A Non-Memory of Christmas Past

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This time of year is always the hardest for me because eleven years ago I lost the most important man in my life- my grandpa Fred. My family’s holiday traditions died along with him 11 years ago. He was the glue that held together a very fragile and broken group of people. I barely remember what it feels like to spend a holiday with another human being because for the last 7 at least I have been alone.

This little post isn’t all about sadness and gloom, I want to share the little bit above because you need to understand that this memory I’m about to share is the only Christmas memory I have. I don’t remember any others when my family was still together.

Being so small back then I remember walking through the front door of my grandparent’s old yellow Victorian house and taking off my coat and laying it between the columns in the living room. In the far corner was a thick Christmas tree with a weird gold topper that always reminded me of a pregnant puffer fish. The ceiling in my grandparent’s living room was nearly 20 feet high and the tree almost touched it. It was like a fairy tale seeing so many presents (in some places they were piled halfway up the tree).

I hope this year they’d let me play Santa.

All of the adults were either Men: watching sports Women: in the kitchen helping fix the food and drinking coffee. The coast was clear… no one was guarding the bowl of black olives that had been already set on the table in the dining room…

Just as I was about to load up my fingers with olives (load up meaning putting an olive on each finger so I looked like I had frog hands) my cousin Scott came up to me with the plate of crispy turkey skin. My family wasn’t exactly healthy, but grandma did take off the skin and throw it away every time she cooked a bird. Scott and I crawled under the long table set for 25 and began to eat the buttery, crispy turkey skin. It was absolutely delicious.

Usually at this point in a story the kids get caught and scolded by the adults, but Scott and I never got caught. I don’t remember just how much we ate but I do remember it was enough that we ruined our Christmas dinner.

Ever since that Christmas, turkey and chicken skin makes me want to gag. I can’t even look at it without getting grossed out. 🙂

This time of year always makes me sad because more than anything I wish I had a family to share the holidays with. I hope someday the man I marry and I can give our kids wonderful holiday memories they will cherish as they grow. Hopefully someday they will have more to remember than turkey skins.

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About Abielle Rose

I'm a coffee addicted, cat loving writer on a journey to get healthy, happy and live life to the fullest.
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17 Responses to A Non-Memory of Christmas Past

  1. ralfast says:

    We used to have big family reunions when I was a kid. Tons of food, music playing in the background, lots of kids running around in their Sunday’s best. Then my great-grandmother died and it wasn’t the same since. I still cherish the holidays but I know exactly how you feel.

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  3. Families sure seem to get smaller these days. My father died when I was 26 and my mother passed away 5 years ago (a couple months before Christmas). It seems that when those roots die, those left behind tend to spread out. I hope you start a wonderful new life and family with the man of your dreams and make some fond memories for your kids.

    P.S. I love crispy chicken/turkey skin, but it doesn’t love me!

  4. Charity says:

    Thanks for sharing. I hope you meet a wonderful man to marry, have kids, and make lots of happy memories!

  5. Love this post, lots of memories of christmas here 🙂

    BTW, for some reason my last comment to this got posted on another post… feel free to delete it 🙂

  6. You have more than turkey skins to remember! You have a big, giant tree with presents piled under it, hiding under the table with your cousin and the love of your family. That’s something that can never be taken away from you and something you will recreate in your own way.

    Merry Christmas Abielle Rose!

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  8. Dan says:

    That’s a good memory to have.
    Hold tight to it, so when you have your own family you can share it with everyone.
    This year why don’t you volunteer at a soup kitchen or charity organization, it will beat spending it alone.

  9. linda says:

    26 years ago I moved with my husband and 2 young children 10 hours away from our families.
    The roads and weather made the Christmas trips home almost non-existant. Snow storms would close the roads while we were travelling them and getting home was always an adventure which job schedules made even more so.
    We started having our own small Christmas celebrations which meant new traditions and new thoughts of what Christmas should be.
    As my children grew up and moved away it was starting to be a day of regrets instead of a day of laughs and fun times.
    My husband and I started new traditions of talking with our children and grandchildren via the computer. We would use skype and hear all the things that were exciting our grandchildren. Not as much fun as getting hugs but it was a sort of decent compromise. I keep thinking at least we don’t have to wait weeks for a letter of thanks. A smiling face blowing a kiss online is a much better thank you.
    How about adopting a family. You could supply the meal or just a few toys for children. It could be someone you know who is having a hard time financially or it could be someone who has lost a family member and just doesn’t know how to cope with that loss as well as trying to keep children happy during the season.
    Family is really just people you feel comfortable with whether related or not. Think of step families as one example. They do not always get along but then neither do blood related families.
    So make your own holiday family and make new memories so that when you have children of your own you will be able to tell them lots of memories you have of the time before and the time after your Grandpa Fred passed away.
    The memories will come back to you as you make new ones. It is just a way of coping that we forget things and with the start of making new memories the old good ones return.

  10. Alynza says:

    I have some of the same memories. After my grandfather died, it never felt quite the same.

    My children are still young and now we live over 10 hours from any family. It breaks my heart that we may miss spending most of the holiday with family back home.

  11. alexp01 says:

    One side of my family is having the same problem these days, not due to death but rather prolonged illness. It really does suck.

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  13. Even though I wanted to gag just thinking about you kids eating that turkey skin, that’s still a very sweet memory!

  14. I love crispy turkey skin! Honestly, your post made me sad and a little nauseous thinking about gorging on just skin. I’m sorry you’ve been alone and hope you find what you’re looking for. Just to make you feel a little better, holidays with family generally consists of lots of drama, and there’s usually some people there you’d rather not see. Everyone puts on a polite face, and every thing feels phony.

    The best you can hope for is an intimate holiday with immediate family.

  15. Brandi says:

    The holidays haven’t felt the same since my grandpa died, either, and that was 9 years ago now. So I can empathize there. Many wishes for a happy holiday for you this year! 🙂

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  17. I loved the mischief my cousins, my sister and I always managed to get into at Christmas gatherings. Those memories really stick. I hope you make lots more happy ones in the future.

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