Monday, December 13, 2004

My first memory of Christmas...1948

What is your very first memory of Christmas? Mine is a foggy memory of the Christmas before Phyllis was born. I was 2 about to turn 3 in the next few weeks. Phyllis was born in February.

Dad had gotten orders from SandPoint Naval Air Station in Seattle, Wa to Honolulu, T.H. Mom and I flew Naval Air Transport from Seattle to San Diego to stay with my Aunt and Uncle who raised my mother. They were like Grandparents to me. Mom was a good 20+ years younger than her sister. I remember the plane, and sitting on my knees coloring in a book on the seat, while my mother was crying. Dad got to come back and sit behind us for a few minutes, but he was crewman on the plane, so he had things to do. I remember eating an orange and even though I know windows don't open on planes, (even in 1948?) I have a very vivid memory of opening the porthole and throwing the peels out of the plane. Mom cried some more, and Dad was with her telling her everything was alright. (turns out we had lost an engine and had to make an emergency landing, and Mom was afraid we were going to crash.)

I remember getting off the plane and my Aunt running out on the field to meet us and she was crying too, and then everybody was happy. We went back to the house, and we stayed there until after My sister was born. That Christmas I remember getting my "Sleepyhead" doll. It was a stuffed blue plush baby with a plastic sleepy face. I know that I loved that doll, and it had to stay with aunt Margie. Every time I went to Her house, I ran to the bottom drawer and pulled it out.

I also remember the people. All were dressed up, and we ate a big dinner on Christmas Eve. We also got to open 1 present that night, the rest were left for Christmas Morning. My Aunt Margie always got us a new nightgown or robe for Christmas, So that is the present I got to open.

I remember I sat on Mr Elo's cane and broke it. He was very old, must have been in his 80's then. He was my Uncles father, so He would have been no relation to me. Even though he felt like a great grandfather.

I remember that I had to sit on a San Diego phone book to reach the table, and I had to practice perfect manners. The grown ups were all dressed up in shirts and ties and party dresses and I had on a full blue organza dress, and my long blonde hair was in two braids. I always felt in awe of sitting at that big table, with the fine dishes and the special napkins and tablecloth, and the Silver. The very special set of silver that my daughter has now.

I know that I had to go to bed right after dinner, because Santa was coming, and I heard laughter and singing and Bells. Then the house got quiet and I heard Jingle Bells just before I fell asleep.

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