Wednesday, November 28, 2012

An Underoos Christmas

Christmas memories from my childhood bring me so much joy! Growing up in the 70's and 80's meant I had first dibs on some of the best toys ever invented, the funnest catalogs to browse, the coolest Christmas ornaments and the best Christmas displays around.

Here I am getting my very first Strawberry Shortcake doll for Christmas! This was probably right around 1980 to be exact. This was a FABULOUS Christmas. I was at my Dad's house for my bi weekly visit. My brother was there too. That is my loving Grandma behind me there in the photo. This Christmas not only did I get my wonderfully scented Strawberry Shortcake doll, I also got my first, and only, set of Underoos! I had Wonder Woman and I remember jumping up and down with excitement to get them! I tried them on immediately and thought I was the bomb diggity. You can see from the next photo that my big brother also got something quite trendy and very 80's....a Stretch Armstrong! And here he is playing tug o war with my Stepmom.

Another wonderful Christmas was not long after this one. This one was at my Mom's house. We went to bed on Christmas Eve and couldn't wait to wake up and run down the stairs to find our presents! The same stairs mind you, that my brother tumbled down once after watching the movie Jaws! We watched that movie and he went upstairs to go to bed and saw where my Mom had placed her mannequin head on the bannister ledge. It scared the wits out of him and after a shriek he went tumbling down!! Good times....Anyway, this year we ran down those stairs to our tree and to dig into our Snoopy stockings and before my wondering eyes did appear.....A Barbie dream Winnebago! Oh my this was the gem of all gems. It had a shower, a kitchen, bedroom you name it it was pimped out!

By the time I lived with my Dad full time, the 80's were in full swing! Our local mall was called Antioch Shopping Center. I would grow up having many lifelong memories from that mall. I went there regularly my whole childhood. Shopping, bowling and as a teen and young twenty, I had jobs there! I loved Morrow's nut house, it had the best macadamia and cashew nuts! This is also the mall I told you about in an earler blog where I attended the Hubba Bubba bubble blowing contest! But the best time to go to Antioch mall....was at CHRISTMAS!! I'm telling you it was old school magic! The winter wonderland was a looooong stretch of glistening white. White snow, white reindeer, white railing and white plastic chain link to keep you out of the magical area. It had giant presents with bows and then of course Santa's seat. It was such a wonderful place to be. I sure wish I had a photo to share with you but my 110 camera was probably out of film at the time ;)

In closing I would be doing you a major disservice if I did not describe to you THE most magical place to be during Christmas and that was at Penguin Park. The park I grew up going to my whole life. The park with the giant penguin, elephant, giraffe, wobbly bridge, fire had it all. And at Christmas it was transformed literally into a winter wonderland! Everything was lit up with Christmas lights, giant presents were added, Santa's workshop appeared and my favorite thing of all, there was a giant Santa hat atop the mighty Penguin's head!

Now I realize I am very  blessed to have such wonderful memories of Christmas. I know so many who do without. That makes my memories even more treasured to me. But please understand the reason I place so much value on my memories is because I also had a lot of sadness in my childhood. So these magical moments in time made it all worth while!


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