Yum ... let's eat!
O! Christmas Tree!

It's all about the presents!


Ok ... we know Christmas isn't all about getting gifts ... but it sure is a fun part of the holidays! And there's nothing better than a gift that has a lot of thought behind it. That's why the Cross Country Christmas is so cool ... you can make the perfect present and get the double enjoyment of thinking of that person and imagining their reaction as you do it. I know Terry has something fun on her blog today that you'll be able to whip up in minutes! Ok ok ... hours!

I grew up in Lake Elmo MN ... a suburb of St Paul now but on the edge of the earth when we were growing up. Our nearest neighbor to the north was a quarter mile away on the other side of the orchard. But the ones I knew the best were the Armstrongs ... up the hill to the south past huge fields of varying crops. They were four siblings who lived together and farmed their parents land after they passed away. Julia was my favorite ... she always had special treats for us at Halloween and cookies in her jar if Mom sent us up on an errand. It was a long walk back home, you know!

Except for the traditional exchange of baked goods at Christmas, I don't remember her giving any of us kids gifts. Until the year I went into first grade. It was an especially tough time for me. My sister, Mary Jane, had left for the convent late in the Summer and I missed her terribly. And then I started first grade at Transfiguration complete with all the trauma of getting to know 60+ classmates and a semi-stern Sister Carolinda at the front of the classroom. (And the dreaded Sister Emerita waiting for me in the second grade room!!) Plus right in the middle of all the holiday baking, my mom severly cut her hand ... with me standing right next to her. Somehow I remember the phrase "she's been such a good little helper" attached to me after that incident.

Julia saw all of this and a few days before Christmas, she walked down with a gift ... just for me. The biggest Christmas miracle is that my Mom let me open it! I loved it then and I still love it today. Julia knew I was excited about learning to read so this Mother Goose book was just perfect.


The illustrations are adorable and so brightly colored ... totally opposite of traditional Mother Goose books. The copyright is MCMXL ... so what does that tell you about how old I am?? It's in pretty good shape considering I read it from cover to cover over and over again. I keep it in the hideout if you want to see it sometime. I can't remember Julia's face any longer but I remember her!

There were other memorable gifts growing up ... like the baby doll that fit into this dress my Mom made for her. Or the bride doll that Santa brought just days after me seeing it in the variety store in downtown North St Paul!


And who can forget the ant farm I got during the cousin's exchange one year ... or the weeks of fretting on my Mom's part that they would get out! That issue vanished shortly after I lost interest and forgot to feed them.  Or my first new-mom Christmas when my darling eight month old Robbie crawled for the first time ... right under the tree. Didn't need that one wrapped up with a bow on top!!

Christmas. I guess it is sort of about the gifts, isn't it. But it's a lot about the remembering!



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Jo McGuire

Thank you and your family for watching over all of us. It is people like you that make the U.S. A. such a wonderful place for everyone. Your words are so real, I feel as if I new your Mom.


Memories! in the corners of my mind! Wonderful, colorful, loving memories! I love this hop!


This Blog Hop is so much fun -- the stories are great & launch me right back to my childhood in Northern IL. Can't wait to see what you all have for us next!

Busy Little Quilter

I love reading about your memories. I have a lot of special ones, too, and they, too, are mostly about my Mom doing everything for Christmas.

I had an ant farm, too!

Jayne Honnold

Awww, that is such a tender story of the neighbor. The line about not remembering her face really gets me.


I loved to read when I was a kid, it was my fave christmas gift

Sheila Carita

Great stories, thank you for sharing



Sandy Rowe

Thanks for sharing your Christmas'. One year--it must have been when I was in first grade, my mom got me a "Dick and Jane" book. I so loved it, I suppose because it was MINE! When I was in fifth grade, my sister threw it into the fire because "you are too old" for it.

Sue Goodin

I got Dick & Jane books a few years ago and a few months later I went to read to one of my grandsons and he said "No more Dick and Jane please Grandma"


I can't believe you still have all these wonderful gifts in your possession! No wonder the Hideout is such a special place!


OK, so what was in that last box (last pic) ??? Thanks for the great story!

Penny Fraley

It's interesting how something as simple as a book, or an ant farm can be so special.


Such sweet memories :-)


I love the "remembering" part of Christmas. As the years have gone by the gifts have become less important. It's all about getting together and just enjoying time with family and doing lots of "remembering" and catching up on what's new, too.

Christine Thomas

What sweet memories you shared. Thank you.


For many Christmas sure is about the gift´s thank you for sharing

Julie in WA

I think we remember the gifts that brought great waves of emotion...usually something we sooo desperately wanted but never thought we could have, or, something so unexpected yet pleasing that we were just tickled at the thoughtfulness that went into that gift. It is all emotions, man.

Tammy L

I love the doll dress! My mother made many dresses for my dolls also.


It is so fun to read everyone's Christmas memories. It really takes me back to when I was a child.


Que recuerdos tan dulces, me encanta como enlaza sus palabras producen emocion ,gracias por compartir.


Wonderful story thank you for sharing!


Iva ... that book is as wonderful today as it was when I was six! Love everything about it ... the artwork the typestyle ... everything!!

Mary Flynn

I've been enjoying reading everyone's memories..they sure are bringing back some of my own.


Yes, it is alot about remembering. And how I love those memories - atleast the ones I can remember....LOL


Wonderful memories. Thank you.


Oh.my.gosh!!! I had that same book as a very little girl and just absolutely loved it. I have no idea what happened to it, but always recall it with great fondness.


Great story. It's all about the memories.


Oh, the ant farms! I used to love those! Thanks for the cute post!


You are so good at descriptions - I'm beginning to wish I had your childhood! Thanks for the wonderful reminders of what this special holiday is really all about.


Aww you made me cry... lovely!


Very touching story. A reminder to us all that we never know how much we may effect someone with little gifts of the heart.


Love the great memories Roseann. Some of my fondest are of those that my Mom and Aunties made me. My very first Barbie was my very first store bought present and they crocheted me tons of outfits for her!


Yes, I agree, nice post. Your memory of an ant farm gave me a chuckle. I had one too, only I didn't lose interest for quite a while!

Leslie Schmidt

I'm so enjoying your memories, Roseann. You've really got the knack for letting the emotion show without being sappy. It's very touching.

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