The Year We Didn’t Have Christmas


Christmas was always a much-loved holiday at our house when I was growing up.  My mom spent 2 days decorating the tree, and within a week, she had every available surface of the downstairs covered with beautiful decorations.  She could make our house look like it belonged in a magazine.  Her secret was….she was first in line the day after each Christmas to shop for the best bargains.  Her motto, like mine, was to never pay full price for anything.  It paid off, because she had amassed some beautiful decorations.  Her tree alone would make you just stand and stare in amazement, as each ornament was perfectly placed.  Then there were the rolled out christmas cookies, decorated perfectly with different colors of frosting and sprinkles.  It was almost a shame to eat them, but you couldn’t let them get stale, right?  There were always a few fancy mason jars in the living room with hard candies she had made with anise and peppermint flavorings in red and green.  And the best of all….the chex mix!  Oh my goodness, I can still smell that baking in her kitchen.  I know that there were years when Christmas was a hardship on them, but we never knew it.  We would go to church on Christmas Eve, and while we were gone santa would come so we could open our gifts when we got home.  Looking back now I am sure it was because we always had the whole entire family at our house for Christmas Dinner and my mom had so much to do, there was no time to mess with presents on Christmas morning.

One year, as we all became adults and had children of our own, my mom decided we would take our gifts and donate them to a needy family.  Santa would still arrive for the grandkids, but we adult kids were out of luck.  This sounded like such a wonderful and unselfish thing to do….kind of a Hallmark Moment, so to speak.  We chose a family that consisted of a single mom, and her 3 kids.  I knew that she was down on her luck, and buying Christmas presents for her kids would be almost impossible.  So loaded with money we all chipped in and a list of suggestions for the kids, we headed off for Lasalle to shop.  We had such a great time buying the toys, pajamas, socks, underwear and christmas stocking stuffers for these kids.  We the decided that this hard-working mom needed a christmas too, and we got a few gifts for her.  We unloaded all of the bags into moms kitchen and wrapped all of the gifts, placing a tag on each one from Santa.  We met up with the mom, and passed the gifts off to her, hidden in green garbage bags, and wished her a very Merry Christmas.  We were all crying before long, and our hearts were swollen with pride.

Christmas Eve came that year and after we all went to church, we returned home to eat and open gifts.  The turkey, ham and other dishes were served on Chrismas day, so for as long as I could remember, we had a steak dinner for Christmas Eve.  After dishes were done we then went into the hallway to claim our Christmas stockings from the banister and then gathered in the living room.  Then,  as was tradition, mom played Santa and passed out the gifts under the tree…..for the grandkids!  We sisters, spouses and grandparents sat smiling as the kids ripped into the new presents.  They were all happy….except me….you see I love Christmas the best of all….and while I was happy for the kids and the family we helped out….I pouted a little as I sat there empty-handed and giftless….maybe everyone is allowed to be like a child just one day a year…even if it is to sulk like one? ♥


Snack Crackers

1 pkg oyster crackers

1/2 cup corn oil

1 teaspoon dill weed

1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch dry dressing mix

dash of garlic salt

Mix all indredients in a large bowl and stir until well combined.  It will look like

this is too much oil, but it soaks in as you are stirring and isn’t greasy at all.

A great easy snack.  Keep leftovers in a zip lock bag.


One response to “The Year We Didn’t Have Christmas

  1. Pingback: The Year We Didn’t Have Christmas « Shelly's Stories

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