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Best Christmas Stories?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by WriteThinking, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I figure this might be somewhat of a slow day on here but also a good time for a thread about our best personal, homespun Christmas stories.

    By best, I mean for whatever reason -- special events, special sentiments, unusual goings-on, memorably fun, or funny, times...

    What have you got?

    Here's one that has to rank with my and my family's most memorable Christmases ever:

    It was December 25, 1988...

    My parents were retiring, and moving to the country...really to the country, in the mountains, where there would be no cable-TV service.

    They NEED one of those huge, roof-mounted satellite dishes, and it's the only gift we all think we should get for them. So, I and my five other siblings and assorted spouses all chip in for the $3,000 monstrosity, and two of my brothers proceed to assemble the thing in my oldest brother's garage, just so our folks can actually see the ONLY gift they're going to get, and not have to open something that's just...in a box. Well, put together, it takes up almost the whole two-car thing garage, and it cannot be moved anywhere, not without being disassembled again (which my brothers later did, too).

    The problem was, Christmas was slated to take place at my parents' currently still-suburban home that year. So, my brother calls them up last-minute, a day or two before the holiday, and suggests -- no, fairly insists -- with no other explanation, that the festivities all be moved to his house. My parents protest the idea, wondering why in the world they should pile what must have been hundreds of gifts (big family, big Christmas celebrators) into the back of their pickup truck, plus take assorted decorations and the entire meal my mom had planned and drive it all 20 miles over to my brother's house, with no real explanation, when everything was scheduled and practically all ready to go at the parents' place.

    Let's just say that they didn't get, at all.

    In a testament to their love and tolerance of all of us, let me also just say that they did it anyway. They shook their heads and said, "Are we crazy? Who would do this?" the whole way. But they did it.

    We finally start opening gifts that Christmas morning -- at my brother's house -- and it goes on for what must have been two hours or more. Our folks have received nothing the whole time, and we kids all know it must be getting a little conspicuous, even though our parents seemed to not be noticing too much, what with all the commotion, and with them just happy to sit around and enjoy seeing what everyone was getting, and how they were reacting.

    Finally, we get done with everything else, and ask our parents to please follow us out to the garage. Once again, the parents start wondering, but they benignly and happily do our bidding, and the whole family tromps out to the garage, my two brothers who put together the giant satellite in the lead, followed closely by our parents, and then, the rest of us -- other siblings, spouses, elderly grandparents and aunts and uncles all crowding the parents and pushing them forward.

    Well, my folks finally see the satellite, complete with a giant bow wrapped around it and tied up in the center on the focusing beam, and they look at each other, shaking their heads knowingly as they finally realized why they had to come over to the oldest son's house instead of just doing what we'd planned.

    They both stood in utter shock and disbelief at our unwieldy but much-needed and much appreciated gift to them -- so much so that they were almost speechless, save for a scream/shout from each, followed by some happy, grateful tears that overwhelmed both, even my usually reserved and stoic dad.

    Then, we all go back inside, and it's my sister's turn to surprise us all as she shares that her longtime boyfriend has now become her fiance, and she/they show off her engagement ring and accept happy congratulations from all of us. Again, there is that same kind of loud, happy, unexpected surprise, similar to what we all had just experienced after my parents had received their gift.

    We then enjoy a typically large, noisy, and happy, Christmas-day family meal together before the grand finale, announced in dramatic fashion by my previously mentioned oldest brother.

    He and his wife had been married six years but are childless, and I don't know if we were all ever expecting any kids out of the union anymore by that time.

    As we were all sitting around after dinner, spread out all comfortable and contented, in my brother's living room, he starts handing out one last gift -- an envelope with something in it for each of us.

    This time, none of us, save my brother and sister-in-law, know what's coming, and we all eye each other warily, much as my parents had done earlier in the day.

    Still, unsuspecting, we all don't think too much of it, just figuring that my brother has, perhaps, bought us all some lottery tickets, or something.

    "Don't open it yet," my brother says as he's passing out the envelopes. "Everybody open it at the same time."

    Moments later, each of us hoping we have the lucky lottery ticket, we all do as he says, and take out the contents of our envelopes as my sister-in-law looks on, beaming and fairly bursting with a secret she'd apparently been hanging on to for dear life for about month.

    Yes, on each card, is a personally appropriate, um, pregnancy announcement.

    "On or about Aug. 19, 1989, you will become a grandmother/grandfather/uncle/aunt/great grandmother/great aunt, etc...," the computer-printed personalized cards say.

    Just like that, bedlam breaks out once again as shouts/screams and exclamations of excitement and congratulations fill the air, and, once more, tears of happiness fill my parents' eyes.

    My brother and sister-in-law look at them, then they look at each other and can't help but laugh at the happy riot they've incited.

    "Yep, I guess we threw them for a loop today, didn't we?"

    This was one of our most memorable holidays, but yes, we do tend to have great Christmases around here.

    Here's wishing one from me to all of you at SportsJournalists.com, too.

  2. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    That's a hell of a day, WT. Thanks for sharing. :)
  3. Wenders

    Wenders Well-Known Member

    That's awesome, WT.

    I have a funny Christmas story to share.

    Several years ago, my uncle, who is a very smart man but sometimes is a screw loose, is a long-haul trucker. While on the turnpike in Pennsylvania, he lost his wallet with $2,000 in cash in it that the family was going to use to go to a bowl game later that month. (So, suffice to say, no bowl game.) He did, somehow, manage to get home (part of this involved having a perfect stranger help him out with toll money.)

    But we never found the wallet. Fairly sure he put it on the top of the gas pump while filling up and left it there.

    And there's something you should also know about my family: when you screw up, we WILL let you know it. And you will never hear the end of it. Which is why now, if anything happens to me that doesn't involve personal injury (the time I was on crutches would have been hard to hide), I basically keep it to myself.

    So that year for Christmas, what should have been a somber year was quite the funny occasion, as he received no fewer than three wallets.

    Then, my mother had the best idea of all. We took an old belt of my dad's and put hooks on it and on the hooks, we put all of the things my uncle has lost over the years (except the hammer...we couldn't find a hammer that had a hole in the handle) on the hooks. Eyeglasses, address book, keys, wallet, etc. And we gave it to him for Christmas.

    Needless to say, when he pulled that out and we read the poem (yes, we made a poem to The Night Before Christmas) everyone was laughing so hard that it was at least 15 minutes before we had regained our composure. He about fell out of his chair he was laughing so hard.

    So this has become a Christmas tradition in my family. Every year, the person who is most in need of organizational skills gets the belt. I've gotten it a few times, my mom got it, my cousins have gotten it and so on.

    Fast forward to last night. We have started doing white elephant exchanges for the adults in our family. (The theme was barbecue. There was a lot of sauce being passed around.) It gets to my uncle and he sizes up the remaining gifts and ALMOST SELECTS THE ONE HE BROUGHT, which was hilarious in itself, and then he picks this one big bag. And my cousin's wife nearly loses it. Because, of course, she told everyone in the family except me and my parents that the belt was in the bottom of that bag. She specifically TOLD HIM not to pick it because it had the belt in the bottom of it.

    So when he got to the bottom, there's the damn belt. And it was so fitting that he got it after nearly selecting his own gift. And, for the second time, that belt made him laugh so hard he was crying.
  4. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    Thanks, IJAG. I always feel fortunate and blessed when it comes to my family.

    And thanks, Wenders, for sharing. I smiled and laughed as I read, and pictured, your family story. :)
  5. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    I really wanted a BB gun once. Left magazine ads in my mother's room. Wrote a theme about it for school (got a C+). Asked Santa about it. Everyone told me I'd put my eye out. But thank God, my father was the only cool one of the bunch. Got my BB gun. Then we all had to eat Chinese Turkey because the dogs next door got in the house and ate our turkey.
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