Welcome to Snarkfest

Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 19 and 17. I sometimes go on and on about my secret crush on the amazing Mike Rowe. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Holiday Traditions

Bringing back a classic Snarkfest post for the holidays. Merry Christmas everyone!


Since it's September 25, exactly 3 months away from the Christmas Holidays, I thought I'd share with you one of the traditions we had in my family growing up, especially since it feels like fricking December outside right now. My family was pretty tiny. My parents divorced when I was 7, and when I was 12 my big brother left to go into the Marine Corps. Once he left home, it was just mom and me. Mom did her best to make every holiday special, and Christmas was almost always one of my favorites. But from the time I was 12, I almost always made things pretty easy on my mom. It sort of went like this:

Mom: Here's the Sears catalog, pick out a few things for yourself.
Me: Like, clothes?
Mom: Yes, maybe some outfits and if you see any toys you might want, circle them and we'll see what we can do.
Me: Bitchin!

Ok not really, but the reality of it was, she was a single, working mom, taking care of me, the house, the bills, the laundry, etc. so if Mom needed easy, easy she would get. So I'd follow the tradition of going through the Sears catalog (and on an aside here, does anyone REMEMBER how BIG the Sears catalog was back in the day??? Jesus, you could stand on the Sears catalog and reshingle your roof without the aid of an extension ladder, it was THAT BIG!) But I digress. I'd search the pages and find some pretty tops and some dorky pants (I didn't own my first pair of jeans until I was like, 15. Geek? Party of one? Your pants are ugly). And then I'd flip to the back of the book where the GOLD MINE awaited me. Snoopy snow cone makers!! How effing cool were they??? Barbie three story town house WITH THE WORKING ELEVATOR!?!?!?! Oh my God it was almost to much to take in!!

So getting back to the family tradition, I'd pick out some stuff, Mom would order it, pick it up, wrap it and on Christmas morning I'd open my presents and say "Wow, I love this top! How did you know???" or "Oh Mom I love these pants!! All the dorky 12 year olds will think I'm the shit!" Ok that wasn't actually the tradition. The tradition in my house was, you went to Midnight Mass (which was at 8:00, I think our Monsignor may have had plans at midnight so he always went a bit early) and then came home and you got to open one present. Now, remembering everything you've read up to this point, can anything ever really be a surprise here? Well guess what! You're right, nothing was ever a surprise. Until the one year I went a little nuts and circled a cork board in the Sears catalog. I wanted a Snoopy cork board for my room so I could hang up stuff. Like my posters of Scott Baio and John Stamos (don't judge, Chachi was my world before he was Charles in Charge. Blackie Parrish said goodnight to me every night from my walls and my cork board).  Now the year I picked out the cork board, everything went as planned. Mom and I went to Midnight (8:00) Mass, came home, lit the fire place and I got to go through my presents and pick one to open. Since I knew what almost everything was, it wasn't like I was going to open one and say "Oh my God!!! It's they keys to a DeLoreon!!! How did you know??!!?!?!" But there was this tiny little present on the floor behind all the boxes of tops and dork pants. And when I picked it up, it made a funny sound. "What's this??? I don't recall circling anything this small!" Could it be a surprise??? Could Mom have gone for the two point conversion??? How cool!! I would FINALLY be surprised on Christmas!! Life was going to rock. I was going to open this little noisy box and find a pretty necklace or earrings that I wasn't expecting!

I tore open the pretty wrapping to find...........push pins for my cork board.

Surprise!!!!! Do you LOVE IT?!?!?!!

Merry Christmas!!!

36 comments:

  1. Hehehehe! Love it! I found my presents one year and after no surprises I never ever looked again.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what you get for snooping!! I did the same thing before the whole Sears catalog thing started and found every thing. Maybe that's why she started the Sears catalog tradition. Push Pins were my punishment.

      :)

      Teri

      Delete
  2. Love it :) I laughed at loud when you reminded me of the posters we apparently both had on our walls! John Stamos, Scott Baio, Leif Garrett, Shawn Cassidy ... oh my! I, too, remember the Sears catalog and how jealous I was of girls like you who got to circle what they wanted and would actually get it. We were just too poor to do that, but my mom did the best she could with what she had and somehow we always still had smiles on our faces and loved Christmas just as much as those kids who received lots of gifts. Thanks for the memories :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AAAAAHHHH Shaun Cassidy. I still sing Hey Deenie to myself when no one else is around. I guess I should clarify that I circled half the Sears catalog and got about 7 things, so the things that I DID receive were a surprise, it was a surprise to see what she vetoed and what she could afford. ;)

      What about Scott's younger cousin Jimmy Baio from Soap. LOVED him.

      Teri

      Delete
  3. Aw, push pins... what every girl dreams of. Actually i would love push pins for a gift now,, that's pretty legit. But not at 12 lolol you mom sounds awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mom was awesome. And maybe, one day, if you eat all your veggies and don't talk back, you too shall receive push pins from Santa!!

      Hugs,
      Teri

      Delete
  4. Haha! I love it! My mom was always awesome at surprising us, but my dad would hint at it for MONTHS ahead of time. I remember one year in particular:

    "What do you want for Christmas?"
    I listed a few things off.
    "What about a leather coat?"
    "Yeah, that'd be cool."

    Guess what I got for Christmas... lol. Nothing I asked for, but I did get a leather coat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes those are the BEST gifts, those for which we do not ask. Wow, that was grammatically correct but sounded really uppity!! I'll bet you rocked the leather coat, Heather!!

      Teri

      Delete
  5. Too funny! I grew up in a small mountain town and the Sears Catalog was the bomb diggity. I loved going through and circling everything, then we would go to the sattelite store where you could order everything. It was awesome. My mom still does this with my kids, just out of her junky catalogs.... oh well, they love it!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I always wished my family had the "open 1 present on Christmas Eve" tradition!!! *Jealous* Stupid "sucky holiday pie" tradition....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry Kim. But it's funny that you mention the lukewarm orange in the toe of your stocking. Funny story. When my husband and I started living together, for our first Christmas, his family always does stockings on Dec. 6 (Feast of St. Nicholas) we we hang our stockings and 'Santa' fills them. The next day, we go to get our stockings and the contents could NOT be more polar opposite.

      You see, when I was growing up, 'Santa' always put little gifts like lip gloss, hair ties, make up, cheapy jewelry in my stocking. So for my hubby, I put deoderant, shaving cream, razor and toiletries. In my stocking were about a dozen clementines, a handful of Hershey's kisses and a candy cane.

      He was like: "Deoderant? Are you trying to tell me I smell?"
      I was like: "Where are the GOOD gifts?"

      Two worlds collide. Made me want pie. Do you have extra???

      Teri

      Delete
  7. thanks for the reminder that sometimes the ceremony of some traditions can cloud over what is actually going on. life. I assume your humor is meant to distract us from the fact that some of the memories are bittersweet.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mary, thanks for posting. A very dear friend of mine once said "It's the good in life, including humor, that helps us appreciate the trying times." She's a very smart lady.

    Teri

    ReplyDelete
  9. We always did the one present after Midnight Mass, too. But since our Mass was actually at midnight, it depended on whether or not we could stay awake once we got in the car. Usually, I couldn't, and before my parents divorced, my dad would carry me into bed where I would knock out until morning. I think by far and away my two favorite traditions are these: 1) Making fun of our pitiful, sorry a$$ Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. My mother has this problem of putting every. single. ornament from the history of our genealogy on the dang thing. Old crusty play doh candy canes made by my brother and I in Kindergarten show up on that thing 27 years later. It's sad. 2) Close to Christmas Day, boxes in the pantry start to go missing. All of a sudden we're pouring our Alphabits straight out of the cheap plastic insert rather than the box and granola bars and haphazardly thrown around rather in their nifty Quaker holding area. This is because my mom uses those to wrap presents. We open them and act really excited that we got "Rice Krispies" or "Town House Crackers" thanking mom profusely and pretending that we aren't going to open the box to see what's inside. And you had BETTER NOT throw that box away with the rest of the wrapping cause mama's gonna put everything back in their rightful place in the pantry after we're done. HA! Thanks for sparking some awesome memories. I can actually "see" you going through the Sears catalog...ahhh didn't we all do that stuff?? Anywho, loved it! (Apologies for the Great American Novel!!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's okay, I loved reading about your Christmas Krispies and Crackers! I actually loved getting the Charlie Brown Christmas trees and the old Christmas decorations that at age 15 you're looking at like, really mom? Really? The clothespin reindeer? Really, we're putting THAT on the tree again?

      Thanks for the post, baby!!

      Teri

      Delete
  10. Hahahaha! That is awesome! I would have kissed my mom right on her lips. We always opened one present on Christmas Eve too, but I never knew what I was getting. In the early years my brother and I would sneak into the closet and try to find our presents early.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I snooped once and got caught. Never snooped again. I hated when my mom was upset with me. Always made it more fun when I didn't know what I was getting AND she was in a good mood.

      Thanks for stopping by!!

      Teri

      Delete
  11. pushpins? how tacky... sorry, couldn't help myself. i remember that sears catalog. i coveted so very many things, but my wish every year was to wake up and find a pony under that tree. i was a dreamer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 50, I'm sorry about your lack o'pony each Christmas. But I love your sense o'humor! Thanks for reading, please stick around.

      Teri

      Delete
  12. Hahaha! My friends family had the same Christmas eve tradition. One Christmas she decided to be a smart ass and give her sister a box of tampons for Christmas. And, of course, THAT's the gift her sister chose to open in front of the entire family on Christmas eve. She wanted to KILL my best buddy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay now THAT'S too damn funny!! I love that sense of humor. It's what makes those holiday memories fun!

      Thanks for the smile Tracy!
      Teri

      Delete
  13. Chachi was awesome! Great job on the post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chachi has a new show on either Nick or Disney Channel at night. He's a father, stay at home I think. Maybe Charles in Charge grows up? Who knows, he's still hot.

      Thanks for reading!

      Teri

      Delete
  14. You COULD shingle your roof on that damned catalog. We used to use them as booster seats for the little kids at dinner time.

    One year I begged, BEGGED, my parents for an electronic piano keyboard. They hid from me, never even put it under the tree, but they DID wrap the AC adapter cord. Man was that ever thrilling to open. Lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man, now THAT would be something you'd be justified for throwing at their heads!!! Hope you got the keyboard and not just the adapter. ;)

      Thanks for the laugh!
      Teri

      Delete
  15. For some reason, I don't remember the Sears catalog. Do you remember the Service Merchandise catalog? Loved Service Merchandise. My daughter will never get things like push pins as a gift. We're too lazy to wrap the extra gift!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We didn't have the service merchandise catalog when I was growing up, it was always the Sears Wish Book. Four times thicker than the NYC phone book it was!!

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Teri

      Delete
  16. Better than the traditions sometimes are the stories that go along with them. I have been enjoying your blog. I came over on the Idol thing. I'll to you what, they missed out on some very good bloggers, yourself included.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you on some of the stories outshining that actual traditions, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for those kind words!! I hope you win a toaster too!! :)

      Thank you!
      Teri

      Delete
  17. Those lucky push pins got to hold up John Stamos? *swoon*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, John Stamos, Shaun Cassidy, Duran Duran AND Tom Selleck. Lucky push pins!

      Teri

      Delete
  18. Oh I love it when I find something great on Finding The Funny! I loved this post, and I used to get so exited going through the Sears catalog back in the day. Sigh. I was also pretty excited about my corkboard...

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love the story. Cherish those push pins. Meanwhile, one silly 'lil question: What does this recipe make? Pear pie? Pear cheesecake? You're a square if you don't eat pear?
    I lied, two questions: Is there a way to remove the calories? LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bars Leslie. It makes pear bars. And yes, if you take it right out of the oven and throw it right in the trash, there are zero calories.

      Delete
  20. My favorite Christmas tradition was the homemade divinity fudge and christmas cookies that my Grandma Ewers ( Dad's Mom) would send us it was always a treat , one year I got a coat from my Grandma Mom's mom and it was the fugliest thing I ever did see, I put it in my closet and it hung there for a year it was way to big for me, so the next year I wore it, stuck my hands in the pocket and felt a box inside and it contained a $10 bill and a locket, I was only 8 and $10 was like a million to me. My Gram is going to be 98 this year and Dad's mom is in heaven, I sure do miss her homemade baked goods and I cherish anything now from My other Grandma , thanks for the post Teri. Merry Christmas

    ReplyDelete

I do read all comments and try to respond to them. Unless you're trying to get me to visit your website: Cheap Louis Vuitton Bags. Then you can go pound sand.