Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Friday, January 6, 2012

Coming and going

Christmas and New Year have come and gone.  I didn't write about a Runnemede Christmas because there are several postings already on this BLOG about Christmas in my home in Runnemede.

However, I must mention my later Christmases in Runnemede -- when I was in college.  Alan was in Kenya at the time and I wanted to celebrate Christmas the same time as he did (8 hour time difference), so I figured he was opening his gifts in Kenya at 8 a.m. in the morning which was midnight our time.  So I made sure I opened my gifts at midnight.  I found out just this Christmas that Alan opened his presents on Christmas Eve, so I should have been opening my presents on Christmas Eve in the afternoon.

My dear family HAD to go along with this because -- well, just because they did.

Then in 1963 when Alan returned from Kenya. our first Christmas as a couple in the same town was one of the best Christmases I can remember.  Alan really went overboard and bought me a lot of presents.  Jewelry from Israel -- which he visited on his way home from Kenya -- a new jacket, which I wore out; a sweater; a hat and scarf and mittens; and if I remember a few other trinkets, like a couple of new charms for my charm bracelet. 

Alan set a precedent he couldn't keep up -- after that first Christmas, while I expected the same treatment the next Christmas, it wasn't to be.  Alan was a student at Rutgers and he was flat broke.  We both were.  The following Christmas his parents had returned from Kenya and we spent Christmas with them in Laurel Springs, instead of in Runnemede.  And that was my last Christmas in Runnemede because we were married the following summer.

That Christmas (1965) was pretty nice.  I had a job at Strawbridges in the evenings and I was working for a Philadelphia law firm during the day, so I was pretty much raking in the money which I spent lavishly.

For me the giving of gifts is the best part of Christmas.  I don't care what I get, or if I get anything at all, I get such pleasure out of giving presents to my husband, and in later years, and presently, giving gifts to my children and grandchildren.

And yes, I spend too much money.  But hey, it's just once a year.

The only thing I miss now days at Christmas is the ability to walk to the center of (a) town and window shop.  There is no main street in the town in which I live, just a bunch of strip malls on the  Pike.  And, oh, yes, I really miss the Christmas display at Wanamakers (I wrote about those trips in an earlier BLOG).

Hope you all had a great Christmas and that 2012 will be a great year for all.


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