Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Friday, December 22, 2006

My Favorite Things About Christmas

When I was a kid, my favorite part of Christmas had nothing to do with the traditional cookie baking, gift giving, caroling, or tree-decorating. I mean, all those things were fun, but looking back, anticipation became the tradition that far trumped opening gifts…

Instead of buying for all three of my siblings, we always picked names and bought for one person. The gifts were never as much fun as sneaking around, trying to figure out who had my name – and who everyone else had. Keeping my name a secret was also a lot of fun. One year, I was in charge of the slips for the name pick. I wrote “Kelly” on each of the papers, and passed the hat. When I drew the last slip, it was so much fun to say “Oh! I picked my own name!”

When everyone protested in unison, that no – THEY’D picked my name, my family had a big laugh…

The best holiday tradition I can think of, however, was The Yearly Big Box.

Each year, either one of my sibs or I was the recipient of “The big box.” My mother kept all of her wrapped presents in her bedroom. They weren’t particularly hidden. To enhance the mystery, my mom would tag every box – except the big one – so we’d all sneak in at different times, survey the wrapped wonderland and hope that this year was “my year” for the big box.

When my turn actually came, I didn’t know it. It was huge box with snowman wrapping paper, and true to tradition, it was unmarked. I knew I HAD to have whatever it was… so one afternoon, I wrote my name on the paper and snuck out. The next day, on my daily visit to “my” box, I noticed my father had crossed out my name. I knew it was Dad – because beneath crossed out “Kelly,” was red-lettered “Dad”scribbled below.

This of course, meant war.

As Christmas approached, Dad’s name got crossed out. Jill’s name appeared. Then Jill got the “X,” and Gwen wrote her name. I reclaimed the box. My brother may have joined the action… But the crossing out continued until Christmas Eve.

On Christmas day, the actual tag appeared on the gift – taped above all the scratchy names of my sisters and “Dad.”

It said “Kelly.” I beamed triumphantly.


In case you’re wondering… The contents of the big box weren’t nearly as entertaining as the game my family played.

It makes sense that I grew up to appreciate the process of making things – far beyond what I actually create... because the real story is the process!



  • At 9:17 AM, Blogger Tiecen said…

    Yhat "Big Box" is such a great idea!

  • At 10:38 AM, Blogger Kell said…

    Yeah... and I got the BIG BOX this year too!

  • At 7:03 AM, Blogger Trixie said…

    We had a large sack/bag! Little did I know that over the last two decades (since I left home) the bag has died. This year I went home with a 4 ft metal rooster for my Mom and was hoping to use the sack/bag. I asked about it and learned it was no more :(

    So I wrapped it instead and it wasn't quite the same. Mom and I went out the day after Xmas to buy a new sack/bag. Just in case.

  • At 7:06 AM, Blogger Trixie said…

    Our favorite tradition evolved once we - girls - were old enough to buy our own gifts. I started stocking the stockings myself. My Mom and Dad always filled the stockings and they essentially knew what each other was buying for them. When I started adding things, it was so funny! Mom and Dad couldn't figure out where all the extra stuff was going from...It was a hoot! Took them about 3 years to figure out that it was the kids.

  • At 7:19 AM, Blogger Kell said…

    who'dve thunk, Trixie? Must've been the little elves! ha ha


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