Even if you do not come with your own Christmas memory to share, please come and just relax. The music is playing (turn up your volume), the fire is burning, hot drinks are served, plenty of goodies for everyone, and throws are available to keep out the winter chill. Today warm hearts of friends gather sharing a quiet moment of Christmas together here in “My Quiet Corner“.
Oddly enough, I don’t have any concrete Christmas memories from childhood — just wisps of little things here and there. Many of them will probably come flooding back after I post here, just like I can’t think of anything when my family asks me what I want for Christmas, but I think of several things just after! 🙂
One of my favorite Christmas memories is the first one my husband and I shared as man and wife. We got married Dec. 21 in Houston during a Christmas break of college. I normally wouldn’t advise students to get married while still in school. But I only had 3 courses left (I was one who had crammed 4 years into 5…) and my husband had two semesters. His adviser had also advised us to get married and felt my husband could concentrate on his studies better if we were. That’s highly unusual for an adviser to say, too — but, hey, we took it. 🙂
Being poor and not having much time, we did not have a honeymoon, but that was all right: we were excited about heading back to SC and setting up housekeeping. We spent our first night at a nice hotel in Houston, then went over to my mom’s house the next day to load up my “stuff” out of my bedroom into a U-haul truck to drive back to SC. Unfortunately, something went wrong with our car, so we had to stay another night. Being poor still, we didn’t have money for another night at a hotel, so…we spent the night in my bedroom. That did seem more than a little strange, let me tell you!
I don’t remember what was wrong with the car, but my step-father is a great mechanic, and somehow he and Jim got the thing running, and we were on our way. I think we may have spent a night in a hotel along the way, because we ended up arriving in Greenville, SC, very late Christmas Eve. We contacted the university faculty member through whom we were renting a little mobile home and followed him out to our new place — it was his new place, too, as he had just bought it in order to rent it out to students. He invited us to the Christmas banquet the school was offering the next day to all the faculty, staff, and students who remained on campus. We gratefully accepted his invitation, unloaded just enough stuff to go to bed, and fell in.
Bright and early the next morning, Christmas morning, we heard a loud banging on our front door. We couldn’t figure out what in the world or who in the world it could be. My husband scrambled himself together enough to open the door when what should his wondering eyes behold but a short grey-haired man — with no beard, no red suit, and a decidedly unjolly expression.
It turned out to be the man who owned the mobile home park. He had not been told that anyone new was moving in, and furthermore, he did not allow renters. He was very upset. I don’t know how the transcation had occured between our landlord and the previous owners without taking into account the need to contact the landlord of the mobile home park — maybe they each understood the other was going to do that. I don’t remember exactly what Jim told him: something to the effect that we were sorry, we didn’t know, we’d have our landlord contact him.
When we met our landlord for lunch, we told him the dilemma. He went out to see the man and they worked it out amicably: the man would allow us to stay.
This man (whose name escapes me) was a little old man who shuffled when he walked and looked like he would be no physical threat to a puppy dog, yet he was one of those people who somehow exuded authority, who seemed to convey that you didn’t really want to mess with him. He lived next door to the mobile home park and drove through it several times a day keeping an eye on things. He had pretty strict rules (which we appreciated). After that inauspicious beginning, we got along really well. We tried to never give him any reason to regret allowing renters into his park. It was the nicest mobile home park I’ve ever seen — a lot of trees and space between homes. We lived there happily for seven years.
Back to that first Christmas: after everything was worked out between the two landlords, we unpacked and settled in. We celebrated Christmas a few days late. We had a little 2-foot artificial tree that had been my grandafther’s (I cringe to say it was aluminum, but we were happy with it at the time. 🙂 ) We shopped the after-Christmas sales for ornaments, decorations, and presents. Two of our ornaments were angels made out of candle wax (maybe they were supposed to be candles — we used them as ornaments) who looked like us: a boy angel with brown hair and a girl angel with blond hair. We put those up next to each other for years until they melted in the attic of our current home.
Despite the trouble of that first Christmas day together, we celebrated in newlywed euphoria and were very happy. We’ll be celebrating our 27th anniversary and Christmas together this year. 🙂
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