A Special Christmas and Pink Squirrels

Grandma Kc wrote this on January 10th, 2015 17 Replies

This is a special memory from my own childhood.

My second trip back to Michigan from California was in the December of 1970. It was my first Christmas with my new family. I wish I could find where I have put all of the pictures from that trip but all of it is forever captured in my mind. Not only did we celebrate Christmas, we celebrated my 21st birthday, Dad’s birthday and went to a bunch of holiday parties.

We hadn’t told Sandy and John that I was coming. Daddy picked me up at the airport on their last day of school before Christmas vacation. I can still see the look on Sandy’s face when she walked into the front room and saw me sitting there. At first, she looked so confused. You know how it is when you see someone where they don’t belong, kind of a Twilight Zone effect! When it finally sunk in that it was really me, we both screamed and she gave me the best hug ever!

John walked in after her; he wasn’t nearly as thrilled to see me! John and I didn’t always relate the way that Sandy and I did but we did have one big bonding moment that trip. John was in Boy Scouts and he and Daddy had built a car to enter in the Race Car Derby. It was fun going as a family and even more fun when they asked me to be one of the judges. While he would never admit it, I think John was proud to have me as his sister that night. I know I was proud to be his big sister.

Sandy and I shared her room for the next week and had fun being sisters! HOURS were spent lying under the sun lamp that Daddy had. Don’t know why he owned it and it really didn’t work that well but we had fun lying under it, reading magazines and talking. There may have been some instant tanning lotion incident, too. I seem to remember Sandy’s hands turning kind of orange.

OH and there were the cookies! Sandy and I decided to make Christmas cookies. It was a good thing they lived in town at that time as Sandy and I had to walk back to the store twice to get more powdered sugar. There was not one inch of counter space in that kitchen that didn’t have frosted cookies on it. We even had them on top of the washer and dryer. I have no idea why we made so many but I do remember they were very good and as always, we had a blast doing it together.

Then there were the parties! Being there in December I got to go with Mom and Dad to both of their company Christmas parties. Sandy and John didn’t go to these as they were grown up parties – but I did! It is hard to explain the emotions of it all. Mom and Dad were both so proud and excited to introduce me to all of their friends. I was so excited to be with them and to feel such love.

We had a family party to celebrate Daddy and my birthdays. Dad and Mom bought me a beautiful turquoise and gold ring and we had a huge chocolate bakery cake topped with poinsettias! It was probably the only time I didn’t hate having a December birthday. I even liked having a Christmas themed cake.

But I must say the best of the holiday parties is the one I remember the least! Mom and Dad were having a Christmas party at their house for some friends. I don’t remember where Sandy and John were that night and I don’t think there were any other kids there. The house was decorated and we were all dressed up fancy. It was Mom, Aunt Phyllis and me waiting for Daddy and Uncle Dick to get there before all the quests. Daddy and Uncle Dick both worked for Consumers Power Company and of course it was snowing extremely hard that day and both of them were still out working. Mom decided to make a pitcher of Pink Squirrels for the three of us to sip on while we waiting for everyone else. A Pink Squirrels is crème de cocoa, crème de almond and heavy cream blended with ice. It tastes very much like a liquid centered chocolate covered cherry. It sure didn’t taste like alcohol. We sipped, chatted, and lost track of time and the number of sips! We were on our third pitcher when Daddy walked in. I just remember him saying, “So you decided to start without me.” I don’t remember many of the details after that! I do remember Daddy playing the organ while his friend Bill played the guitar and we all laughed sang.

It was a wonderful trip filled with lots of wonderful memories.

17 thoughts on “A Special Christmas and Pink Squirrels

    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      It was absolutely the best December of my life! I am so glad that I got a chance to make up for so much lost time with both my Dad and all of my other relatives.

      Reply
  1. Joyce

    Sandy is such a sweetheart! She embraced you as a real sister without question, and the result has been a lifetime of affection in return for both of you.
    Your story reminded me of those years from college through the first one married when Christmas starts to lose its fun, unless you decide to make it for yourself. You, Sandy and John took care of that problem very well!
    My mother had a tanning lamp. She’d line us up on beach towels and cautioned us to keep our eyes tightly closed. Not sure what the reason was though. We never felt we needed tanning in the winter!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I can’t believe your mother put you guys under a tanning lamp!

      Sandy and I often talk about the fact that the best present Dad ever gave us was each other. I just wish we lived closer together. I am really hoping 2015 holds a trip to Michigan in it for me.

      Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Sandy certainly made up for the closeness I didn’t have with my real sister. The older we got the further apart we grew. Sandy and I really do have something special.

      Reply
  2. Launna

    Oh Kc, this made me cry with how happy this memory sounded… I am so glad you had this time with you dad and other family… what a wonder treasure of memories… xox

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Thank you, Launna. I feel so lucky to have gotten a second chance with my Dad and all of my relatives. Not all kids are so lucky!

      Reply
  3. Sandy

    Oh my gosh, I’m crying but they are happy tears! You brought back some wonderful memories I’d forgotten about .. the cookies we baked (we must have been baking while Mom was working if we had to walk to the store) – the crazy tanning lamp (I can feel the warmth of it on my face) – the Boy Scout Car Derby, I’d forgotten you got to judge that – the big birthday celebration for you and Dad. It was one of the best Christmases ever and I can’t believe we don’t have pictures!!! I need to go in Mom’s basement and do some digging around.

    I have to add a bit about Mom and Dad’s parties – and the many pink squirrels that were made in our house (which I have to say I got to enjoy when I finally got old enough – and they are yummy!) Mom and Dad had a wonderful circle of friends/family who liked to get together and go dancing as often as they could – usually at the local Elks club or the American Legion. After they’d danced the night away, they were hungry and there weren’t a lot of places to eat at 2:00 a.m., so they often ended up back at our house where they would cook a huge breakfast for everyone. While the girls were cooking, the guys were usually in the music room (we had a piano and organ in there) and Dad would play the only song he knew by heart – “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue” – as loud as the organ would play!! And many times over, too! I think he had the men singing along with him. On at least one occasion, they woke me up and asked me to come down and play the piano for them!! So downstairs I go in my jammies – half awake – surrounded by a dozen or more happily intoxicated family/friends to play them some music. All they wanted was a song or two and they acted like I was the most amazing pianist they’d ever heard!! All the laughter and hilarity stopped while I played for them and they all stood around the piano listening. It was kind of funny to me even back then! But I also felt so honored that I could do such a simple thing and make them all so happy.

    Thank you for bringing back such wonderful memories for me, Kc! We were very blessed to have a house filled with love and affection. Not that we didn’t have our temper tantrums and arguments especially when those painful teenage years came around for John and I, but even then, we knew we were loved very much.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Mom and Dad were lucky to get me after my teenage years of rebellion were behind me — but you and John made up for it! You were so lucky to have them raise you. They were such great parents.

      Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Sandy was so lucky to have Mom and Dad from the time she was about eleven. They were wonderful parents — a great team and that house was so full of love. I am so glad I got to be part of it all again and that I ended up with such an awesome sister.

      Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I really am so lucky to have all of them. Our Dad has been gone for almost 20 years but I still have Mom and Sandy and all the wonderful memories!

      Reply

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