Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmases of the PAST (and 48 Hours to Baby?!)

Baby in 2 Days?
So I think I'm still good to go to start the induction on 12/22. If all goes well we'll have a baby on 12/22-12/23. I had an ultrasound done on Friday 12/17 and they say he's about 7 1/2 pounds. Therefore, I insist he's already in the 8s. I ran a few errands today with Christian (Mikelle is staying at a friend's house) and while he was well behaved, my body was not. I don't know why my mobility has to be so hosed with pregnancy while other pregnant women can run marathons up until they deliver. Even elderly people whiz passed me like track stars. Each pregnancy has some horrible ongoing pain issues. Sure, Christian's was worse than this, but let's say his was like Krakatoa and this one is like Mt. St. Helens. Still pretty bad!

Christmases of More Simple Times
Anyway, back to Christmas. A few days ago I was thinking of all the things at Christmastime from when we were kids, and how kids today have it way too good and they're just obliterated with so much out there to ask for, see, choose from, etc etc.

The thought started when I was looking for candy canes that went with the color scheme of our tree. Now, they have so many different kinds and different flavors. I was only interested in the color scheme.
Mikelle was whining that I got the Sweet Tart candy canes to put on the tree (and only because they were the right color scheme). She was whining that she wanted the Sour Patch ones. I found myself saying, "When I was a kid, we didn't have all these candy flavors of candy canes. It was Peppermint (and regular mint I think)!" And they were red and white! Maybe green and white too. But that was IT.

Sheesh. It's Candy Canes.
She still complains about the Candy Canes on the tree. They're not hanging there to taste any particular way, but that's how she sees it.

So on a message board I frequent, I mentioned the candy cane incident and asked wht they remember from Christmases of yor that indicate a much more simpler time. Here are some of the answers:

  • Well we sure as heck didn't e-mail Santa, like my niece does.
  • We also couldn't go on YouTube, Itunes or Playlist, etc to hear our favorite Christmas song. We had to hope they played it on the radio, or we went out and bought it...on a CASSETTE (or older media forms like 8-tracks or vinyl). (by the way, I do like these advancements, but I do think things are too easy at our fingertips...still, I am the one putting all this on a "blog" while listening to my blog's playlist!)
  • We didn't have more than one Christmas tree.
  • We didn't have as many Christmas lights and they weren't LED
  • We didn't have store-bought mom baked.
  • We didn't go to school so close to Christmas!
  • We didn't have green least not in my memory!
  • Another one of mine: One thing from the past that I wish was still the case. There were no INFLATABLES. Man, I hate those things. (pssst...if you do too, join my public FB Group (!/group.php?gid=146228418262 to join the cause.) Speaking of which, there wasn't Facebook or an online forum to express discord of certain decorations. Such a simpler time.
  • No pre-baked ginger bread house kits. My thought: Yeah, I'm old school on this one too. Except this year. Christian really wants to do a Gingerbread.graham cracker house and I don't have the energy this year to do it any other way than the pre-made-kit. So this year, I'm a hypocrite on this one this year.
More answers I received:
  • There were no wii or ds games. My son wants all the lastest and greatest.
  • No jibjab to make fun holiday videos.
  • No fifteen types of M & Ms or Hershey's Kisses.
  • No whole aisle of stocking stuffer crap at Target or Wal-mart (my parents actually had to shop at more than one store to find things I'd like!).
  • No spiral, pre-sliced ham (ours came in a can my dad picked up at work as his Christmas present).
  • My gift at the bank was a popcorn ball...I hoped that it would be something different each and every year, but it was always.a.popcorn.ball.
  • No on-line Santa tracking! A local radio or TV station broadcast the updates, though.
  • No restrictions on wishing people a "Merry Christmas" or being afraid of doing it.
  • This is one I relate with. I didn't travel at Christmas until my adulthood: trips halfway across the country to visit relatives (and/or be in more pleasant locations) for Christmas. Christmas happened in our family room, period. If we'd spent the money on a trip somewhere, there wouldn't have been any presents!
  • We could only see Charlie Brown Christmas and Rudoph ONE TIME a year not every other night on 3 different channels . My thoughts: I never liked the Rudolph special. Santa was JERK. There's a really good commentary on YouTube about how much of a jerk he was, but the language is pretty harsh in describing Santa and Donner's behavior (but quite accurate!)
  • When I was a kid stocking stuffers didn't cost as much as the "gifts". our stocking stuffers were: an orange, mixed nuts, some candy, a chocolate santa, a magazine (coloring book and crayons for the little kids) on good years.
  • We didn't have a whole lot of toys that were powered by anything other than us. Well until I was older and got an Atari! Man I didn't know what carpal tunnel syndrome was then but I sure got it playing Pac Man!
  • My mother would never buy those mesh stocking things and I grew up thinking I was missing out. I probably wasn't but I was only going by my lust and jealousy for store bought birthday cake, another store bought goody denied by my mother. And if you knew anything of my mother's cake decorating skills, you would understand why I thought not getting something store bought = missing out. (by the way: More on the mesh stockings further down...)
  • Follow up comment to the above: That is hilarious! You definitely weren't missing out on the mesh stockings, that candy was horrible, but I know exactly what you mean. We had a farm so we had steaks, ham etc all the time. My best friend would get things like mac n cheese (for a WHOLE meal) and hotdogs etc. I was jealous of her and she was of me. We loved eating at each other's houses.
  • Middle class people in my neck of the woods did not have multiple Christmas trees. You had one indoors and then, if you were feeling really holiday frisky and had a dad with a ladder, you had some outside lights.
  • More than one or two presents per kid under the tree. We farmed, but other than eating well, we lived in near poverty.
  • And going back tot he TV Specials, I was going to say that you couldn't buy these shows on DVD and watch them any time or over and over again. You took a bath, put on your jammies, and sat in front of the TV waiting and waiting!
  • Food Network to show you all of the great recipes and meals that the celebrity chefs make. I remember waiting for my mom's Good Housekeeping to come to see all of the pictures of the food and the gingerbread house contest winners. My mom was not a good cook and I think I was fascinated that food could actually look that good. My thoughts: (by the way, cooking and Food Network and recipes does nothing for me. If I could trade Food Network for a channel I would actually watch, I would. lol)
  • Gift cards! Well, there were, but they were paper Gift Certificates and they certainly weren't as popular for gift giving as they are now.
  • We didn't have video games, or movies in the car, for our 3 hour trip on Christmas Day to both grandparents houses. My brother and I would read a book or Highlights magazine on the road to keep us entertained or from killing each other. My thoughts: Yes, another advancement I use on car trips. At first I was against it - I wanted my kid to experience old school, but after our 2006 road trip to and from Colorado, I changed my mind. But a trip has to be at least 100 miles one way for the DVD player to come out.
  • We didn't have stores open until midnight (or later) during the holidays, nor were they ever open on Sundays. My thoughts: I do wish the Sunday thing can come back, along with no stores open on Thanksgiving or Christmas. :-(
  • Another one of mine: I don't think gift bags were around either. I go back and forth with traditional wrapping and gift bags now. Chris is more against gift bags in general, but I pointed out that the majority of our gifts under the tree are wrapped. So when a gift bag is used, it's not that big of a deal.
  • Tinsel that floated instead of draped. I think it was lethal and did all sorts of bad things. Man oh man did it hang pretty on the tree. And cool lights on the tree, if you touched one of the big lights you would have a major burn.
  • My mother always had a bowl of nuts out with the nutcracker and those weird nut picks.....I liked the filberts.......the Brazil nuts were just there b/c they came in the bag of mixed nuts....
  • So many of the things mentioned and also the canned ham and brown and serve rolls. Not sure if people didn't put lights on as much or if we just didn't do the driving around thing until I was an adult. I have noticed that there are a lot less lights out this year but we haven't been to the really big displays yet - hope to this week if it stops raining. I have to say in so many ways I like the simpler things. My son is looking forward to making snowflakes, cookies and the gingerbread house (from a kit) and other simple crafts. I do enjoy watching tons of the Christmas DVDs though but do agree that it takes away from the specialness of watching them. We also didn't have cable growing up, no VCRs, no computers. Loved listening to Christmas albums on the record player. Didn't know it but we were poor by today's standards - always had toys but nothing like it seems kids today. I knew kids that got a lot more even when I was a kid but somehow just never felt deprived really wasn't something I thought about - well maybe the cable on occasion.
Back to the mesh red stockings. Remember these? Here is my first Christmas in 1975. And there are the infamous red mesh stockings. I guess there are things from when we were kids that we are thankful for aren't around now! lol

(Click on image to see it in more detail). The pictures are from 75', and the layout is from the mid-1990s. Sorry for the bad scrapbooking quality!

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