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 Posted: Tue Dec 2nd, 2008 02:37 am
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ole
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When I was younger, (i.e., not as old as I am now) I insisted on a real tree. Then Dear One rolled over me and made actual sense. We have a tree, and we rarely put it up. Christmas is spent at a neice's house and we go to one of the kids sometime thereafter. They do the tree.

Grinch



 Posted: Tue Dec 2nd, 2008 04:00 am
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susansweet
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I too use to do a real tree, then I realized I had allergies so I bought a really nice artifical one.  It has never been out of the box as I always go somewhere else for Christmas. 

 



 Posted: Tue Dec 2nd, 2008 12:24 pm
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Devils Den
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So-when do you  open the presents?   On Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

We (my sister and myself) were the only grandchildren in the family until we were teenagers so the whole family, both sets of grandparents, aunt and uncles, would come to our house Christmas morning.  We would exchange gifts and have a HUGE breakfast.  As we grew older and my uncle started his family, we moved our family breakfast to Christmas Eve (which happened to be my mom and dad's anniversary) so that my uncle could have the family over on Christmas morning.  

We have lost most of the family now, but we still gather on Christmas Eve and exchange gifts and share stories of family members and gifts of long ago. 



 Posted: Tue Dec 2nd, 2008 12:39 pm
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j harold 587
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While the children were home we got balled trees and then replanted them since we live in a woods there was always a place to put a blue spruce. Now we have multiple fakes. They look a lot like Charlie Brown's tree, but allow the ornaments to display well. My wife collects Pipka Santas. Pipka is an artisan who designs themed Sanas based on countries, regions, occupations or traditions. We have a 4 footer on the hearth with the majority of her collection. There is a three footer in my Civil war room with patriotic ornaments, drummerboys, patchwork quilt ornaments, carpenter Santa(I work wood) and yes virginia there is a Santa Pipkas (from FDR's letter to a little girl), and ornaments from Civil War sites we have visited. We also have a 3 footer in the bay window with reindeer Santas and snowmen more geared to grand children. We have a Jim Shore Nativity which is displayed year round, but moves around the house. There is always a fresh wreath on the front door. This year we were able to take all four grandchildren to a local still functioning grist mill/ resturant which does a fantastic light display minature village with "o" guage railroad, working drive in theater, of course Santa and two teams of full size reindeer one on the roof top which moves, with a live Santa who does go down the chimney. We took our kids there for many years. We enjoy Christmas at our house!  

 



 Posted: Tue Dec 2nd, 2008 05:09 pm
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Marie
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We always make frosted sugar cookies, and the Santas are each given a belly button.   Started as a joke 35 years or more ago and is now a tradition.

As for the tree, with cats in the house I figure putting up a tree is just asking for it, so I pass.

We go to Dad's on Christmas eve for supper and gifts, then ususally go on to Christmas Eve service at church.

 Mom, sisters and I  take turns hosting the get-together with Mom and Step-father. (I do have a small fiber-optic tree that I get out when it is my turn to have the folks in.)

As for food tradions, when it is my turn to host I make homemade pizza.  Let'em eat turkey and ham elsewhere.

 

 

 

 



 Posted: Tue Dec 2nd, 2008 08:45 pm
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ole
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Christmas this year will be at one of Dear One's nieces. She's very creative and will pull off something miraculous.

And there'll be 10 kids there under the age of 18. Fortunately, they're past the screaming stage and can actually be charming. It's about 1.5 hours so we'll stay at a motel so we don't have to eat and run. (And we can both load up on beer and wine with reckless abandon.)


 



 Posted: Tue Dec 2nd, 2008 08:52 pm
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ole
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So-when do you  open the presents?   On Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

There was a time when I took a perverse pleasure in making the kiddles wait. Now I have to be careful as they will be selecting my nursing home.

Christmas, Thanksgiving, et al. amount to a date when we can certainly plan to get together -- we don't make a big deal out of it. Christmas is also close to the daughter's and one grand daughter's birthdays, so we kill two birds instead of just one.

They're an hour away, but we're usually glad when we can say: "Gotta go before it gets too dark to see."



 Posted: Tue Dec 2nd, 2008 11:22 pm
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pamc153PA
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We always do a real tree, though if any of my family had allergies, I'd feel differently. I love the smell of pine in the house. I considered having a live balled tree to plant afterwards, but we don't have a big yard to plant it in. And, anyway, having been a forestry major in college (before I switched to English ed), I know that the Christmas trees being cut are planted just for that purpose (so are most of the trees cut for paper mills to make paper--hardly any old growth trees are cut for that purpose, it's almost all tree plantations for pulp trees--FYI), so I don't feel obligated to save the trees in that way.

As for presents, when I was a kid, we went to my grandparents' house Christmas Eve, had a big ham dinner, and opened our presents from them afterward. On Christmas morning, we would open our gifts from Santa and our parents.

Now, for my son, we open the presents from us after we go to Christmas Eve service (the afternoon version). On Christmas morning, he opens his gifts from Santa and his stocking, and then later that day we go to both sets of grandparents to open presents from them.

And then we come home and collapse!

Pam



 Posted: Wed Dec 3rd, 2008 01:10 pm
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Marie
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Here's a tip for those who like a real Christmas tree but have allergies:  Take the tree to a car wash and spray it down good (let it dry good before setting it up iin the house) and it removes the pollen or whatever it is that one is allergic to.



 Posted: Wed Dec 3rd, 2008 07:54 pm
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pamc153PA
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Marie, I never actually thought about the car wash. . . I wonder if they have special Christmas tree rates? ;)

To continue the gift theme: what was the WORST Christmas present you ever got? We all know Joe can't answer that this year because he's home mesmerized by his new HD wide-screen TV, but how about the rest of you? Can any of you beat this: one year I got a clock that was made out of a circular saw blade painted with a sky-blue owl perched on a dead-looking evergreen tree. The 12 was on his head, and the 6 was on his, er, tailfeathers! The dead mouse he was holding was on the 9. Anybody wants it, the price is right!

Pam



 Posted: Wed Dec 3rd, 2008 11:41 pm
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susansweet
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Pam when I was a child there was a doll that came out called a Saucy Walker. The first doll that you could hold it's hands and make it walk. Everyone wanted one. My best friend and I both asked for one for Christmas. She got one. I got instead a Susie Walker --- cheap imitation . My mother told me that Santa thought I would like one with my name instead of the popular one everyone else was getting.

Now to tell you about this doll. She had braids and when you unbraided them you realized her hair was sewed down so there was two clumps of hair that had been braided. This hair would work it's way out of the stitches and looked horrible. She also didn't walk very well. Oh and the best part her head kept falling off. The hair I cut soon after I got her . The head was another story. Mom kept putting it back on. I called this doll the Doll from Hell.

Now on the other hand the best present I got as a child was the year my mother made Hopalong Cassidy Cowboy outfits for my brother and me right under our noses. She made the shirts with all this white embrodery on it on the yoke. All kinds of cowboy symbols. I also had a black skirt with white fringe. My brother had black jeans. Both of us had Hopalong Cassidy boots, hats, guns, Neckerchiefs with Hopy slides on them. Slung on ourbacks were Hoppy guitars . I have a picture of the two of us drawing down on each other that is one of my favorite pictures of my brother and I .



 Posted: Wed Dec 3rd, 2008 11:45 pm
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ole
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Well, Pam, I might be interested. How much will you give me if I take it off your hands?

Ole



 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2008 12:09 am
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pamc153PA
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Well, Ole, let me see how much we have in our emergency fund right now. . .

Pam



 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2008 12:20 am
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i dont think ive ever gotten a bad gift. everybody knows what to get me. when i was small it was Barbie, then i grew outta that and into a massive love of books and everybody would get me them or maybe a movie. now they know give me either money, a Barnes and Nobel gift card, an Itunes card, movies or cds. im a very simple person to buy for.



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War Means Fighting And Fighting Means Killing - N. B. Forrest When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson


 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2008 03:41 pm
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Well, working in a school I have always been touched by the gifts the children give me. That being said-I have received some of the most god awful ties and worst smell after shave one can imagine. And you will hurt the little ones feelings if you do not attempt to wear it at least once!
My family never gave me a gift I did not lke that I am aware of. Of course, growing up on a farm and being an avid hunter, I would get gifts like decoys and hunting gear and things that made me think Christmas would never get here. And always some historical books to add to my collection.



 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2008 05:05 pm
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I was a teacher for many years and got all kinds of interesting presents from my kids.  One year I had the daughter of  a woman who was in the same ornament exchange group I belonged to.  The mother and daughter went shopping for my Christmas gift I was told by the mother later to explain why I had received the gift I did. 

The mother had picked out a lovely gift for me she said.  But the daughter wanted to buy me a little ceramic bunny.  The ones that are hollow that you put cotton in and then pull it out the hole where their tail would be. 

From what the mother told me they went round and round about my gift right there in the store.  Finally the child put her hand on her hip and said to her mother.  Whose's teacher is she ? 

The bunny sits on the counter in my bathroom where it has been for over 25 years.  I did try to find out from the mom what she wanted to give me but good mother that she was she wouldn't tell.

 



 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2008 05:21 pm
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pamc153PA
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Since I'm a teacher, I know where you're coming from, Susan and Den. My kids are junior high age, though, so it's not as obligatory to give your teacher a gift when you hit secondary school. Still, I've gotten my share. Most of them have been food, or things like homemade cookie mix. The last couple years I've gotten gift cards to Barnes and Noble, and Target, from parents who seemed to know their children took a lot of extra energy to teach! However, one of the best gifts I ever got from a student was a much-delayed one:

A couple years ago, in the week before Christmas, I was stopped by a local policeman because one of my tail lights was out. I, of course, wasn't aware of this--who sees their own tail light, at least with any clarity? Anyway, he didn't give me a ticket, but told me I had to get it fixed. So I drove right then and there to the local Ford dealership where we usually got our cars serviced. To my surprise, one of my former students--one of those "non-traditional", hands-on kids, which are the kids I tend to like and get along with--was working there as manager. We had a nice chat, and then he asked why I was there. I told him about being stopped by the police, which he got a chuckle at, and then he said,"Hang on a minute," and walked into the service area. He came out a minute later, asked me to open my car's trunk, and quickly replaced the bulb in the tail light. When I asked him how much, he said, "I owe it to you--Merry Christmas!" I know a bulb wasn't all that expensive, but that's one of those gifts where it was the thought that counted most.

Pam



 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2008 05:43 pm
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ole
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That has to be one of the all time warm feelings, Pam. "I owe it to you." Makes all those years mean something, doesn't it?

We have one tradition in my immediate family: never get me a book. If it's a book I want, I already have it. Many years ago Dear One bought me a book. It was Volume 5 of "The Photographic History of the Civil War." I've been trying to complete the set ever since. Might as well have been the index volume of "The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln."

Another disgusting habit my children have created is to draw names near Thanksgiving. That is frugal, but on the slip going into the hat is what is expected. (Visible shiver!)

Ole



 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2008 05:49 pm
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Susan and Pam,

I know just what you mean about thoughtful presents, and the ones that you keep forever.

In my classroom I have an American Flag wreath given to my by a student that I carried to Gettysburg when she was in 8th grade. Shortly after we returned, she was in a terribel accident and  suffered a broken neck (has fully recovered and is doing great in high school!)

She came in the next Christmas with a package and gave me a big hug and told me to open my present.  In it the American Flag wreath.  She said that because of her accident, she did not get to properly thank me for taking her to Gettysburg and she wanted me to know how much the chance to go to Gettysburg meant to her!  (I did not cry but my eyes were sweating a little  :-)

That wreath is the first thing I hang up in my room in August and the last thing I take down in June! 



 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2008 06:26 pm
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Dixie Girl
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ole wrote: Another disgusting habit my children have created is to draw names near Thanksgiving. That is frugal, but on the slip going into the hat is what is expected. (Visible shiver!)

Ole


my folks and aunts and uncles and older cousins do that.....because im still considered one of the "babies" everybody buys for me, im the oldest of the "babies" but then again counting me there is only three of us



____________________
War Means Fighting And Fighting Means Killing - N. B. Forrest When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson


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