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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Spirits of Christmas Past

I just read 4 blogposts in a row about Christmases past. Looks like we're settling into that reminiscing part that defines Christmas in our noggins for our lives. Then I spied a "What's your family Christmas Tradition?" thread on the Guardian site:

And in the comments below saw this great story:

"My Mum gets pissed three times a year - her birthday, one wildcard and Christmas day.
Not being a prolific drinker it also means, for that day, the rest of the family imbibes her rather uncultured choice in booze - Asti Spumante, Cinzano or (if it's been a good year) Tia Maria.

"After declaring ''how much she enjoys seeing everyone together'', and then ''is it just me, or is this wine a bit strong'' and finally ''i like feeling like this'', she'll tire herself out roaring with laughter at whichever Wallace and Gromit is on, before passing out on the sofa halfway through attempting to pull a cracker by herself.

"I'll never get tired of it."

Which reminded me of my ol' Mum, Marge the Sarge, when I was a teenager. Mom was a teetotaler all year- except Christmas Day. And like the commenter above, we blind-eyed her bottle of  Asti Spumante, Bali Hai or Creme de Menthe. We drank more sophisticated stuff. And started way before dinner.

With the first glass she'd start singing and dancing around the house. By the second glass she was giggling at everything. By the third she was sentimental and weepy. And by the end of the fourth she'd be muttering about the mess in the kitchen while slowly climbing the stairs to "use the girl's" after which we didn't see her again til the next morning. But we'd hear her overhead wending her way down the hall to bed after a last, "Merrrry Christmas!" over the bannister as she passed the stairs.

There's a lot I'd give to live that sort of Christmas again. Because while Mom was getting tipsy, the rest of us were barbarians and she didn't care. That was the secret magic of Christmas.


Anonymous said...

Marge the Sarge ..... I love it.

Austan said...

The best part is, she was a real Marine Sergeant, in WW2. :D

paulg said...

Laura, only you would have a mom nicknamed "Marge the Sarge"!

I've been explaining to Helga how "Your mother wears army boots!" was a big insult back in the day.
For most kids it wasn't meant to imply that mom was actually in the army, per se. You would, of course, be the exception!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

What a wonderful story. Marge the Sarge, huh? Love it.

Austan said...

Haha! When kids said that to me, I'd correct them, "No, she wore MARINE boots." :D

Austan said...

Susan- She was remarkable. And yes, I still roll my socks and can make a bed you can bounce a quarter on.