18 November 2019

Bess Tuggle's Memoirs of Surviving Children: Memories of Christmas Past


I don’t know when this started. I really don’t, but it’s taking a little bit more out of the calendar -every- -single- -year-.

Christmas.

When I was little it seemed to take forever for Christmas to get here. Shoot, that was back when summer vacation was a lifetime and we were all finally bored and ready to go back to school and see our friends again.

Not anymore. First the poor old turkey bit the dust. Is Thanksgiving even a ‘thing’ anymore or just the prequel to Black Friday? Then Halloween, unless you want to dress up like Santa or a reindeer; oops, can’t forget Frosty. There’s even ‘Christmas in July’ sales that almost rival Black Friday, not to mention Cyber Monday. I hope I don’t live long enough to see Santa in diapers with a bow and heart arrow. Not a pretty Valentine’s Cupid image, in my humble opinion. He might make a cute Leprechaun though.

As Christmas comes screaming in like a freight train, it does so with memories – and some of the best came from Scouts (Cub and Boy Scouts).

Each and every year our Cub Scout pack did a service project for the holidays. Now, I want you to remember, Cub Scouts are first through fifth graders, usually with associated family members in tow. We had SUCH a wonderful pack, and SO much fun!

One year we decided to make Christmas Cards and Snow Globes for each member of the ‘Old Folks High Rise’ assisted living center in town, a cookie tray for each floor commons area, and Christmas Carol every door to deliver the presents.

The cards weren’t much of a problem. Most moms had already learned to save -everything- that didn’t stink or bite back. Old cards were recycled with all the pretty pictures glued to the front of the new card and a heartfelt, when legible, message from a Scout.

The cookie trays were good, too. All us moms, dads too, baked cookies, the Pack bought some Dollar Tree serving trays and we met to pile them with cookies as high as we could get them.

Then came the snow globes.

This was a very creative project for the kids. Gluing, painting, imaginative design, working with fluids and glitter… Close your eyes and imagine the mess that ensured.
We had plenty of moms that kept baby-food jars for craft projects (remember, we’d learned not to throw out almost -anything- by then). Glue some holiday figures to the inside of the lid, fill it up with baby oil, add some glitter, put the lid back on and hot-glue it together. Sounds like an easy project, but I used baby-oil and glitter in the same sentence and all these children were (not including siblings) between first and fifth grade. I bought every bottle of baby oil in the county. Won’t even -try- to describe the looks I got for that one.

Yes, there was glitter EVERYWHERE!!! It was on the tables, on the walls, in the carpet, through the halls… EVERYWHERE! And it didn’t stop there. The kids wrapped the presents and leaders took them home to store until our Caroling night. All leaders house’s had oily glitter on the tables, on the walls, in the carpet, through the halls…

Finally came show time! We put a cookie tray on the table on each commons room floor. We knocked on every single door in the high rise, sang ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas,’ and bestowed upon each resident a Made-from-Scratch card and Snow Globe present.

In addition to songs and hugs, the high rise residents got glitter on the tables, glitter on the walls, glitter in the carpet and glitter through the halls…

Merry Sparkles! May your holidays always leave something to remember until next year! (And the year after that, or the year after that, and…)


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