Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

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by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

All I Want for Christmas . . .

My first 'real' Christmas. Age 14 months.

I've been trying to remember gifts I have received for Christmas.
I know I received some.
Many, in fact.
Stuffed toys and dolls. And the snuggling that ensued.
Lego. Always popular.
Books. Nancy Drew in particular.
Puzzles. Nearly always completed with my Dad.
There was the one year that my parents gave me a small musical instrument. I think they called it a musette.
It had a tiny black membrane that fit into one end and made the whole thing work.
A delicate membrane.
One could put a finger right through it.
Don't ask me how I know this . . .
I clearly remember the year we all got skis.
And the adventures that followed.
And the time my brother gave me a camshaft.
A real camshaft.
As it turned out, though, it wasn't my real present.
He had wrapped it up to confuse me just in case I had caught a glimpse of what he had actually purchased for me.
Moving on . . .
There were things I needed.
Clothes.
Quilts.
And things I didn't.
Tinned Vienna sausage.
And a mounted and stuffed Jack-a-lope head.
Things I really, really wanted.
A Palm Pilot. (Google it.)
Video Camera.
And a PT Cruiser. (I got three – all three inches long.)
And things that were just . . . sweet.
Several pairs of slippers.
And at least one bath robe.
I've truly loved them all.
Truly.
They were given with love.
And accepted with the same.
But I have been around for fifty seven Christmases, including this one.
Fifty seven.
Why can't I remember fifty seven gifts?
I know there was at least one per year.
Many times, more.
I guess it's because the memory of family and being together stands out more clearly.
And that's how it should be.

9 comments:

  1. It's true.....I can remember a few special gifts but mostly I remember the tree glowing darkly, family gathered together, fabulous food, dark nights and magic.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That was a camshaft I gave you; a crankshaft was too big and heavy. I still remember your asking me what was in that box and I responded with: 'a camshaft.' When you opened it, you said: 'It IS a camshaft.' That was fun...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, you're totally right. I don't know what I was thinking! I've corrected it . . .
      And it WAS fun!

      Delete
  3. I only recall the yellow angora sweater, aunts, uncles, grandmas, cousins, parents, my brothers and sister. There were pearls and diamonds on the sweater.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mmm. Pearls and diamonds! Sounds classy! And there's nothing like family . . .

      Delete
  4. I have trouble remembering every Christmas gift too. The one that stands out is a walking-talking doll and a pram to ride her around in, which confused me as she wasn't a baby doll and appeared to be dressed in a pale blue tulle wedding outfit. I was so disappointed as I wasn't into playing with dolls at all, perhaps my mother was trying to awaken the housewife/mother in me. In later years she gave me items for my hope chest. Towels, towels, more towels...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. I was never a doll-player either. Mom started a pile of stuff for my hope chest, but I wasn't interested in that, either. Funny. Once I married, I got interested . . .

      Delete
  5. I'm glad you had a hope chest, and not a hopeless one.

    No double-entendre intended. Or intendred.

    I'll stop now . . .

    Anonymous Hopeless Punster-type Guy

    ReplyDelete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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