Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve, 1985

Christmas has come too fast again. Not that I'm not ready for it to get here. I'm just not ready for it to be gone. I still remember when it didn't come very fast at all...

In 1985, I was twelve and time was slow. Thirty seemed light years away and forty had never crossed my mind. It was impossible to imagine myself as an adult. Though some might tell you it still is.

In 1985, both of my grandmothers were still alive. But oh, how I took that for granted back then. Dad would go and get his mother and bring her to the house on Christmas Eve day. She would have gifts for us -- and they would be really bad gifts like tube socks with big red stripes around them. But it shouldn't have mattered because she had picked them out for us when Dad took her shopping solely for that purpose. I hope I thanked her for whatever bad gifts she got me that year, and I hope I acted like I liked them, because that was the last Christmas we ever got to spend with her.

In 1985, Mom and Dad were still young, and still together. And if I could have picked one of those to never change, I'm not sure which I'd choose.

In 1985, my sister was five. She hadn't yet become the major annoyance she soon would be. Little did I know we would someday become actual friends. And the thought of her being a mother, well that was as far from my mind as a thing could be.

In 1985, fave cousin was seven. War was a game we played with toy guns or plastic soldiers. And Afghanistan was a place I had never even heard of, much less ever thought he would someday go.

In 1985, I was pretty sure no matter how good or bad I may have been that I was getting toys. But there was that tiny one-percent part of me that was still afraid I might wake up to a bag of switches beneath the tree.

In 1985, however fast or slow the rest of the year passed, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas seemed like a year unto itself.

In 1985, tonight -- Christmas Eve -- would be the longest night of the year. I would toss and turn and do my best to keep my ears open for any sound of Santa and his reindeer. But of course, it's the first great catch-22 of life -- you want to stay awake until he comes but he won't come until he knows you're sleeping. And he always knew.

In 1985, I must have closed my eyes, and though I could swear it was only for an instant, twenty-five years came and went.

"If heaven was a town it would be my town, on a summer day in nineteen-eighty-five. And everything I wanted was out there waiting. And everyone I loved was still alive..."


  1. That song gets me every time. 1985 was the ONLY year everyone I loved was alive.

    What a beautiful Christmas post. Your memories are poignant.

    I hope Santa came to see you tonight, and that you have the very merriest of Christmases.

  2. 85 was a mix of good and bad for me. It was the year I graduated from High School and I was in love so that was good. But my mom & Stepdad hated him and by the end of the year they would kick me out of the house thanks to him. Apparently that was the year of me being really stupid and it would last until 89 for me...ugh!

  3. I can't pick a favorite line or paragraph. They're all beautiful
    Seems like 1985 was a banner year for most people
    I loved the part about your parents much

  4. Beautiful post and you got me thinking about 1985...

    The only thing I remember about Christmas 1985 was that Sharon (ask Murf, I'm sure she has her in that database she keeps on me) gave me a globe and said that it was what she'd given me if I'd just given her a chance... She'd moved west for grad school that September and in another six months, I'd be packing up and leaving the south, moving to Pittsburgh...

    Enjoy your white Christmas, it's lightly snowing, but not enough to cover up the dirty snow that's hung around for a week

  5. Again.

    A wistful extraction of truth from your life, fluffed up with pillows — though never too many.

  6. Oh this post makes me very nostalgic and kind of sad. It is amazing how time flies.

  7. Family is the one gift we want year after year, even if it is just the memories.

    Hope yours was great!

  8. Bone I am so glad I waited until after Christmas to read this. You made me cry. It was like I was right there looking over your shoulder and had a peak into your childhood. So very well written and thank you for sharing.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  9. This might be one of my favorite posts you have ever done.

    Hope you had a memorable Christmas this year.

    Happy New Year!

  10. I know christmas is over now, but I too feel a certain sadness when its over, that everything in life reverts back to the way it was.
    less than magical.

    Heres to the New Year.

    May it bring a better life or more patience.

  11. TC - Thanks, TC. Yep, I managed to fool Santa again. I swear he's slipping in his old age. I hope you had a merry Christmas as well.

    Renee - So does that mean the summer of '89 was the Summer of Renee? :)

    Pia - Thank you. I sort of picked 1985 at random to start, but then it worked out well with that being the last year my grandmother was alive, and the twenty-five years, too.

    Sage - Thanks. I gotta say, that's pretty creative. No one's ever given me a globe. Or even a state map :)

    Cooper - Thank you, Miss Cooper. Too many pillows is always a concern of mine.

    Carnealian - Agreed. It's rather mind-blowing.

    Daily Panic - Thanks. It was better than I deserve.

    PennyCandy - Thank you. And in that case, I'm glad you waited until after Christmas to read it, as well :)

    Charlotta-love - Wow. Thank you. That sure means a lot.

    Happy New Year to you!

    KittyCat - There's not another feeling quite like that instant it hits you that Christmas is over for another year.

    Hear, hear!

  12. Nostalgia. It makes us sad. Yet without it where would we be? Each of our experiences are precious in making what we are. Memories are what we really own. Everything else is material.

    Your post made me ramble on. And on.
    Hope Santa made 2010 Christmas memorable.

    Wish you a a very Happy New Year. Hope to read many such posts from you.

  13. I did enjoy this post!

    I personally can't remember 1985, I was 4. Sorry. I can't help my age. But I'm sure it was a great year, because Santa was so real!