Most Humiliating Memory: Mom enjoyed cross-stitching seasonally appropriate bloomers.

(Who doesn’t, after all, need a good seasonal picture on their butt?!)

She also enjoyed other people getting to appreciate her handiwork.

I, however, was NOT a fan of showing off her stitches, but was obedient nonetheless.1984095

The Christmas where I have no memories due to puzzle-induced Amnesia:


Top Five Christmas Fashion Disasters: We all wear our proudest, freshly-opened-from-underneath-the-tree outfits on Christmas day. Looking back, I might not should have been QUITE so proud…

5. 1987: I distinctly remember opening this outfit and being SO! EXCITED! because I finally had my first pair of suspenders!

Luckily, it was also my LAST pair of suspenders.

4. 1991: The poof-paint snowman sweatshirt:1990109

I loved that sweatshirt well. Even after Frosty started flaking melting away.

3. 1991: I picked this outfit out myself at Christmas Village. I couldn’t wait until Christmas day arrived so that I could wear my neon pink and neon green tie-dye full outfit ensemble:1991112

It included pants, shirt, headband, AND socks. It was awesome. And don’t miss the fact that I am wearing a fanny pack to really bring my haute look together.

2. Circa 1994: Wow. The heart-crocheted sweater, which when combined with my desperate need to be taught how to weed-wack my eyebrows, made for quite the glamorous look:0000113

And finally, the NUMBER ONE Fashion Disaster: 1988. Oh yes – my Mom DID make us matching pleated plaid skirts to go with our matching Christmas sweaters.


Even my Grandmother was laughing on the inside at that one.

Favorite Christmas Eve Memory: Reading Christmas stories around the fireplace – especially “The Gift of the Magi” and “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

Most Delicious Tradition: Gingerbread Houses. Although it usually left me quite frustrated at my general incompetence in the field of construction.00093

It really irritated me when my three year old cousin was better than me:1987100
And even Davy Crockett was a regular high-rise developer.1987101
Santa Memories: Like Ali, I wasn’t a big fan of strangers. Unlike Ali, I felt that the importance of properly conveying my Christmas needs was more important for my dislike of sitting on a stranger’s lap.1988106

And anyway, who doesn’t have a little extra confidence when wearing White Leather Fringed Cowboy boots?

The Christmas Tree:

Sometimes, we’d go to the Christmas tree farm to get our tree:0000097

I don’t remember much about these trips except that I adored their apple cider and it took a LONG time for my Dad to saw down the tree when I had to pee from all of the apple cider that I downed.

My parents had this rule that the Christmas tree had to sit on the porch for 1-3 days before we could bring it in and decorate it.0000096

They always explained that this was to help the branches lower.

No one else has ever heard of this sort of procedure. In fact, hanging ornaments does a great job of lowering branches.

I think that it reality, it was their method of torturing us to see if we would REALLY be good now that the Santa threat was imminent.

My Most Guilty Least Favorite Tradition:
Our pajamas.1987104

We had a wonderfully sweet lady in our Church that made us all pajamas for Christmas morning every year..1988107

The only problem: I hated Nightgowns.1991111
She always made JC and Nick pants pajamas, so I never understood why I couldn’t have pants pajamas.

(I also never understood why I wasn’t allowed to sleep in my underwear the rest of the year like JC. I was all about Women’s Equality, after all.)

Maybe she was trying to help counteract my tomboyish tendencies. 1987103

And finally…

Best Christmas Present:
I had a four poster bed when I was a kid. I always wanted a canopy on top. One Christmas, my Dad actually constructed a pink canopy on the top of my bed while I was sleeping.

The plan was that I would wake up Christmas morning, look up, and see the wonders that Santa brought me.

However, I woke up and was so excited about Santa coming that I never looked up, ran into my parent’s room (as tradition stated), and had them march me back into my bedroom (after being thoroughly disappointed with my lack of fulfillment of their grand plans, I’m sure) and ask me “Don’t you see anything different??”

Do you have any favorite Christmas memories?

18 thoughts on “The Ghost of Christmases Past.

  1. Great post Rachel. Oh my goodness, you were adorable! I love the pic with the nightgown and the tiara. Very Abbieish.

    And your neon outfit from Christmas Villlage-to die for :)

  2. What sweet memories and my goodness Ali looks like you!
    I think you look cute in ALL the pictures and you were very hip and stylish for the day. Thank goodness the day passed though, huh? LOL :)

  3. The tie-dyed one was my fave! My super cool Christmas gift outfit was a pair of skinny white pants with neon colored pin-stripes, a neon yellow shirt with a electric pink skinny satin tie (complete with pearl tie tack), neon yellow ridged rubber belt that shared with stage with a hot pink telephone cord belt, electric pink trouser socks with neon yellow fishnet trouser socks over them. I was smokin! Oh, and don't forget the stack of jelly bracelets! Merry Christmas to me!!! Sigh…good times :)

  4. I think my favorite is the crocheted heart outfit. HA!

    The story of your father going to all that hard work and you not even noticing is the quintessential example of parenthood, isn't it? Too funny!

  5. So fun! Thanks for sharing your memories with us. Ali does favor you ALOT. Especially when you were really little.

    That pic of you in the snowman sweatshirt is priceless. Love how you're standing. lol

    I had a purple sweatshirt that my dad bought me one year for Christmas. It had a tree on it that was constructed of so much paint and glitter that it didn't bend. I loved it nonetheless. :D

  6. gotta love the poof paint, still hate nightgowns, and one year, my mom strung popcorn on our tree. She made us wait 2 or 3 days after popping the corn to string it. last year, we strung popcorn. I called my mom to get pointers, and she said she didn't know any. She didn't remember anything about letting it set out. When I told mom that my research had said to let it set for a day or two, she said she'd probably just otld us that because she was busy. I'm guessing your parents just needed a day or two to get ready. . .

  7. My parents always made us wait a day or two after getting a real tree to decorate it too. Same excuse about the branches dropping/lowering/whatever. I think the real reason was because my mom dreaded the task of putting the lights on the tree. (As do I now!)

    Great post Rachel!

  8. What a great and funny post! I love the photo of Davy Crockett and his prize of a gingerbread house. The fringed boots, oh my, the mention of the fanny pack in the one photo, the nightgowns… you are something else, Rachel. You had me laughing out loud. And thank you for that!

    Oh, and there is further proof here that Ali indeed looks like her pretty mama.

  9. Great post Rachel, Loved all the old pictures. I have so many great memories I couldn't narrow it down, but even though we never had much money we always had great Christmases. One of my fondest memories is the year my dad built me a life size model of K-9 from the old Dr. Who series. Does that make me a sci-fi nerd (Not really I just liked the dog) he was a robit dog who was smarter than anyone on the show.

  10. That was awesome! Oh the good old days: neon, tie-dye, side ponytails! I, too, was a big fan of the fanny pack! Love all the pictures and memories! That pic of you in the tiarra looks a lot like Ali!

  11. Oh that is so sweet of your Dad!

    I love the photos. I definitely remember some of those fashion phases. But don't knock the holiday sweaters. I heard they are HUGE on eBay around the holidays. Apparently, the more flashy, the better :)

  12. I must admit that I adore baby/toddler bloomers with anything stitched on the backside (monograms, Christmas characters, etc.). If your mom still has those, Aubrey would love to wear them! :)
    I had my fair share of puff painted Christmas sweatshirts and my sisters always had matching ones.
    One Christmas my sister and I, as well as my MOM, all had matching Christmas dresses…I'm at my parents house now, I'm going to see if I can find that picture!
    Great Christmas post, love all the flashback pictures!

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