Today I’m googling “Blogmas post ideas,” because I spent all my blogging energy editing a video for tomorrow’s post.
Hmm…”Childhood Christmas memories” looks like a semi-promising idea. Let me recall a few Childhood Christmas memories.
Memory 1: The China Tea Set
When I was a kid I absolutely adored the book A Bargain for Francis. In it, Francis longs for “a china tea set with pictures all in blue.” And of course I longed for one too, after reading of her adventures.
One Christmas I opened my presents, and behold! There it was. A china tea set with pictures all in…well…blue and pink. But close enough.
I mean, it was a very cheap tea set, but I thought it was the best thing ever. I started having tea parties with my sister Amy. Mom would give us grape soda to put in the teapot, and I called it “purple mint tea.”
I think of myself as immune to product placement from internet influencers, but I’m totally susceptible to product placement in books. I wonder if that will become a thing. Or if it’s already a thing and I just don’t know about it.
Memory 2: The Christmas Play
When I was still young and cute, I was in the Christmas play at school. I don’t remember what it was about. I just recall that my character’s name was “Jessica,” and I had funny lines that made everyone laugh. “Clothespins anyone?” was one of them. Another was “is it raining?”
Then I grew into an awkward age where I was too young for the serious parts and too old for the cute parts. But I still wanted to be the star of the show. We were doing “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” and I was the first to volunteer to play Alice Wendleken, so I should have gotten the part. But instead, the person in charge (I don’t even remember who it was) gave the part to my cousin Jessi.
Instead, I was given this dumb role that had, like, two short lines or something. My character’s name was Maxine.
Well, I decided that I was going to rise above my circumstances. I was going to play Maxine to the best of my ability. Since she seemingly had no personality, I was going to create a personality for her.
I decided that Maxine would be a shy character, and I tried to say my lines in a shy way. Unfortunately, this also made me hard to hear. “Talk louder, Emily!” Sigh. How frustrating. They didn’t understand my true acting abilities. They didn’t understand that Maxine was supposed to be quiet and shy.
In adulthood, I’ve tried to milk a moral out of this story, but I can’t figure out how to do it. When I direct a drama, I want the actors to be content to make the most out of small roles. But I also want them to speak loudly.
Memory 3: My adorable brother
As a child I thought my brother Ben, who was three years younger than me, was the most adorable, hilarious human.
One December I saw him with a pair of my purple craft scissors, trying to wrap them up. He was giving them to me for Christmas, even though they already were mine. I thought it was the cutest funniest thing ever.
Another Christmas we got a box of gifts from Grandma, and one gift had developed a small hole in the wrapping. We all noticed the hole, and we all saw what appeared to be socks inside, but we were all too polite to mention it.
Then Ben said, “I know what this present is! It’s SOCKS!!!” And I thought it was the best “Emperor’s new clothes” moment ever.
Memory 4: Forcing Myself to Like Gifts
As a kid, I made up some weird Christmas rules for myself. Like, the worst thing ever, in my mind, would be to know what your present was before you unwrapped it. I did everything in my power to not know what I was getting until I pulled off the wrapping paper, and if I did find out earlier, I felt cheated. (That was part of the reason I refused to acknowledge that there were socks in the package in the previous story.)
Another Christmas rule was that I had to like my presents. No matter what I got, I forced myself to like it. If nothing else worked, I pretended that it was magic.
One year my brother Matt got me plastic African animal for Christmas. Little cheap ones. Normally, I was much more into girly presents like china tea sets. But I was determined to like this gift. I forced myself to play with those plastic animals all the time. I made them all into characters, and acted out stories with them. I told myself that African animals were much cooler to like than china tea sets. Because even though I liked girly things, all the characters in my favorite books were tomboys, so I wanted to be a tomboy too.
And what do you know, I liked that Christmas present after all.
This has been Day 7 of Blogmas. If you’re interested in reading a (fictional) Christmas story I wrote, click here. And come back tomorrow evening for what will be (in my opinion) the crowning jewel of this entire Blogmas series. That is, a fun video I did with my little sister Jenny.