Monday, December 19, 2011

My Favorite Holiday Memories

by Diane Alberts

Christmas is about family, and love. Enjoying those closest to you, and spending quality time together. Of course, in all of that warm mushy-stuff, something notable always happens. Here are some lessons everyone should know, learned by me over the years:

Don’t stuff yourself: One Thanksgiving, my husband had just finished stuffing himself full at dinner, and needed to go to work at 11pm. My whole family was over, and we were playing poker. He sat down on the ground to put his shoes on, and we all heard a loud rip. Everyone froze, and turned to face him. Yup, he literally ate so much he burst out of his pants. I’ve seen people mention it. I’ve heard jokes about it. But, I’m here to tell you-it happens. Oh yes, it happens. And usually in front of a lot of people.

Never miss out on a singing opportunity: What happens when Mom is passed out on the couch, and her two daughters start singing along to Grease? Mom wakes up! Me and my sister decided to have an impromptu singing and dancing face-off to Grease, and my mom—who had been snoring on the couch moments earlier—jumped to her feet and joined in without missing a beat. So here the three of us are, dancing, making suggestive motions to the lyrics, and shaking our butts—when around the corner comes our new brother-in-law and his father. We look out the window to see them looking at us in the most confused manner—as if we were insane. Duh, you’d be insane NOT to dance to Grease! Even now, I bet you’re singing: Summer lovin’, had me a blast…
Boxers or briefs: Every Christmas morning, for as long as I can remember, my father has, and still does, wear a pair of satin Santa Claus boxers pulled all the way up to his armpits. Yes, I kid you not. It started because someone gave him a pair of boxers that were too big. He then pulled them up to his armpits to show just how big they were. We all cracked up, and insisted he keep them on. And, every Christmas since then, even after we all moved out and grew up, he puts them on when it’s time for presents. No one gets to open any presents until the boxers go on, ladies.

Don’t let the drunk eighty-year old carry your baby: My Grandmother—God Bless her!—loves to dip into the scotch at parties. I was downstairs, nursing my baby, and heard a huge bang, followed by my toddler crying. I watch my mom bolt to the stairs, yelling at my sister—who was 6 months pregnant with twins at the time—to get her pregnant self out of the way, watched my sister stumble back to the stairs, in her hate to move out of the way. I rip the nursing baby off my boob and take off after my mother as I’m attempting to shove my boob back into my shirt. I round the corner to find my Grandmother, laughing hysterically, and sitting in a bowl of cat food. My son is screaming like the crazy lady just tried to kill him in the safety of my husband’s arms, and my mom is steadying my sister while helping my Grandmother up to her feet. All while my boob is still not put back in my shirt completely.

Don’t stand in line for the hot toys:When me and my two sisters were children, the hot toy of the season was Cabbage Patch dolls. My mom was desperate to get them for us, and even went so far as to have my aunt, in Florida, stand in line for three hours to get them for us (we live in PA). After all the hassle, fighting, bickering, and shipping, we opened our presents Christmas morning—and never even played with them. All that hard work, tears, and sweat—for a discarded toy. Stick with something easier. Save everyone the trouble and heartache of an unloved toy.

Don’t pass gas at the dinner table:Especially when you’re meeting your girlfriend/boyfriends family for the first time ever. To this day, even though I’ve never seen my family member (who will remain unnamed so he/she doesn’t beat me—Love you!!) ever pass gas again, and was told he/she never does so…when we sit down for dinner as a huge family, we all mention it.

And last: We never forget. Every time we sit down to eat, we say: Let’s see if @!#$ rips his pants, and if !@$# farts again! And they both turn bright red. Every time. But it never gets old.

Giveaway: Like to knit? Well, I like to dye yarn! Enter below by telling me your favorite holiday lesson, and you can win a free skein of yarn. It will be custom dyed to your choosing of holiday colors! Red, green…or red white and green! Or, get even more fancy, and have a skein custom dyed to match one of my book covers! The sky is the limit! Prize, and shipping, are on me! Happy Holidays—and watch out!

And, for your viewing pleasure…a picture of a hot guy in Santa boxers. You’re welcome.
Diane Alberts is the author of: Kill Me Tomorrow, Reclaimed, and Escape to Me. You can visit her at


  1. I think the most valuable holiday lesson I've learned is to just keep my mouth shut, and just observe all the underlying drama. LOL

  2. From boxers up to the neck, dancing and singing, your family sounds so lovely! Thanks for sharing, Diane. Merry Christmas.

  3. God TOni - You said a mouthful! Diane - I loved your list! Merry Christmas.

  4. What a fun blog! The yarn is gorgeous and a great craft giveaway. Oh, and the cutie at the bottom? He reminds me of Jared Padalecki. Mmm. :-)

  5. I just loved your holiday memories and lessons learned.

    One of our first Christmases my husband decided to buy me a warm robe. While the idea was thoughtful, his choice was...well, okay, hideous. The robe was so thick, so heavy that it was too hot to wear for more than a minute. And it was bright blue with this wild plaid collar and tie. I'm sorry but it was really awful. I didn't say anything to hurt his feelings, but I think he noticed how seldom (maybe a couple of times) I wore it. He never tried buying me clothes of any kind again. I'm not sure who had the lesson here, maybe both of us. Me to be more specific about what I might want as a gift. Him to not trust his lack of fashion sense.

  6. Aren't the crazy Christmas stories the best? Who remembers the time everyone looked pretty at the table and nobody spilled a thing? This is also my favorite giveaway of all time! I'd better update my letter to Santa

  7. One year, my cousin said the turkey was dry. My grandmother was not amused! I learned to never say a word during dinner and just eat!

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  8. I love your story. I want to come celebrate with your family...LOL
    Our family never controls our mouths, so something is said every year. Makes it a fun gathering.
    Merry Christmas!!
    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  9. I ever do anything embarrassing. How dare you suggest otherwise!
    GREAT post and happy holidays!
    (I'd probably just hang myself with the yarn as I have no shopping done yet so give it to someone who will put it to better use!)

  10. ha ha ha ha... those were great. Our biggest holiday lesson is to always eat well before going to MIL's for thanksgiving dinner. In the past 6 years, we've only been well-fed when she hired a caterer. Wonderful person? Yes, she is. Great cook? ummmm.....

  11. LOL Thanks for the laughs! :) I remember the fuss over those Cabbage Patch Kids. My mom had someone in the loop, so didn't have to stand in line to get one for me.

    The most valuable holiday lesson I've learned is not to burn anything, or my brother-in-law will not let me forget. And also, make extra potatoes. It's better than not having enough. :)

    Merry Christmas!

  12. Why thank you for the hot guy in holiday boxers. I would love a custom dyed skein. I do not knit but a friend of mine does. I bet I can con her into making something cute for me.

  13. I'm glad my family is not the only one with these kinds of stories! One year my brother, who was 4 at the time, got on my lap as I'm in a wheelchair. He caught his foot on the joystick that makes the chair go forward and drove me into the kitchen table and tipped it over along with tipping me over. Luckily, my sister grabbed my brother off me before everything went flying. The only things on the table were the dishes so not too much damage was done. Thank heavens the food was safe!

    This is a wonderful gift you're giving away. My friend is a knitter and I'd love to win this for her.

    Happy Holidays!

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  14. Your stories are hilarious! Holidays really do provide the funniest family memories!

    I still have my Cabbage Patch doll. I remember my Grandmother looking every where for it!

    I think the lesson I learned was last week. My boys wore me down and I purchased the Elf on a Shelf. If I were to do it over I would have bribed them with a gift of their choice instead.


  15. My favorite holiday lesson? Not to hide one lot of presents in a place I'm likely to forget about. I only discovered the bag ten days later! Not that large a house but a very very cluttered attic. Still, the kids got Christmas twice.

  16. My favorite holiday lesson? Put together things before Christmas Eve or else you will be up all night putting together a Lil' Big Wheel when you really don't know what to do. Even better, if possible get them assembled at the store, lol.
    I love crocheting & knitting. The yarn is beautiful and I can definitely think of something to do with it.
    Have a wonderful Christmas!
    June M.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  17. Yarn <3!

    Great lessons. The holiday lesson I most value is that no tradition is carved in stone, and the best ones are the ones you create yourself. We quit doing stockings this year, but I did a 12 days of Christmas thing with the kids. They're enjoying it a lot more than they did the stockings with all that extra wrapping.