression. He was very frugal, almost to a fault. In retrospect I'm sure his salary was stretched thin with a family of five, so his frugality was necessary.

Dad worked long hours. When the lumber and hardware chain enlarged to include furniture, Christmas was a big selling season. He worked longer hours.

The Christmas season began for him, usually on Christmas Eve when he made last minute purchases of a certain perfume, and a lacy nightgown for Mother. She knew every year it would be the same gifts. One was her Christmas Eve Birthday, and the other was Christmas.

Although not a part of his individual shopping, often the so-called family Christmas gift arrived on Christmas Eve, like the previously mentioned first B&W television.

He was raised in a family of eight children on a sandy loam farm which produced mainly peanuts. Like most small farms in Texas it was self-sustaining with chickens, milk cows, and hogs, an orchard of fruit and pecan trees and a vegetable garden. Staples like flour and sugar were purchased.

I remember some Christmases at his old home place and also some sad memories like the family reunion when Granddaddy died. Four of his siblings moved to California during WWII years for jobs. Sad occasions were about the only time we saw them.

When they all retired, some uncles with families visited Texas occasionally. My parents made at least one trip California when my brother & wife were assigned Navy duty in Hawaii. It was a grand trip for them as Daddy really disliked touring, especially driving.

22. My husband's (H) family lived in a SC setting, and primarily worked in the tobacco fields. From stories they observed about the same traditions - Christmas tree, Santa, etc., maybe not as lavishly as others; nevertheless the Christmas Spirit was evident. In his youth there was a large extended family and friends.

After joining the Navy, H had the Christmas Spirit year round. He sent part of his paycheck home to help out or save for him. He had few needs as the he had room and board in exchange for his service to his country.

He was always good for small loan of $10-20 bucks till payday, a practice he still does today. After we married, we both had adjustments to make monetarily for awhile, until we re-established ourselves with stable income.

Until recently he really would get in the Spirit with outdoor decorations. The glow of lights from the Coward display probably was seen like city lights, seen from hundreds of miles away! This year he bought lights for one tree. One year vandals disassembled one display and tossed in a drainage ditch.

He loved to shop. Like Daddy, when he found out what pleased someone, he purchased multiples every year. A gift in point was GORGONZ work gear earmuffs. Best friend (BF) and I wear earmuffs all year when wind speeds are high. For some reason wind causes earaches and torments to our allergy sensitive ears.

However, a change in our Christmas traditions has eliminated much shopping. But since BF and I lose most of the multiple earmuffs from one Christmas to the next, I recently sent him in search of more to replenish my stock. I was down to two pair, from six. Unfortunately our local supplier had discontinued the heavy duty ones with a similar but lightweight version. I suspect they will break sooner, but there is still the Internet. [photos from Internet].

If you are searching warm earmuffs that don't muss your hairdo, and can be easily worn with additional caps or hats, I highly recommend GORGONZ, and I'm not getting paid for advertising.

23. One TeleCare male worker also comes to mind as having exemplary Christmas spirit year round. He is a retired Air Force office, who, in my opinion, missed his calling as a chaplain. He has a quiet, calm voice and unequivocally does errands or other service without judgement of need. He is very active in his chosen Christian belief and church, again, performing service to others.

So, there is my Venus viewpoint of three [Wise(?)] men and Christmas Spirit!
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To continue my infatuation with the Twelve Days of Christmas, I found this parody which seems a tad disjointed but still humorous. If you are interested in parodies you can google "twelve days of Christmas parody" and find pages, including some reserved as adult humor only. Some of the adult ones would be just as funny without the vulgar language.

The Twelve Days After Christmas

The first day after Christmas
My true love and I had a fight
And so I chopped the pear tree down
And burnt it, just for spite.
(Then with a single cartridge, I shot that blasted partridge)
My true love, my true love, my true love gave to me.

The second day after Christmas
I pulled on the old rubber gloves
And very gently wrung the necks
Of both the turtle doves
My true love, my true love, my true love gave to me.

On the third day after Christmas
My mother caught the croup
I had to use the three French hens
To make some chicken soup.

The four calling birds were a big mistake
For their language was obscene
The five golden rings were completely fake
And turned my fingers green.

The sixth day after Christmas
The six laying geese wouldn't lay
So I sent the whole darn gaggle to the
A.S.P.C.A.

On the seventh day, what a mess I found
The seven swans-a-swimming all had drowned
(I think there's a "my true love gave to me" in here somewhere)

The eighth day after Christmas
Before they could suspect
I bundled up the Eight maids-a-milking
Nine ladies dancing
Ten lords-a-leaping
Eleven pipers piping
Twelve drummers drumming
(well, actually I kept one of the drummers)
And sent them back collect.

I wrote my true love "We are through, love!"
And I said in so many words
"Furthermore your Christmas gifts
were for the (Soprano) Birds!"
(Everyone else)
Four calling birds, Three french hens, Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree!"

7 comments:

Pat - Arkansas said...

I am very interested in the ear muffs. Unless it is really very, very cold, I don't wear a hat/cap/scarf on my head, but I do very much hate to have cold ears. These look like just the thing to solve that problem. Thanks for the info.

lakeviewer said...

We have big winds here, and earmuffs or hats with flaps are necessary. Lovely story from your family tree.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

What fun it is to read your Christmas memories...I love these posts...

Those earmuffs look fantastic!! I'll have to look into getting some!!

And this version of the twelve days of Christmas had me roaring...too, too funny!!! Loved it!! Merry Christmas, my dear friend!!! You have made mine very merry!!! ~Janine XO

faye said...

Love the parody of the Twelve
Days of Christmas.

Thanks for sharing your Christmas
memories. Enlightening as always.

Stay warm !!

Arkansas Patti said...

I do so enjoy your Christmas memories and you truly did have 3 wise men.
I have found that the best Christmases did not involve a lot of "things" but a lot of love.
You should have a better light bill this year and the neighbors will probably be able to lift thier blinds. I love other peoples lights, just never did it myself.

willow said...

Lovely tribute to your dad!

Lorna said...

I'm loving these random wanderings.