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Christmas Traditions

Hi, Dera and all. I have no desire to enter a contest, but your post brought back sweet memories of how we spent each Christmas in Liberty City, Miami [now Miami-Dade] County, Florida.

Christmas Eve, we were sent to bed. There was no sleep, as we lay awake anticipating which of our wishes would come true.

In my home, my two sisters and I were wide awake by 3am at the latest. I don't believe we, or other neighborhood kids, thought about how our parent[s] were right there when we awakened, especially having played Santa Clause as we 'slept'.

My mother would sit us down, by candlelight, and read the scriptures to us. That was always part of our household Christmas celebration. We learned to relate the gifts we were about to receive to the gifts the Three Wise Men delivered to Jesus upon his birth.

After breakfast, we hit the streets!! Were we the first ones out? By no means. As an adult, I now understand that the local authority must have closed the streets off to all but pedestrian traffic.

We took to the streets, decked out in our cowboy and Indian costumes, with our cap pistols for a shoot-'em-out. Or, the most popular activity: roller skating.

There were other gifts [like the first real doll I received*], but the street was where we spent the day [not eating, sleeping, drinking, or doing anything but roller skating and playing cowboy and Indian or cops and robbers].

* Usually, our dolls were made of Coca-Cola bottles with straw stuck in the neck, held down by a clothes pin. Hence, my use of the term real doll .

Looking back, I realize we were taught, by the circumstances of poverty, to share. We shared our cap pistols, our roller skates, and other outdoor toys. Woe be to them who had lost their roller skate key at the end of the day!!

The grownups? LOL. Just about every woman [single or married] received a bottle of Midnight In Paris perfume [now we know that it was actually toilet water]. The men? They got an excellent home-cooked meal complete with all the trimmings, and the hustle and bustle of a house filled with love, joy and laughter.

The family? All I remember is smiles and laughter as family came in and out, went 'round and 'bout. Christmas was a magical time for me growing up, and it is still a magical time for me. I do, as my daughter says, go overboard at Christmas time, but it is a pure pleasure to see the little ones' eyes light up as mine did in the days of old.


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CFS: Christmas Traditions: True Stories of of Holiday
Christmas Traditions

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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