Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Remembered

m e r r y    c h r i s t m a s
Last night I thought a lot about Christmases past.
I've had many lovely Christmases. 
I grew up in a large white cape cod style house built in 1939. 
This is why I've always loved old houses. 
In my opinion nothing beats a white house at Christmas.
Just look at that beauty above.

My own childhood home sits on Main Street in my hometown of Blanchard, Oklahoma. 
A large tree with white lights was always in the front window and the white posts of the porch
were wrapped in wide red ribbon. 

We referred to our house as "Holiday Inn" during the weeks up to Christmas.
A life size Santa sat on the front porch that Mom made after we were inspired by 
a small Santa we'd seen at a craft show.
Our Santa wore a pair of my Dad's old boots.

We were always big on decorating for the holidays inside.

But each year when I was growing up I begged my father to put lights on the house and he never would.
But when I was 28, I moved away from Oklahoma to Georgia.

I called home that Thanksgiving wishing I was home with family.
I spoke to my Mother in the evening of that day and she said that she was so irritated with my father.

She said he'd been out working in the yard that morning and when called in for dinner, he barely ate
after she'd slaved away for hours on Thanksgiving dinner.
She wasn't speaking to him, she was so upset. And she said..."he is saying nothing...he's avoiding me!"

When Christmas came...

My Dad picked me up at the airport and drove me to my hometown. As we neared my house...
I could see christmas lights lining the edge of the roof. The whole house had lights around it!
I was so thrilled that my Dad had finally put lights on the house.
It only took me moving hundreds of miles away and him wanting to please me when I got home.

It was then that he told me that Thanksgiving morning, 
he'd been outside working on putting the lights on the roof when he fell off the roof 
and into the back of his pick up truck.
He said it was pure luck that he fell into the truck and not to the ground.
He laid there with the wind knocked out of him, wondering if he was ok.
After awhile he decided nothing was broken just as my Mom called him in to dinner.

He didn't want her to know he'd fallen. So he just came in and ate what he could to keep her happy.
But he felt nauseous and hurt all over. 
So he ate a little and retired to the sofa.

Mom didn't know till years later that he'd fallen off the roof that morning.
She had been so mad at him and he was just trying to make sure she didn't worry.

And he couldn't tell me because he was keeping the lights a surpise.

After that, my Dad made a tradition of putting lights on the house so that they would be there when 
I came home.
He would also line the yard and driveway with yellow solo cups that he turned upside down over large white lights. 
It looked junky during the day but at night it looked like small lanterns lining our yard and drive.
Dad took a lot of pride in how nice they looked at night.

I remember one Christmas night, the whole family including uncles, aunts and cousins were all
over at my Grandmother's house which was across the street from my parent's house. 

As one of my uncles gazed out the window...he saw a truck swerve purposefully into my parents yard 
and take out about three of the plastic cups.

He yelled, "Hey! Someone just ran over your lights, Jim!" (my Dad was named Jim)
Immediately, all four brothers (my dad and uncles) were flying out of the house and 
off the porch. Dad said, "Jump in the truck and my uncle yelled...get your gun!"

This seemed completely ridiculous to us in the house.
"Get your gun?"
Us women realized it was most likely teenagers just having a little fun.
They didn't know those cups were my father's pride and joy.
I remember my Mom saying, "That's a bit of an over-reaction, isn't it?"

We all watched out the window as we saw my Dad and Uncles go by several times 
in the pickup looking for the perpetrators.
Thank goodness they didn't find them.

The next day my father talked about the incident at the coffee shop and he and his friends 
deduced the guilty parties based on the description of the truck. 

A visit was paid to the father of the driver of the truck.
Yes, a high school boy who didn't see the harm in running over a few of my Dad's prized lights.

He promised to never do it again and the whole matter was dropped.

But I'll never forget the Christmas that I heard the words,
"Get Your Gun!"

Ah... family Christmas memories.

I hope you are making wonderful Christmas memories with your own family
and I hope they do not involve fire arms.

sharing at


Sharon in Chicago said...

Nita -- this SO made me laugh! My dad calls my mom Annie, so if we combined family stories, we'd put on the musical, Annie Get Your Gun!

Merry Christmas, sweet lady!

DreamgirlLisa said...

Nita, how sweet, loved reading about your Christmas memories! Merry Christmas!

TiKiMOOSE said...

You're so funny.
Merry Christmas to you!

LeAnn said...

I love the story about your dad putting up the lights just for you, a memory to treasure for sure!
Merry Christmas Nita!

Pam @ Frippery said...

What a beautiful story of Christmas memories. merry Christmas Nita!

Lee said...

Thanks for the times we forget to cherish our memories.
Hope you are making more memories today! Hugs to you!

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

How wonderful that your Dad loves you so much to put those lights up. Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories. Merry Christmas!

24 Corners said...

You're such a wonderful storyteller's a very sweet thing your dad did for you, I'm so glad he was alright!!
Thinking of you...and the Weenies...and wishing you a Happy Christmas, but most of all, a very blessed New Year!
xo J~

Renee from Where the Grass is Greener said...

Just a slingshot that my two older boys secretly bought my youngest for Christmas.

Lottie said...

Oh, what wonderful memories! LOL!

Merry Christmas!

Cozy Little House said...

Nope, no fire arms. But I did burn a cord plugging in my sewing machine today. Can still smell the acrid scent in the air. Makes you kind of nauseous. I don't plan on getting on any roofs though.

Hi I'm Shannon said...

HaHaHa... I could picture it! What a story. What a great story!!
Merry Christmas Nita =)

PS-my hubby got me a handgun for Xmas. So my mom says to me "He better not make you made now" LOL!!!!

Anonymous said...

These stories made me smile, remembering my own childhood Christmases. I've been missing my parents this Christmas (they've both passed on), and feeling very nostalgic for those past holidays.

I hope you have plans with friends and family, and that you will find joy in new moments and new memories this Christmas. God bless you. - - HollyM

CAS said...

Isn't it funny the things we remember & the funny things that create those memories! This was both sweet and funny. Merry Christmas!

D.B. said...

Great story! Thinking about you today.....much love.

Donetta said...

Nita, your blog means the world to is a source of pleasure, and sometimes of pain. You are so REAL; I feel like we've known each other forever, although I know you wouldn't recognize me if we passed on the street. You've really been through some trying times this last year, and my hope for you is that the coming year is the best one ever. If wishing and hoping can make it so, then it will be so!

Belinda said...

Merry Christmas, Nita! My boys and I are watching the Muppets Christmas Carol together this evening - one of our traditions.

Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl said...

Funny story, Nita, except the part where your Dad fell off the roof! Our house was built in 1939, too!
Merry Christmas!

Donna W said...

Hi Nita,
It seems there were a lot of happy memories in that pretty white house. Thanks for the great stories. Merry Christmas!

Sonia said...

Great memories and great story!! How precious that your Dad did that for you! Hope your day was filled with blessings!
Merry Christmas
Miss Bloomers

Debby said...

Great memories. So glad they didn't find the boys that night. They must have had fun looking.
So sweet that your dad did the lights for you.
Hope your Christmas was restful and fun.

A Few Pennies said...

Oh my gosh; I smiled, teared up at what your father did for you; but, just had to laugh at the gun episode--that is so much my family; you don't mess with pride! I loved this post best of all; thank you for sharing this tonight--I really needed it.

Michelle said...

I always love your stories. You tell them so well!! Merry Christmas and a WONDERFUL New Year full of healing and happiness.

Linda Hartong said...

What a wonderful Christmas memory. We did have a nice Christmas without firearms. But the room was populated with loving ghosts of Christmas Past. My Mom and Dad sitting close together on the couch opening gifts, my father in law allowing a grandchild to put a silly bow on his head, my mother in law snapping photos like crazy. I miss them so. I am also so grateful that they showed us all how to celebrate the season and passed on so many traditions.
Thanks again for your delightful post.

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

I loved reading this story Nita. It made me think of my childhood christmases and the things my dad would do. Like yours, he was the one who really got into decorating the house with candles in every window. Your white house on main street sounds like a storybook home at christmas! You do tell the best stories, and this was like getting a late christmas gift to open, I truly loved reading this tale. The nostalgia the holidays bring are bittersweet, and this story captured it all. Wishing all good things for the new year Nita. xxoo

vintage girl at heart said...

I read your post the other day about Shelly and Newman. I bawled like a baby and then told my oldest daughter about the two stories. I cried as many tears for Newman as I did for Shelly.... well I saved your blog to my desktop favorites and imagine my surprise when I read your newest post and found out that you are from Blanchard. We are Florida transplants and live in Oklahoma now and my daughter lives in Blanchard..small world huh?
Anyway your writing really draws me in.
I loved your story about your Dad and the lights!
Wishing you a belated Merry Christmas and a Blessed New year!

Olive Cooper said...

Sweet and funny and full of family stuff that we can relate to. We have our firearms handy always here in Georgia you know.

texasdaisey said...

What beautiful pics! I always enjoy stopping by to see what quirky and wonderful things you will share next. May you have a very Merry Christmas season and may God bless you above and beyond all you can ask or imagine this new year.

oldblackcatboo said...

That house looks so perfect with the snow falling...the story of your Dad and the lights really touched my heart. What a great memory, to have a Dad that loved you so much. I'm trying to remember a great past Christmas but...I kinda think the Christmases are better now. I thankful my sister lives here and I have my nieces, they make Christmas magical. Christmases in the past seemed to be filled with people more worried bout making it perfect and having so many rules that no one enjoyed it.

'LUSH' said...

I am just getting caught up on blog after Christmas! What a BEAUTIFUL, and realistic, story! I am so grateful to have been able to read such a beautiful recapturing of some very profound moments in your life at Christmas! Thank you! Thank you! I love it, hit me in the heart!!!!

micki @ ADD housewife said...

that is a great story! It's right up there with our dead goat thanksgiving LOL

Philippines properties said...

Excellent post and I enjoyed reading it. Christmas was really an incredible and wonderful holiday. Big thanks for sharing.

Charles A

Kerry Rossow said...

What a wonderful tribute to your dad!
I love old houses, too.
Happy New Year!
Kerry at HouseTalkN

Blogging tips