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And The Winner is -Rudolph! 

And The Winner is -Rudolph! 

Holidays always bring back memories, whether good or bad, real or altered. I try not to dwell on the memories best forgotten, but focus on the ones that bring joy. There’s always a little bit of joy in every memory if you dig deep enough. 

My very earliest memory of Christmas is when I had just turned four. Daddy thought it was a wonderful idea for me to leave my bottle under the tree for Rudolph. Egads! Yes! At four I was still attached to that bottle and even remember making it myself. That was probably because my mother was busy making bottles for my little brother. I can imagine her saying, “If you want it, make it yourself.”

I’m sure at the time this was one of those not-so-happy memories with me tugging in one direction and Daddy pushing me in the other.  Waking up Christmas morning, my bottle had disappeared from under the tree. Rudolph had won the battle and had warm milk for a late night snack. Was I happy for him? I don’t remember. Probably not. I wonder how long it took Daddy to convince me this was for the best. 

The joy in this memory is all my mothers. She had one less chore on her hands of keeping up with bottles for a four-year-old. 

What’s your earliest Christmas memory? 

I think back now and this must have been the last Christmas we spent in Oakdale before the great homesteading adventure,  because I was four when we set out on that journey to Alaska. 

You can read about the Alaskan homesteading adventure in Coffee-Drunk or Blind on Amazon in print or Kindle editions. 

About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

3 responses »

  1. A Merry Christmas to you, Elle! Lets see, my earliest Christmas memory? It was getting to go down to the fire station where my dad worked, and they had decorated the whole station for Christmas—they had done it for years. What a sight! My description will never do it justice. Anyway it was a station with two arching garage doors with pine tree trimmings and multi-colored lights mingling in them. The roof of the station was trimmed in multi-colored lights as well. But the coup de gras was the enormous snow covered mountain which took up the entire front lawn. I remember it was white and had silver glitter sprinkled all over it, with pulleys taking skiers down the mountain, and an entrance up top that reflected light off of tinfoil in the ice cavern. The whole mountain had a color wheel concealed that sprayed the peak with an array of different colors. There was this little village at the bottom, right out of Charles Dickens (with all the little windows lit with a warm yellow glow), and a miniature ice skating rink. The lawn area was trimmed with giant candles, all lit. The huge pine trees on each side of the driveway were lighted magnificently with white lights. My dad told us that they would start assembling the wooden scaffolding, under the mountain, around Thanksgiving so that they could open the exhibit by December 1st. The other side of the driveway had a merry-go-round, lighted and carrying Disney characters. Inside the garage the trucks were bathed in a blue hue, and between the two driveway arches was this big book, where visitors could sign, It dated back to the 1920’s when the firefighters first started doing the Christmas display. Sadly they stopped doing the whole thing in the early 1980’s, when they decided to widen the road in front of the station—taking out the lawn. At least we were able to take our oldest daughter to see the place just before they stopped. She still remembers it. It was spectacular! :O)

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