Christmas Cheer

There have been 3 Christmas’ in my life when the world felt very dark and bleak. One followed that dreadful attack on 9/11. This year is another due to all of the problems caused by this COVID-19 and associated isolation.

Sure, we have chosen to live in an area where we are relatively isolated all of the time, but this year, inviting children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren in a far-flung family is simply not an option. So, what to do?

I’ve decided to share a couple of happy Christmas memories, and a funny incident shared by someone else. My hope is that those few of you who read this blog will add to it by sharing a bit of your own happy and/or funny memories.

If you are not a Christian, but would like to share a memory from your background, I welcome that as well. Both the world and this blog are big enough to accommodate all of us, at least from my perspective.

I grew up living within a few miles of both sets of grandparents so we always had 3 Christmas celebrations every year – one with my father’s parents, one with my mother’s parents, and one in our own home. Talk about party time!

In 1962, I received a much coveted (thanks to television brainwashing) Odd Ogg.

me old Christmas with Odd Ogg

This monstrosity was battery operated and came with 4 plastic balls. The object was to roll the balls right under it’s middle. If you succeeded, Odd Ogg would roll closer to you a bit. If you were off center, it would stick out it’s tongue and roll backwards. I decided it was more fun to make it roll backwards than to make it roll toward me – at least until it was almost at the limit of how far it could go. The carpet, of course, made hitting it off-center easier than hitting it dead center.

Another sweet Christmas memory involves one of my grandmothers. She immigrated to the United States as a young girl from Switzerland. When she came with her family, she was only allowed to bring a couple of things that were very special to her. One of those was this beautiful little music box.

The music box

It had 3 angels on it and a baby Jesus in a manger. The top disk with the angels and baby Jesus would slowly turn around as the music played an old Swiss Christmas carol. I loved that music box so much I would stand by the fireplace watching and listening to it for as long as I could get any adult to keep it playing for me. When I finally got old enough to be allowed to touch it myself, I still it kept it playing for as long as possible. Finally, when I turned 17, grandma gave it to me.  That was one of the happiest Christmases I can remember!

Now, I said I would also share a funny one that I heard from someone else. The family in question was Swedish and always celebrated Christmas with the traditional Lutefisk – a piece of cod soaked in lye for 3 days. The mother in this family was a tea-totaler, although father had different ideas. One year, one of the father’s brothers came to join them for Christmas dinner – and brought a 6-pack of beer. The two men enjoyed the beer immensely, and it no doubt helped them enjoy the Lutefisk, at least for a few minutes. However, it wasn’t long before the two men were racing pellmell  for the bathroom. Turns out that Lutefisk and beer have about the same chemical properties as baking soda and vinegar – and had that reaction in their stomachs. No more Christmas beer in that household!

Okay, what are a couple of your happiest/funniest Christmas, or other holiday memories?

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