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A Canadian friend sent me a holiday package after we had a discussion about Canadian versus US names for candy.
Smarties in the US are small, chalky round discs that are packaged in rolls of cellophane wrap:
In Canada, however, Smarties look like this:
Instead, the Canadian version of US Smarties are called Rockets:
She also sent a Ring Pop, watermelon flavor:
I hadn’t had a Ring Pop since I was about eight, and it transported me back to childhood.
I am licking a watermelon Ring Pop, and all of a sudden I am eight years old again. Paying a dime at the concession stand in between softball games and jamming my thick hair into a ponytail through the back of my hand-me-down navy blue baseball cap that I wish were pink. #nostalgia
As some unexpected complications have arisen in my holiday plans, I’m feeling more and more wistful for an old-fashioned Christmas. Maybe nostalgia is really poor memory, and childhood celebrations weren’t as good as I remember. But still, I remember so many pieces that carry meaning today:
- My dad driving us around after dinner to look at Christmas lights in the neighborhood. Of course, we couldn’t care less and instead wanted to hurry home and open presents.
- My dad buying peppermint ice cream in its Christmas packaging. I buy myself flavored ice cream now (when I eat it, which isn’t often), but ice cream only came in vanilla in my parents’ house.
- Sitting together with my family for Christmas Eve service, usually mid-afternoon, and trying to guess the candle messages. In our sanctuary, there were small openings around the top of the walls. By placing candles in strategic locations, lighting them, and squinting to make the lights blurry, the candles could display pixelated words such as JOY, PEACE, or perhaps a line of a Bible verse. Each year meant a new message, and one year as part of my confirmation service I helped lug ladders and haul candles up and down. Up and down. It was a long afternoon trying to follow penciled Xes on a guide, but that year I knew the secret candle messages.
- Getting sick for several Christmases, and every time getting a new set of pajamas. To this day, I associate Christmas pajamas with strep throat, ear infections, and colds.
- Making Christmas cookies. My mom despised cooking as female bondage (and not the kinky kind), so Christmas was a rare opportunity to have fun in the kitchen. (What do you get when you match a mother who hates cooking and a daughter who loves it? Lots of conflict and a frustrated chef-to-be.) I loved rolling out flatbread, decorating spritz, and *gasp* making the decadent peanut butter blossoms that took a whole Hershey’s kiss for every cookie! (Not every Hershey’s kiss made it to the cookies. Just sayin’…) We each got to choose one special treat.
Not on my list of favorite memories is taking the annual Christmas picture. I don’t photograph well, and I hated the fuss. To this day, I still hate most of our family pictures. Maybe at some point I’ll be glad to have them, but it hasn’t come yet.
What about you? What are your favorite and not-so-favorite holiday memories? They can be from childhood, adolescence, or adulthood.
- Day 1: Welcome and Introductions
- Day 2: Giving Tuesday
- Day 3: 2nd Annual Holiday Recipe Exchange
- Day 4: Hating the Elf on the Shelf
- Day 5: Blue Christmas
- Day 6: St. Knickerless Day
- Day 7: Beyond Fairytales
- Day 8: Beginner’s Guide to Lesfic
- Day 9: Holiday Carol Sing-a-long
- Day 10: Creating Something Good, Part 1
- Day 11: Healing and Emotional Responsibility
- Day 12: Creating Something Good, Part 2
- Day 13: 3rd Annual White Elephant Gift Exchange
- Day 14: Creating Something Good, Part 3