Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Memories

My most memorable and  favorite Christmas, was way back ...34 years ago when a new baby brother was born into my family! 

I am not sure which  twist and turn in the story stands out the most.  There were so many that any sane woman (or man) would think my parents completely crazy.  But they pulled it off perfectly with their sanity in tacked. 

My mother was seven days over her due date.  She had been in a small state of panic wondering just when the baby would come. 

Lying in bed completely uncomfortable, the hour nearing midnight, Dad made her a high ball to sip in order to help calm her nerves. 

That  high ball worked.  (So we like to think.)  No sooner did she take a couple of sips, but  her water broke.  Midnight.  December 22.

The next morning came the division of the troops.  We were all being ushered off to different of us had to be split older sisters and I were sent off to Aunt Bernadine's.   

This grand adventure was just the icing on the cake after our 10 lb 5 oz baby brother was born...a new brother to even out the ratio of 4:4.

A funny thing happened though.

The first night at my aunt's house found me having a heck of a time getting rid of this real itchy spot on my shoulder.  So, I showed Aunt Bernadine my "itchy spot" and she announced, "Chicken pox!"  And with a dreaded afterthought added, "Your poor mother!" little sister Jane and I shared a bedroom together.  Phone calls were made.  You know what is coming next.  Jane had the chicken pox as well. 

My poor! poor! mother!

By Christmas Eve, Jane and I were really sick with the chicken pox and we were all home under my maternal grandma's care.  Even though I remember being quite ill, what I really recall is the magic and joy, utter happiness and peace.  A Christmas spirit, one that was truly unique for us, had filled our house.

My grandmother was at our house whipping up homemade chicken noodle soup with fresh baked bread.  The house smelled divine, and the snow was drifting. The trees were lit, the stockings were hung, and we were all together. 

On Christmas Eve night, Mom came home with baby a red stocking that the hospital sent him home in.  He was oohed and aaahed over...a little prince....lying under the tree in his red stocking. 

Jane and I had to just roll over in our sofa bed to gather a glimpse of that sweet baby.  It was so magical for a 7 year old girl.  And then I'd roll over the other direction to get a glimpse of my beautiful mother sitting in a chair with her very sore legs elevated on pillows. 

Mom had a rough time with varicose veins.  Each pregnancy was rather dangerous.  She had a history of throwing blood clots.   

For me, that seven year old girl, all was well with the world because Mom was home. 

Miraculously, Jane and I were able to sleep.  We were out cold.  Never heard Santa or his helpers making the noise they did; never felt the sofa bed being bumped into. 

Christmas Eve night, my two big brothers were initiated into "the club".  They helped Dad bring in the gifts that were secretly stored in the neighbor's garage across the street.   Through the snow drifts they trudged bearing gifts...back and forth...back and forth.  We never heard a sound.

I cannot imagine pulling off what Mom and Dad did that Christmas Eve night.  Too many twists and turns for this mother.  Utter and complete chaos....but beautiful chaos!  In the eyes of a child, it was filled with nothing but the beauty and peace of Christmas.  And that is all that matters.

Advent blessings~


  1. I just love your childhood memory posts. Tears in my eyes!

  2. this is a wonderful story. how great that you have such a vivid memory of it all. I too wonder with awe at how my parents managed with five children, and how santa always arrived without a hitch. love your ornament too.

  3. Wow. Amazing you never heard anything! One of my sisters brought home the chicken pox from school; all 8 of us had it at the same time! (My 2 younger brothers hadn't been born yet!)
    How cool that you still remember the smell of the chicken soup and bread baking, with the snow falling.

  4. What a beautiful story Patty! Thanks for sharing! It must have been so hard for you and your sister to not hold your baby brother because of your Chicken pox. It sounds like a wonderful and eventful Christmas that you will continue to remember for a lifetime! God bless and Merry Christmas!

  5. What a great story. You have such a good memory! I think you are the next Laura Ingalls Wilder...

  6. Jill~ I had to laugh at your comment since my mom calls me the family historian. :)

  7. WOW! What an incredible story Patty. You recounted everything as if I were reading a story book. Good thing you are blogging to keep the record of your beautiful words and memories. I just felt like giving your Mom and all of you kids a great big hug when I was done reading. Holy and Happy Christmas to you all.

  8. What a great story. Just beautiful!


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