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December 15, 2007



I had a friend who believed in Santa until he was 11 or 12, and we thought that was pretty old. Another kid and I tried to clue him in that it was his parents, not Santa, bringing the gifts. His retort? "Oh yeah, right. Like my dad's really Santa. There's no Santa suit hanging in his closet."

We weren't a bright lot.

Friend #3

12 Christmas mem-- sorry, hooplas? From a Jew? Fast?

I don't do Hebrew and ignoring you would be rude

As I lay here, back in spasm, I'll try to come up with something. (BTW, dear, your cure? Hah.)

1) Growing up, I remember the Jewish family up the street had the best Christmas light decorations. No nativity scene, though.

2) I remember our trips downtown to look at the Christmas displays in the windows of Famous-Barr and Stix, Baer & Fuller.

3) Most memorable Hanukkah gift as a child: A Thumbelina doll that, when you pulled her string, her head moved around very slowly. My sister got an identical doll and we each thought they were the best dolls ever.

4) New Years Eve at my 2nd cousins' house. My mother's cousin Elaine was half-Jewish/half-Greek and Catholic. They celebrated Christmas and that was a novelty to us. We spent New Year's Eve there with their Christmas tree and decorated house and five kids. It was pretty cool. We kids went out in the snow at midnight and welcomed in the new year in their front yard.

5) I hated sitting on Santa's lap as a child and cried through the whole thing. What is it with Jewish parents and a picture with Santa?

6) In keeping with the tradition of good presents on the first nights of Hanukkah and lame presents in later nights, I received a set of plastic hangers from my aunt.

7) As kids, my cousins and I had clear plastic dreidels with chocolate coins in them. We spun the dreidels, but that was the extent of our knowledge of how it as a game.

8) I watched "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" as an early teen. It was awful. I was pleased to see it got the MST3K treatment.

9) My Christmas door decoration in my dorm room came in second only to the stuffed Santa with a penis door. I thought I captured the spirit of Christmas better than those two shiksas did.

10) My Aunt Min would give us coin money wrapped in tin foil at Hanukkah. (My brother wants me to re-institute the practice for my niece.) Aunt Min teared up at Hanukkah 1977; she was sad we were spending our first Hanukkah without my dad.

11) Best present I got my mom for Hanukkah: a gold "[Chai] y'all" charm for her charm necklace, except the "Chai" was in Hebrew. Only those who recognized the Hebrew *got* it.

12) I thoroughly enjoyed a holiday tradition at a friend's house for Thanksgiving. She had a beautiful manzanilla tree that was painted white. The lights had white wiring and all the ornaments were strictly crystal and clear uncolored glass. They used plastic fishing line to hang them. It was truly a stunningly beautiful tree. What made it doubly fun was the Fiddler on the Roof soundtrack playing in the background as several of us sang and decorated the tree.

Okay, I'm going to take another pill and fire up the heating pad.

In the meantime, I'll tag Caroline. You're it, Caroline baby!


I'm still waiting on that story...you missed a good time!


Kathy - Well, yeah, the Santa suit is conclusive evidence. That cracks me up.
Friend #3 - I even remember getting gelt coins on Christmas Eve from Aunt Carleen. I don't think she knew it was a Jewish thing. Sophie should definitely get them.
Marriage-101. - Story is up there. Friend with a crisis. Couldn't say no!


Oh dang. Why did I know that was coming?

1. Growing up we had a cloth advent calendar with 24 little pockets in it, and every morning there was a treat in it. Some days it was a piece of candy, some days a coin, and once or twice a year it was a note about where in the house to find something bigger. I totally want one of these if I can ever find one again.

2. My brother used to scratch the wrapping paper on his gifts as many times as it took to figure out what was inside, so my mom stopped putting names on the gifts and just numbered them. On Christmas morning she'd get out a list and tell us what gift numbers were ours.

3. On the years we'd go to my grandparents' house in Nebraska I'd send Santa a letter with their address. He always found us.

4. One of my favorite memories of Christmas in Nebraska was the year a blizzard hit while we were eating in my grandparents' basement. We ended up with about 2 dozen people sleeping at their house. Four kids to a bed, people on the couch, people on the floor. It was a truly great sleepover.

5. My dad bought an artifical tree the first year he and mom were separated, which was 1983. It's still in great shape and is now in use at my daughter's daycare.

6. I figured out the Santa thing when I found the box from my brother's Big Wheel in our laundry room. Santa doesn't leave boxes.

7. Santa gifts come 100% assembled, batteried, unwrapped, and ready to play with.

8. 5:00 mass beats the heck out of midnight mass, but you better get there at 4:00 if you want a seat.

9. I miss baking cookies with my stepsisters and their kids, but there are just too many young ones for it to be practical right now.

10. I haven't spent Christmas with my mom since I got engaged. Grrr, MIL. Grrrr.

11. I laid down the law with MIL when I was pregnant. She was distraught when I told her my children would always wake up in their own home on Christmas, but we would be glad to spend the weekend before Christmas with them. 6 months later she pretended it was her own idea. Whatever, it worked. Guess where we were this weekend...

12. Christmas is far better through the eyes of a child. Mine is demanding I help decorate the tree now, so I'm off to do that.

I abdicate tagging duties to the Queen. Tag in good health!


Caroline - You mean a calendar like this:
It's a pet Advent calendar.

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