Tuesday, December 30, 2008

That left turn

A friend recently asked me what my favorite childhood Christmas gift was. To be honest, the only gifts I remember getting are the ones that were captured on home video and watched by me as an adult. I can remember making lists and desperately wanting things, but as far as what those things were, I have no idea. But, there are things that I can remember as clearly as if they happened yesterday...all of the holiday traditions from my childhood.

I grew up in a family of 5 kids. My father was "careful" with his money and we did not go out to eat often when I was young. So when we did, it was a big deal. Every year in December my parents would load the 5 of us into the minivan and we would go out to dinner and then drive around and look at the holiday lights. We did it once a December...without fail.

After dinner we would all beg our parents to take us to Friendly's for dessert...also a big treat for us. My father would always say no, that we could have dessert at home. We would all groan and beg him to take us. Then, just as he was approaching the street where Friendly's was, at the height of our begging, he would quickly put on his turn signal and make that left turn. The car would erupt in cheering and yelling and bouncing up and down.

It happened like that every year, and every year he made that left turn. I can remember cheering as if it was yesterday.

I recently read an article in the paper where a dad said that he would have to buy less presents for his kids this year and how he felt bad about that. You know what?.....they probably won't remember the "stuff" anyway, but be sure to make that left turn....that is something that they'll remember.

7 comments:

Mabry's gamma said...

Sarah,

You are so right about kids not remembering stuff but remembering those special moments or traditions.
We didn't have a dishwasher growing up and I remember my older sister and mom washing and drying dishes by hand and singing Christmas carols.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!

Cheri

spirit_in_me said...

That is such a great story Sarah thanks for sharing.
One present really sticks out in my head. I was 8 or 9yrs old and was in the hospital and my roomate had a game boy and I had never seen one before. She let me play it and I had so much fun and thought how lucky that girl was to have such a great toy and thought her parents must have been rich or something. That christmas my parents bought me one. It was sooo out of their character and way out of their price range but they bought it for me anyways. I still have it and it means so much to me even to this day.

Laura said...

Oh, that is so sweet! You are so on the money, lots of my memories do not include the presents but the time spent with family.

Laura :)

Sandy Toes said...

Happy New Year to you!!!
-sandy toe

BeachRunner said...

Great post. Friendly's was a great place growing up, but the service was BRUTAL! Happy new year and all the best in '09.

Nicole said...

What a sweet memory, thanks for the reminder that the memories are what is really important.

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