Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Past

I've been a bit worried about my memory lately. Normally, I have loads of useless memories, anecdotes and reminiscences all clammering to get out. But for this holiday season, I've been coming up blank. So I pulled out a cd of family photos my sister gifted me with a photo album for Christmas last year and decided to take you on a hodge-podge tour of Christmas memories as sparked by the photos I found. In no particular order, let's dive in:

This was Christmas 2004 aka, one of those awkward all adult Christmases. This photo made me remember my sweet puppy (who was so not a puppy here), enjoying Christmas with the family perched on his bed and happy to gently remove his gift from the gift bag. Wow, I miss Malcolm a lot. He loved Christmas. That might sound like a weird thing to say about a dog but I know he looked forward to being the Jingle Dog every year because he would get really excited when that jingle collar he is wearing below would get pulled out and he hated taking it off post-Christmas. In fact, my mom often left it on him for an extra month or two because he liked it so much. I think he walked with a bit more spring in his step just to have those bells jingle merrily to announce his comings and goings.

This next photo is from 1993. I was a freshman in college and home for a break from crazy roommates. That Sharp TV box in the lower right-hand corner was my surprise to beat all surprises gift - my own TV! I didn't watch a lot of TV in those days but it saved me from being subjected to my roommates' Days of Our Lives habit and allowed me to catch up on my Utah Jazz fanatacism. It was my one and only TV until about 2003 and was hauled through many moves during my nomadic 20s.
1993 was also the year when an unknown person or family decided to gift us with the 12 Days of Christmas - amplified. My family was in pretty poor financial shape (to say the least) and receiving a different set of gifts for those 12 Days for each family member made that one of the most memorable Christmases of my life. The presents usually came stacked up (as in the above photo) and individually labeled with a warning to open on Christmas day. Somehow our benefactor knew each of our sizes and we all received sweat shirts and sweat pants as well as brand new Sunday outfits which my sister, Mom and I are modeling below.

We also each received a flannel shirt and jeans - it was the 90s after all. Aren't we a photogenic family?

About ten years prior (I'm guessing around 1983), I stumbled onto an unexpcted family theme - a childhood distaste for pants. My siblings and I all seemed to have gone through a phase where we only wore oversized t-shirts for Christmas revelry. Before I let you see the next photo, I should point out that my dad was neither drunk nor high. Nor was he lighting anything up in this photo (I am guessing he is applying chapstick), I suspect he was just overly exhausted from staying up all night playing Santa and being urged out of bed before he was ready by four excited children. Other things I love: my sister setting up her My Little Pony stable, the fire and all the Christmas debris everywhere.

Here is another photo of that same year with a better view of our awkward looking tree that seems pretty full everywhere but the center.

I'm going to guess this next one was from the following year (about 1984) judging from the background which was in a house we only lived in in that year. But note once again the pants-less state of my brothers. Also, I should mention this was the year of Transformer mania. My brother did not get a Transformer, he got a fancier more expensive kind my dad picked up on a business trip in Boston (I think). My brother hated it at first because it wasn't a real Transformer, ignorant of the fact that this one was fancier and more expensive.

What I remember about that particular Christmas was receiving two items: my first camera (the long, flat skinny kind that took weird film) and a really awesome two-part sled. Below is one of the first photos I took with my fancy new camera of my little brother on my cool new sled - the Screamin' Owl!

I should warn you before you scroll too far down toward these next few photos. These two Christmases - I think 1990 and 1991 are infamous in my family for their awkwardness. I'm really not sure which photos belong to which years but I'll start with the better of the two (surprisingly) which I think was 1990. We all look like we can't wait for our mom to let us get away, right? In my sister's defense, she looks pretty cute. And my youngest brother doesn't look nearly as awkward and annoyed as my other brother and I.
But this next photo is an enduring family joke which we fondly refer to as "Slap Bracelet Christmas". Remember slap bracelets? Can you spot one in the photo below? While you are looking, take note of the wreath on top of our tree that is trying to make a run for it, the scribble of hair I was trying to pass off for bangs and the looks on each of our faces that indicate we just want this painful photo taking thing to be over.
But there's more. We continued the torture by singing carols around the piano. Why am I the only one that seems to be enjoying this activity?
Enough of the ugly, take a look at Christmas in 1977 when I was adjusting to being a big sister and got my first violin. Also, please note that I am the child in the photo, yes, I look a lot like my mom in this picture!
Or 1986 when I had a bad perm and didn't want to admit to my parents I knew about the whole Santa thing but didn't really want to get dolls for Christmas anymore. Oh, the painful tween years.
I will leave you with one final flashback from 1992. I don't remember anything in particular from that Christmas but I will say this photo really makes me wish I was having Christmas with my siblings this year.


Artax said...

Cute photos and fun memories. But what I was really thinking is "I used to wear bangs like that." And "thank heavens we don't anymore."

lemoniepants said...

hey! i was addicted to MTV- NOT days of our lives.

oh wait. 199what? duh. prob your other roommates. but just in case!

Tiffany said...

I can't get over how much you look like your mom in that picture! WHOA! (Good news for both of you, actually.)

I don't know why, but I'm really getting sentimental over all these pictures of other people's Christmases Past. I love it.

And your bad perm isn't so bad.

katie said...

Scribble bangs. I've heard that term out of Lizs mouth more than once.
I too love the pictures. I guess I need to sneak into my moms basement and take the pictures that I can find!

KimcheeMandoo said...

Oh, those bangs.... ;-)

michele said...

love the scribble bangs and the sexy leg picture.

the swope family said...

Love this post! Great way to honor your memories! Merry Christmas!

autumn said...

I love those pictures! The ones were everyone looks tortured are hilarious! So much fun.

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