Friday, December 25, 2009

"Chrismuh Gift........"

For years, my mother and her best friend, Addie Hoole,  have tried to outfox each other on Christmas Day by calling each other and trying to be the first one to say "Christmuh Gift" to each other.  The trick is if you can call EARLY enough (but not too early) you might catch the other person not awake enough to respond quickly enough when the phone rings.

We do it now, in our family.  When Mama or I call to speak to each other on Christmas morning, before she (the best Santa in the world) arrives at our house, it is a race to see who can utter the words first.

Jonathan and I even try to be the first to say it to each other on Christmas morning.

I don't know how this got started but it is always great fun...who's awake enough to remember to say it first!

The other day I got an email from Cheree Causey, with a story to tell about a family tradition in HER family, only it happens the day before, on Christmas Eve.

Her grandmother wouldn't say Merry Christmas on Christmas Eve, but would always just say "Christmas Eve Gift" and laugh, and laugh, and laugh.   They would ask her why but she would just laugh and laugh and laugh some more and never told them why she did it.

Now, their family does the same, and laughs, and laughs, and laughs, and remembers great times with her grandmother.

So here's the conundrum, for which I might to send Ben Windham off on one of his folkloric research excursions....Where did this come from?  How many families do this?  Is it a southern thing?  Does his mother, Kathryn Tucker Windham, know?  (If she doesn't, we may not ever know the answer.)

Which brings me around to stories.  You've got them.  Write them down.  Remember them, even if they seem silly to you.  You want those for you children, your grandchildren, their grandchildren.  They need to know their roots, where they came from, why they're like they are.

Give your families the "Christmuh Gift" of your stories, your life.



  1. Merry Christmas Penny!!!!
    Beth Duncan

  2. and Christmas Gift to you and yours! That is a traditional saying in my family too, but has sorta pooped out since my "maiden" aunt Sue died in 2002 and as the rest of my mother's sibs have passed on . It was a "Turner thing." I have never heard anyone else say it!
    Hope your day is blessed with many good prayers and thoughts.
    love mbd

  3. oh, and interestingly, I emailed Ben Windham your blog address last week! :)

  4. Merry Christmas Penny, What an inspiration you have always been to me, past and present. Loving your blog.
    Tammy Fitts

  5. Merry Christmas, Penny. I hope you are surrounded by people that love you!
    Sue Blanton

  6. Traditions like this are so fun. Laughter is my favorite Christmas gift!

  7. Hoping you and your family have a Merry Christmas and wishing you the best for 2010!

  8. Merry, Merry!!!!
    Hope your temp is down and you are feeling better! I might be a bit jealous of the fact that you are resting while I am "flippin' out" getting ready for the Christmas meal and all the company... .
    Love and prayers,
    Glenda, Taylor, Russell, and Daddy

  9. Priceless Penny! Merry Christmuf to you! Elizabeth


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