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Got a good reason For taking the easy way out

Matushka, Babuska, Matryoshka, Matryoshka and Matrjochka...

...and a HoTei [to read more about the 'real' person use the link provided]. When I was a young married wife, pregnant with Irene, Bud and I celebrated our first Christmas together. I remember driving into Northglenn, Colorado to go shopping for him with my sister and mother. They doted on me with my pregnancy...took care that I wouldn't be stranded alone or having to worry about their 'little girl/little sister'. So we made a day of it. Let me tell you, about along December of that year [1968] I was finally getting over the continual bouts of 'morning sickness' tho, it wasn't just in the morning. Before the holidays, just about anything I ate, even if I didn't eat, I was in the john talking to "Ralph" know...upchucking. Finally I had some long awaited relief. In fact to the point I was beginning to enjoy being pregnant. My father, he too doted on me. Continually watching over me. After all, I WAS his 'baby girl'....I always was and still am. But, suffice the little trivial facts, the three of us women went shopping. I knew Bud was really into 'Oriental' things. Most times in the Navy that was his ship's the Orient. In Northglenn, at the time, there was a really cool shop of Imports. I found exactly what I was going to get him. What I decided to buy him was extremely heavy. Made of teak wood. And large. And as dumb as we all were [all three of us were blond!], we bought then and there, and toted it around all the time we were in the mall. Why we didn't put it in the car, I will never know. But, we didn't. After a day of more shopping in other malls around Denver, we made it back to my home and we unpacked the stuff from the trunk that was my purchases. My sister stayed with me -- she helped me wrap the package and we decided to drive to mom's and hide it there. While I lingered at home, they thought it would be a good idea for Bud and me to have dinner at their place. [My sister was single] We made a huge batch of spaghetti, I remember that. And for a few more weeks my little surprise for Bud was kept secret. In fact up until Christmas Eve. Bud and I celebrated our first Christmas together, quietly, on Christmas Eve. Plans were to spend a couple of hours at his folks house in the morning, then spend the rest of the day with the huge Anni Family. It was traditional!!! The whole day and into the evening at my folks. It kept up as that tradition until a few years before they passed away. I so often think of that wonderful time of year with everyone from mom/dad, sister and brothers, their spouses and children...and friends. Sometimes relatives would show up from Nebraska and spend a week with my folks! It was a glorious time and a wonderful, joy filled memory. But let me get back to my first gift that I gave to was a very large, heavy, imported teak HoTei. If you rub his belly, it would bring anyone good luck. He was surprised, happy, and very grateful. And...after 41 years, Bud still has HoTei. He's in a special place now. [Through the years, and two rowdy kids, and many many dogs and cats, somehow one of his bare feet got broken...and it's still glued from the one time repair job]. This photo to the right is where he stands today. And this big guy was the beginning of many many Christmases together, and many gifts yet to come-------

- - -

Speaking of gifts. I do believe that was the first year that my family's Santa fetish turned into a huge collection for me. It all started when I decorated our first tree as husband and wife, and I put up the Santa ornament, telling Bud that this was mine as a child. I told him how my father was when I was just a child, helping me hang my own personal ornaments, including this particular Santa, which I posted about on my Home 4 the Holiday post through the meme links button on my sidebar..."Ho Ho Ho...hes here" link once you visit the meme links---it's the very last picture in the slideshow. Another of my childhood memorable ornaments I will write about tomorrow for Ruby Tuesday. [stay tuned] Jealousy kicked in...he felt he was in competition with my Dad. He didn't show it, but I felt it. For from that time on, he always bought me a Santa or two every Christmas. I still don't let it on that it all began with the male competition, but it did!! Once he started giving me Santas, then, the whole family the way, we were never 'big' on gift giving...we always drew names after the Thanksgiving we adults would only be having to buy ONE gift. Well, whoever drew my name had it Anni a Santa...and it grew into a collection of nearly 200 today....Anyway, being that he was young and 'macho' the tradtional Santa giving still continues... the Americanized name, "Nesting Dolls", I have a couple. And they're both Santa Claus. Go figure, huh? Actually, the Russian names are origins of being 'matron' or matronly. I don't think the 'big fat guy in red' would appreciate this, but what I have is on the same principal as the Russian dolls/German-Russian translations....

This Nesting Set I've had since about 1997. Bought 'em in Tucson...actually a day we went down to Nogales, Old Mexico to shop for unique Christmas gifts to send to our daughter. Most nesting dolls should either have 4 or 5 all together of larger going to the smallest, whole doll. And, mostly of the female persuasion...older women.

...and this set is the newest I bought just the other day. We went to walk about in the larger indoor mall. We sat near the "Polar Express" exhibit and watched the little ones sit on Santa's lap for pictures and secret wishes while eating a small bag of popcorn. When that was done, I ventured into Macy's and found this nesting set. I liked this one particularly 'cause it has a pom-pommed hat. Bud also bought me another for my collection, and I'll post about that another time. Soon.

It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.
~W.T. Ellis

POSTED: Monday, December 7th, 2009
12:50 A.M.

Today is Pearl Harbor Day!


  1. Enjoyed this post.

  2. I loved your Christmas story. The statue is beautiful and all of the Santas are great.

    Giant Crickets Invade Norway

  3. I love the hotei and the nesting santa's! So cute. I have some nesting dolls from Russia. My sister and her husband adopted 2 girls from there and brought me the matroiska back!

  4. Looks like you were strolling memory lane this morning too - I was also, but not on purpose. Sounds lovely, your first Christmas. B : )

  5. that is beyond sweet. that you remember. that he still has it. to be honest, i cannot even remember what i gave my man for our first christmas together, shame on me.

  6. Hi Anni! Thanks for stopping by for Fun Monday grousing about holiday music that doesn't "Sing" in our hearts. What a great story about shopping for Bud's special holiday gift from the orient. He must love it to have kept it safe for over 40 years. And how typical that it would not occur to the shoppers to put the gift in the car and go on with shopping.

    I too love those stacking dolls. That's the gift I bring my sister whenever I travel. I want to inherit her collection. :-)

  7. Anni,

    What an awesome post about your first Christmas with Bud. I love the Hotei. He is adorable and I'm glad Bud still has him.

    Your nesting Santas are cute. I've never seen nesting Santas before.

    Enjoyed your memories. Made me think of a few of my own. Have a wonderful day.

  8. Hi Anni! Oh, this was a fun post! Thanks for popping in to see me and love those little nesting Santas! I have a collection of the Russian dolls.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  9. I loved reading about your Christmas adventures, Anni. It helps us to get to know you better.

  10. Anonymous12/07/2009

    Loved reading this. Thank you for sharing this. It's just awesome. :)

  11. Great Answers. I enjoy reading your blog. :)