hands-down: best holiday memory. ever.

this is a post for my siblings, but you’re all welcome to keep reading (and listening, cuz that’s the funny part). it’s a bit late and should have been posted last weekend, but here goes.

like most families who celebrate the holidays, decorating was a major highlight of my childhood. other than cooking ridiculous amounts of holiday cookies and donuts, decorating the house was pretty  much the be-all of getting to celebrate christmas. in my family, this involved:

1.  a trek into the woods with family friends in the freezing cold, some times in a few feet of snow (think national lampoons christmas vacation) to cut down a tree from a very old tree farm that was very over-grown. this meant we actually cut down a tree and then cut the top off of it: and that was our christmas tree. that’s how we did it on otisco lake. every year. i think my parents stopped when the trek got too long, the trees too tall, and we all went to college.

2. decorating the house and the tree took a very long time, and not because our house was large. in fact, my parents still live in the small house i grew up in: three small bedrooms for 4 kids and 2 adults. the downstairs is 4 rooms. however, my father was/is a minister, which means people think that the best gift ever would be to give my father nativity scenes. we had ceramic ones, wooden ones, sewn ones, knit ones, paper ones, cardboard ones, glass ones, pewter ones…the list goes on and on. my senior year of high school we counted them: 24 total. some times they even were in our bedrooms because there was no more room. i always wanted the one that was a plastic form of the nativity that lit from the back and glowed in our bedroom all night.

all of this decorating commenced with one very specific tradition: we listened to records (not cds, people, old old christmas records) and this was the song we played:

and my two brothers and my sister and i would dance, and sing, and use ceramic virgin mary and wooden wise men as microphones, the girls singing Eydie Gorme’s parts and the boys belting out Steve Lawrence’s parts and we would sing at the top of our lungs, throwing ourselves around dramatically until we were all hot sweaty messes.

now that none of us live at home, i’ve received multiple emails and texts with “we’ve got that holiday feeling nooooooooowwwwwwww” from my siblings in the last two weeks. we like to let each other know that, well, i’ve got the feeling, so you better be getting it if you don’t already have it.

best childhood holiday memory ever.

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  1. Dad
    Posted December 13, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    The first page of our Advent Book that you made us has quotes from this song and pictures of all of you doing the singing and dancing. I like those memories too.

  2. Posted December 13, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Yes I always forget the first pages of the advent books I made for everyone has pictures of us dancing around and singing this song!

  3. Posted December 15, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink


  4. joel
    Posted December 20, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    The very cold portrayal of Rachel by Juliette Lewis in National Lampoon’s Xmas Vacation is uncanny. Although I think the Chaffee walk was much longer. And remember how WET your clothes would get from the snow, and the frigidness! I can only imagine what the neighbors thought hearing such a racy Xmas song from the parsonage.

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