Recalling Christmas parties and stuff

Our office Christmas party is tomorrow and it is supposed to get as warm as 78 degrees.  UGH! Christmas parties during work time remind me of  when I was in school and we'd begin our Christmas party at noon and have it last until school ended at three. Nothing ever got done that day. Lots of kids high on candy and excitement. To be honest it really isn't that different with my co-workers.

In 1979 my mother received a few gifts from her students that made such an impression on me I remember them to this day. I even remember where we were opening them how the Carpenter's Christmas album was playing. On the last day of school, before Christmas break, we'd help my mother open all the gifts she'd get from her students. This was super fun for us, there were always so many to open. Even though they were all for my mom we enjoyed tearing into the Christmas paper and finding total surprises.

One year my mother received a modern interpretation of the Virgin Mary done in what looked like amber colored glass. It was in fact all made from sugar. Interesting piece of work.  She had it on display in the house for a few months, maybe it was only a few weeks.  My brother and I eventually tried to eat the piece, all on the sly of course. It was ruined and then trashed. I remember it sticking to the side of the trash can.
That same year she received a shrug like sweater that at first looked like a thick scarf. I remember thinking the design was very clever. I wanted so much to wear it but it didn't fit. There were pen sets, lots of Whitman samplers and a Christmas brooch or two. She also received a cute, calico quilted traveling bag set with a brush and mirror.

What I remember most of all was the bright, turquoise tube top. I had never seen a tube top and when I first opened the gift I thought it was a purse of some sort. I picked it up and saw both openings, no strap, so I showed it to my mom and told her the mini skirt fit me. She laughed and said it's not a skirt, I then thought it must be a  large belt. When she explained what it was and how to wear it I was horrified. I had never seen my mother in anything strapless. I had never been in anything strapless, it was all sort of naked.  I can't recall who gave it to my mom anymore but whoever did must have wanted my mother to be comfortable and a bit more on the casual side. She said it could be modestly worn under a shirt too but she never wore that top, not even around the house. I would play with it wearing it as a skirt then wrapped it around several of my dolls and stuffed animals to keep them all together in this group hug sort of  position.

From what I hear not many schools do Christmas parties anymore. My teacher friends all get gifts but  no one seems to receive the mother load of chocolates, pen sets  and apparel my mother used to get. Shrugs and tube tops are still out there.



Anonymous Francesca said...

Those are some nice memories, the sugar sculpture (we once received a huge block of salt, which my son as a little boy always referred to as "our diamond"), and the tube top. We don't have a tradition here of giving teachers gifts.

Thursday, December 16, 2010  

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