100+ Christmas Memories
We’ll start with 100 from the 1950s and 1960s, and then add to those, all the way to now. [Written in about 2007]

 

1. RED AND GREEN CHRISTMAS LIGHTS REFLECTED ON THE SURFACE OF THE LAKE. -----

2. MISTLETOE! (DID YOU GET A NICE JUICY KISS? -----

3. THE SMELL OF CHIMNEY SMOKE THAT CARRIED FROM EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD TO THE OTHERS.

4. MODEL TRAIN SETS ON CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS MORNING, WITH THE CHUGGING, BUZZING NOISE THEY MADE. -----

5. A CHURCH CANTATA AND SEEING PEOPLE YOU DIDN’T KNOW COULD SING AT ALL ON STAGE. -----

6. HOUSES ON TERRAZA, DOMINGO, SUNNYCREST, HILL AND OLIVE WITH LOTS OF DECORATIONS, INCLUDING A SANTA CLAUS AND HIS SLEIGH BY THE CHIMNEY. -----

7. MIDNIGHT MASS, AND IF YOU WERE A PROTESTANT WITH A CATHOLIC FAMILY, WONDERING IF IT WOULD EVER END IN TIME FOR YOU TO START COLLEGE! -----

8. WHEN YOUR BUSY PROFESSIONAL DAD GETS YOU A LAST-MINUTE, KIND OF CLUMSY BUT EXPENSIVE PRESENT, LIKE HIGH POWERED ZEISS BINOCULARS OR A TELESCOPE, OR A SET OF CARL SANDBURG’S CIVIL WAR SERIES, AND YOU’RE MOVED TO TEARS. -----

9. WHEN SOMEONE WITH HARDLY ANY MONEY AT ALL BAKES YOU SOMETHING THAT FILLS YOU WITH LOVE AND GRATITUDE. -----

10. FEELING BAD ABOUT THE FAMILY YOU KNOW OF WHERE THE ADULTS JUST GOT A D-I-V-O-R-C-E. -----

11. SUNNY HILLS FAMILIES WHO WOULD SOMETIMES SPEND CHRISTMAS IN WAIKIKI, ALWAYS AT THE ROYAL HAWAIIAN UNTIL THE HALE KULANI WAS BUILT. -----

12. BOYS AND DADS CREATING MODEL TRAIN CRASHES BY CHRISTMAS DAY AFTERNOON! -----

13. ALL PRETTY GIRLS BECOMING GORGEOUS IN THEIR CHRISTMAS OUTFITS, EMPHASIZING RED SCARVES, GREEN PLAID SKIRTS AND SOX, AND PARKAS. -----

14. BEING CATHOLIC, GOING TO A PROTESTANT SERVICE, AND WONDERING IF IT WAS REALLY OVER IN JUST AN HOUR! -----

15. THE ONE ADULT IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD WHO MADE EGG NOG WITH ABOUT FOUR-FIFTHS RUM, SO IT REALLY PACKED A PUNCH! -----

16. THE SURPRISING DISCOVERY YOU KNOW MOST OF THE WORDS TO MOST CHRISTMAS SONGS. -----

17. THE STRANGE AND REASSURING FEELING WHEN YOU SEE THE HOODLUMS AND TOUGH GUYS FROM YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD PASSING ON THEIR BIKES, AND THEY GRUDGINGLY SMILE AND WITH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS. -----

18. SEEING YOUR WELL-BEHAVED MOM AND NEIGHBOR LADY GETTING TIPSY AND ACTING LIKE 1940S COLLEGE GIRLS! -----

19. DREADING A TRIP TO A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT YOUR AUNT AND UNCLE’S IN SOME OTHER CITY, BUT ONCE YOU’RE THERE AND EVERYBODY SMILES AT YOU AND HUGS YOU, AND KNOWS YOUR NAME, FEELING IT’S PRETTY NICE AFTER ALL. -----

20. THE SHARP DISAPPOINTMENT OF NOT BEING INVITED TO A CHRISTMAS PARTY YOU’D LOVE TO ATTEND, AND THEN BEING INVITED AT THE LAST MOMENT BY THE HOSTESS, WHOM YOU THINK PROBABLY FEELS SORRY FOR YOU AT BEING LEFT OUT. -----

21. THE FUN OF WAITING TO SEE YOUR YOUNGEST BROTHER OR SISTER OPEN A PRESENT EVERYBODY KNOWS HE OR SHE WILL LOVE. -----

22. CHRISTMAS DR. SEUSS BOOKS COMING OUT FOR THE FIRST TIME. -----

23. AS A GIRL, FEELING WARM AND FRIENDLY TOWARD EVEN A GOSSIPY, BACKSTABBING GIRL, AND GREETING HER KINDLY, EVEN HUGGING HER. -----

24. CORRECTLY PREDICTING WHAT SOME CHRISTMAS PRESENTS FROM SOME PEOPLE WILL BE, LIKE THE TIE YOUR AUNT ALWAYS GIVES YOUR DAD. -----

25. THE SHOCK AND TOUCHED FEELING YOU HAVE WHEN SOMEONE GIVES YOU AN UNEXPECTED AND VERY NICE PRESENT. -----

26. THE PROVOCATIVE FEELING WHEN YOU SEE THE PRESENTS A FRIEND GETS AND FEELS SO HAPPY ABOUT, WHEN YOU GOT MUCH MORE, AND MUCH BETTER GIFTS, BUT HARDLY CARE AT ALL .. -----

27. WISHING YOUR DAD WOULDN’T DRINK SO MUCH, OR YOUR MOM WOULD NOT FEEL SO DEPRESSED, INSTEAD OF WANTING A GIFT. -----

28. THE LINES OF COLORED CHRISTMAS LIGHTS STRUNG ACROSS THE MAIN POOL AT JIMMY SMITH’S FOR THE PARTY. -----

29. CAROLING IN GOLDEN HILL OR FERN DRIVE OR WEST FULLERTON. -----

30. THE NATIVITY SCENE YEAR AFTER YEAR ON DISPLAY IN FRONT OF THE OLD POLICE STATION ON COMMONWEALTH. -----

31. WATCHING HOPELESSLY WHEN YOUR DAD’S BUSINESS OR LAW PARTNER WALKS IN WITH A BIG GROCERY BAG FULL OF WHISKEY, RUM, SCOTCH, VODKA, BRANDY AND TONIC WATER, WHEN DAD’S ALREADY 2 SHEETS TO THE WIND. -----

32. SALVATION ARMY PEOPLE WITH DONATION BUCKETS DOWNTOWN, AT HARBOR & COMMONWEALTH. -----

33. THE COMFORTING, FAMILIAR SIGHT OF THE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS ON STREET LAMPS ON HARBOR. -----

34. BOX BOYS (AS WE CALLED THEM THEN) WITH CHRISTMAS VESTS AT LOCAL SUPERMARKETS. -----

35. THE OLFACTORY COMBINATION OF LINEN AND COTTON, CLEANING SOLUTIONS, DUST AND STARCH FROM IRONING: NEW CLOTHES! -----

36. THE CHARMING ATTEMPTS EVERY YEAR AT MODEL MARKET TO BLEND WESTERN THEMES WITH CHRISTMAS, INCLUDING COWBOYS AND COWGIRLS IN WESTERN COSTUMES THAT FEATURED PINE CONES, CHRISTMAS TREES, ORNAMENTS, AND MUSICAL NOTATION FROM CHRISTMAS HYMNS, NOT TO MENTION REINDEER GALLOPING ABOVE THE PLAINS AND MONUMENT VALLEY. -----

37. DECORATIONS INSIDE THE WAGON WHEEL REPLICA ON SOUTH EUCLID OUTSIDE THE BAR-RESTAURANT OF THE SAME NAME. -----

38. THE SENSATION OF UNBELIEVABLE BULKINESS IN YOUR BEST NEW CHRISTMAS OUTFIT WITH OVERCOAT WHEN YOU GO VISITING OR TO CHURCH: YOU WISH YOU COULD STRIP DOWN TO YOUR BATHING SUIT AND GO TO THE BEACH! -----

39. LISTENING TO YOUR PARENTS AND THEIR FRIENDS TELL 1930S DEPRESSION STORIES. -----

40. WHEN YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNEW GOT A BREATHTAKING NEW SURFBOARD FOR $125 OR MORE. -----

41. WHEN SIZZLER’S WAY OUT IN WEST ANAHEIM WAS NEW ENOUGH TO BE A PLACE WHERE YOU MIGHT GO WITH YOUR FAMILY DURING THE CHRISTMAS SEASON. -----

42. WATCHING YOUR MOM WORK SO HARD AT COOKING AND DECORATING THE PLACE, AND WRINGING HER HANDS THAT ALL WILL GO WELL AND HER GUESTS WILL ENJOY THEMSELVES. -----

43. THE LARGE AND ELABORATE CHRISTMAS PAINTINGS DONE IN POSTER PAINT ON THE SHOWROOM WINDOWS AT ALL THE FULLERTON NEW CAR DEALERSHIPS, FROM SCHUTH BUICK ON WEST COMMONWEALTH TO AMERICAN MOTORS ON SOUTH EUCLID TO MCCOY & MILLS FORD IN MID-COMMONWEALTH TO KLIMPEL CHRYSLER ON HARBOR, AND MORE: BIG CANDY CANES, SANTA AND HIS HELPERS, CHRISTMAS TREES, SLEDS, SOMETIMES TWELVE FEET TALL. -----

44. WHEN SOMEONE LIKE A GREAT AUNT GIVES YOU A SUBSCRIPTION TO NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC OR AMERICAN HERITAGE OR OTHER GOOD MAGAZINE, AND YOU KNOW THAT THEY CARE ABOUT YOU AND HOW YOU GROW UP. -----

45. OBSERVING HOW SOME PEOPLE ARE NATURALLY EXTROVERTED AND SOCIALLY POISED, AND LOVE PARTIES AND GATHERINGS, WHILE THE SAME DEALS TIRE YOU AND YOU GO OUT IN BACK TO CHAT WITH ONE OR TWO FRIENDS, QUIETLY. -----

46. COMING HOME TO FULLERTON FOR THE FIRST OR SECOND TIME AS A COLLEGE FRESHMAN, AS A BOY WITH “LONG HAIR” (THAT’S REALLY NOT VERY LONG) AND PROBABLY A SCRAGGLY BEARD, OR AS A GIRL WITH A NEW SOPHISTICATION (YOU HOPE!) AND TRYING TO MATCH UP TO HOW COOL ALL YOUR FRIENDS TRY TO ACT! -----

47. CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS AND LIGHTS AT THE MILL OUT ON WEST COMMONWEALTH.

48. COMING HOME FROM CHRISTMAS AND GETTING THE PAIN IN THE PIT OF YOUR STOMACH WHEN YOU LEARN SOME OF YOUR OLD FRIENDS ARE NOW SERVING IN VIETNAM AT THAT VERY MOMENT. -----

49. LAVISH CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE DEL RAE ON NORTH HARBOR JUST SOUTH OF BASTANCHURY. -----

50. THE HUMOROUS WAY THE PHARMACY INSIDE THE MEDICAL BUILDING ON BASTANCHURY TRIED TO PUT UP A FEW MODEST CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AND DECORATIONS. -----

51. TAKING A VISITING COUSIN FROM ANOTHER STATE AROUND FULLERTON, INTRODUCING HIM OR HER TO SOME OF YOUR FRIENDS: THIS PERSON WILL ALWAYS SAY SOME OF THE CUTE GIRLS ARE BEAUTIFUL. -----

52. BIG HOLIDAY CROWDS AT RONALDO’S, SOUTHWEST CORNER OF HARBOR & IMPERIAL. -----

53. THE PLASTIC SANTA CLAUS MURAL AND OTHER DECORATIONS AT THE ROYAL COACH INN ON WEST VALENCIA NEAR EUCLID. -----

54. CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS AND STRINGS OF THEM EVERYWHERE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE MELODY INN. -----

55. BEING IN A FAMILY WHERE THE TRADITION IS TO OPEN CHRISTMAS PRESENTS ONLY ON CHRISTMAS MORNING, NOT CHRISTMAS EVE. -----

56. MORE MODEST, DISCREET CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS IN PLACES LIKE GIFFORD’S STATIONERY, BAKER’S DRUGS, AND FRANK’S BIKE SHOP. -----

57. CHRISTMAS PARTIES IN WEST FULLERTON WHERE MOST OF THE MEN AND BOYS WOULD EVENTUALLY DRIFT OUT TO THE GARAGE TO LOOK AT CAR ENGINES AND STAND AROUND, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS VERY COLD OUT THERE. -----

58. UNASHAMEDLY HEAVY, SERIOUS NATIVITY SCENES AND OTHER RELIGIOUS DECORATIONS AT THE CATHOLIC GIFT SHOP ON COMMONWEALTH, ACROSS FROM THE OLD SAFEWAY. -----

59. THE BOOMING CHRISTMAS BUSINESS DONE AT NICK’S LIQUOR AND ALL OTHER LIQUOR STORES AROUND TOWN. -----

60. BEING INVITED TO ANY CHRISTMAS DINNER WHERE THE DAD WAS A SURGEON, WITH THE POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE WHEN HE FINALLY STOOD TO CARVE THE TURKEY.

61. SUNNY HILLS AND GOLDEN HILL CHRISTMAS PARTIES WHERE MOST OF THE KIDS ATTENDING WERE VETERAN PARTYGOERS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR (AND RATHER BLASÉ), AND SOME WERE ATTENDING ONLY THEIR FIRST TEENAGED CHRISTMAS PARTY EVER! -----

62. SOME FAMILIES WITH FIVE OR MORE KIDS AND WHAT LOOKED LIKE FOOTHILLS OF WRAPPED PRESENTS AROUND A TREE. -----

63. THE OMINOUS SMELL OF HEATED RUBBER AND PLASTIC EXTENSION CORDS IN HOMES WHERE THEY WERE USED TO OVERLOAD SOCKETS! -----

64. ON CHRISTMAS DAY, KIDS RIDING BRAND NEW BIKES IN THE STREETS AND DRIVEWAYS. -----

65. OR NEW CARS THAT WERE GIFTS! (LOTS OF MUSTANGS!) -----

66. THE STRANGE FEELING OF RUNNING INTO ONE OF YOUR TEACHERS SHOPPING AT THE BROADWAY OR BULLOCKS SANTA ANA! -----

67. HAVING A NICE CHRISTMAS CARD OR GIFT FOR A GIRL YOU LIKE, DRESSING UP TO TAKE IT TO HER HOUSE, FEELING NERVOUS AND SELF CONSCIOUS, AND WHEN YOU ARRIVE, SEEING 2 OTHER GUYS’ CARS THERE, AND TWO OTHER GUYS WHO WALKED, ALL IN HER LIVING ROOM OR PATIO, AND MORE COMING!!!!!! -----

68. HAVING A CRUSH ON A GIRL YOU VISIT AT CHRISTMAS, AND HER MOM IS MUCH MORE FRIENDLY AND NICER TO YOU THAN THE GIRL IS! -----

69. ENVY FOR KIDS WHO COULD GO TO BIG BEAR, LAKE ARROWHEAD, BALBOA ISLAND OR A BEACH HOUSE FOR CHRISTMAS (NOT KNOWING WHAT IT WAS REALLY LIKE AND NOT LIKE). -----

70. SCADS AND SCADS OF EXTRA GREEN STAMPS AND BLUE CHIP STAMPS THAT COME WITH CHRISTMAS PURCHASES. -----

71. CERTAIN SUNNY HILLS HIGH SCHOOL HOMES WHERE CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS SEEMED TO BEGIN ABOUT DECEMBER 20 AND LAST NON-STOP UNTIL JANUARY 2 OR 3! -----

72. HEADING DOWN TO THE BEACH WITH YOUR BRAND NEW SURFBOARD ON CHRISTMAS DAY EVEN IF THE WEATHER WAS COLD AND RAINY! -----

73. GUYS WHO GOT AUTO PARTS FOR CHRISTMAS! -----

74. CHRISTMAS TV SPECIALS WHERE CERTAIN ACTORS TRY TO SING WITHOUT SUCCESS! LIKE JAMES GARNER OR CHUCK CONNORS! -----

75. SEEING YOUR PARENTS AT CHRISTMAS PARTIES AROUND PEOPLE THEY DIDN’T LIKE, AND BEING POLITE ANYWAY. -----

76. SOME TEEN COUPLES WHO’D BROKEN UP WOULD ALWAYS GET TO FEELING TENDER AND SENTIMENTAL OVER THE CHRISTMAS VACATION, AND “GET BACK TOGETHER”, USUALLY ONLY FOR A FEW DAYS – FRIENDS WOULD SEE THEM AND GO, “AHHHHHH .. “-----

77. EGG NOG-INDUCED FENDER BENDERS! -----

78. KIND-HEARTED FULLERTON POLICE ESCORTING CHRISTMAS 502 DRIVERS HOME WITHOUT CITATIONS (ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY WERE LOCAL POLITICIANS AND OFFICIALS .. ) -----

79. THE TIME YOU SAW SOMEONE’S POOR MOM OR DAD COOK A GOOSE FOR CHRISTMAS, AND HAVE TO STAND THERE IN THE KITCHEN BASTING THE ^%$#@!! THING EVERY 2 OR 3 MINUTES! -----

80. WONDERFUL, SWEET, KIND MOMS YOU LOVED WHO COULD NOT COOK TO SAVE THEIR LIVES, AND HAVING TO EAT THEIR FOOD AND PRETEND YOU LOVED IT. -----

81. WONDERING WHAT A ROASTED CHESTNUT TASTES LIKE (MOST OF US STILL HAVE NO IDEA IN THE WORLD!) -----

82. ENDLESS WORLD WAR TWO STORIES FROM THE DADS! -----

83. CIGAR SMOKE, ESPECIALLY IN GOLDEN HILL! -----

84. NOTICING THE ISOLATED 6POINTED STARS, LARGE MENORAHS, “HAPPY HANNUKAH” DISPLAYS AT THE HOMES OF JEWISH FAMILIES, AND NOT KNOWING QUITE WHAT TO DO OR SAY OR THINK. -----

85. RUMORS OF REALLY SCANDALOUS, SHOCKING, BACCHANALIAN CHRISTMAS PARTIES IN SUNNY HILLS ABOVE BASTANCHURY, WHERE A CAT COULD SCAMPER ACROSS ALL THE BRAS FLOATING IN SWIMMING POOLS! -----

86. PARENTS UNINHIBITED ENOUGH TO SING “SILENT NIGHT” A CAPELLA! -----

87. ON CHRISTMAS DAY AFTERNOON, THE FESTIVE DISPLAY OF TRASH CANS FULL OF COLORFUL WRAPPING PAPER, UP AND DOWN LAGUNA ROAD, SUNNY CREST, NORTH RICHMAN AND LAKEVIEW. 88. CHRISTMAS SEASON ENGAGEMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS! -----

89. WITH REGARD TO #84, SUNNY HILLS CHRISTMAS PARTIES SO WILD AND RIBALD THEY WOULD HAVE MADE EMPEROR CALIGULA BLUSH! ) (CABANAS .. ) -----

90. CATHOLICS? SEEING A PARTICULAR PRIEST, NUN OR BROTHER YOU DIDN’T PARTICULAR LIKE THAT MUCH AND HOW HAPPY AND FULFILLED THIS PERSON OBVIOUSLY WAS AT CHRISTMAS, AND FOR THAT REASON, FEELING YOUR OWN HEART SOFTEN TOWARDS HIM OR HER. -----

91. NAUSEATING SPECIAL CHRISTMAS FLAVORED ICE CREAM AT BASKIN ROBBINS 31 FLAVORS.

92. OR MAYBE JUST A QUIET CHRISTMAS EVE AT HOME WITH YOUR PARENTS AND SIBLINGS, EVERYONE GOING TO BED AT 10:30. -----

93. LOOKING INTO THE SMILING EYES OF YOUR LEAST FAVORITE SIBLING, AND ACTUALLY REALIZING YOU LOVE THE LITTLE DICKENS AFTER ALL. -----

94. THE IMMENSE RELIEF AND SPIRITUAL EXULTATION THE INSTANT ANY CHRISTMAS SERVICE AT CHURCH IS OVER, AND THE WAY YOU JUST CAN’T HELP BUT SMILE FROM EAR TO EAR! -----

95. WISHING YOU HEARD GREAT VERSIONS OF “SILENT NIGHT” WITH GOOD ARRANGEMENTS SUNG AND PERFORMED MORE OFTEN. -----

96. STILL REMEMBERING VIVIDLY ALMOST 55 YEARS LATER HOW PRETTY A FAMILY OF SISTERS LIKE THE AMBRIDGE GIRLS WERE IN THEIR CHRISTMAS CLOTHES. -----

97. PEOPLE YOU DIDN’T KNOW AND SOMETIMES ALWAYS WANTED TO SMILING AT YOU AND SAYING, “MERRY CHRISTMAS”, SOMETIMES ADDING YOUR ACTUAL NAME. -----

98. OK, OK, OK, ARREST ME, BUT THE GREAT WAY GIRLS SMELLED WHEN THEY WERE ALL DRESSED UP AT CHRISTMAS, OK? -----

99. SEEING OUR TOWN OF FULLERTON EVEN SOMEWHAT UNITED BY THE CELEBRATION, AND THE GOODNESS IN THAT .. -----

100. SAYING “MERRY CHRISTMAS! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!” WITH REAL SPIRIT TO EVERYONE, THE WAY I’M SAYING IT TO EVERY ONE OF YOU NOW.

101. PEOPLE LIKE ED MCMAHAN FROM "THE TONIGHT SHOW" CLAIMED THEY COULD DO ALL THEIR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING ON DECEMBER 24 -- AND YOU WONDERED IF IT WERE TRUE, AND HOW THEY DID IT. 

102. WHEN AREAS NEAR SHOPPING CENTERS COULD STILL BE TRAVELED THROUGH EASILY BETWEEN DECEMBER 1 AND JANUARY 5: GONE FOREVER.

103. SMALL, INEXPENSIVE GIFTS THAT YOU NEVERTHELESS REMEMBERED FONDLY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. 

Add Comment

There are currently no comments.

Add Comment