Murdo Girl…Christmas secrets


When my brother Billy was a little boy, he told Dad, “I’m not going to tell you what I got you for Christmas, but you’re not going to have to use that old knife anymore.”

One Christmas, I was determined that Mom’s Christmas present from me was going to be the biggest one under the tree and it was. It was a plastic laundry basket. I remember how hard it was to wrap. The paper must have cost much more than the huge basket did.

1-Loretta Gustafson's Life in Photos 013
The fireplace where Billy and I hung our stockings

One of my co-workers told about her grandson standing in line to sit on Santa’s lap. It was a rather long line, and the child was somewhat perturbed by the time his turn came. Santa of course asked him what he wanted Santa to bring him. The little guy sighed and said, “I just told you last week at the mall, plus I wrote you a letter. I’m not telling you again.” Poor Santa. Poor embarrassed mommy.

Remember Suzy?

My oldest son was four, when we traveled from Wyoming to Draper, SD to spend Christmas with his grandparent’s. At the very top of his letter to Santa was a spider-man bike. We were so proud that Santa was going to make his wishes come true. Santa’s helpers spent a long time putting the bike, (complete with training wheels), together. We were all excited to watch him discover the shinny new bike under the tree Christmas morning. He was so happy! He said, “Look! Look! my spider-man bike!” He then looked around the room and said, “Where’s all the rest of my stuff?”

Our daughter’s husband Scott loves being Santa’s Helper

That’s the danger of writing letters to Santa. I guess Mom and Dad didn’t make it clear that you give Santa a list of “ideas.” That way there will still be the element of surprise. Besides, Santa can’t always find, I mean, the elves can’t always make what’s on the list…in time.

I called my son Craig yesterday and told him what we had gotten his 5 yr old daughter. He said, “Oh good, she’ll love it.” I asked him to spread the word around so no one else will get it for her. He said, “They won’t mom. You’re the only one I told she wanted it.” I said, “You didn’t tell me she wanted it.” There was a moment if silence on the other end. I knew he was trying to remember who it was he did tell.

This year, our three year old grandson, Hudson asked for a Christmas tree, so I guess there will be a Christmas tree under the Christmas tree.


Our son’s wife Amy looks great in a Santa hat, but it needs something…A crown?

 I’m hoping as you read this, you will be thinking of your own favorite Christmas memories and funny stories.

Our Christmas Eve tradition is to draw numbers for a Chinese gift exchange. One year, our granddaughter Nikki got some lip gloss, which was something she really wanted to keep. Someone else took her gloss, so Nikki had to choose another unopened gift. It was a Santa Claus mug. When I was growing up, I loved my Santa mug and drank hot chocolate from it every Christmas morning. When I saw the long face, I said, “Nikki don’t you like your Santa mug?” She said, “I don’t usually drink from things with faces on them.” We have never let her forget that, and every year someone usually gives her another Santa mug.


I wish I had time to look through all the Christmas pictures we have so I could look through them and decide which one has been the most special. The truth is, in some small way, they have all been the most special .


My memory twig is decorated with things that have special meaning to me, like the close pin reindeer and plaster ornaments the kids made years ago.

I know many of us are also reminded of loss during the holidays. I read a quote in my friend Judy’s blog the other day that meant something to me.

“Everything has a crack in it. That’s how the light gets in.” Love and blessings to all of you this Christmas.


8 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…Christmas secrets

  1. scoper07 December 19, 2016 / 6:01 pm

    Your heart was in the right place making sure your mom’s present was the biggest! Nice memories. Here is a Christmas Story that comes to mind:

    The kids were getting old enough that we we never buying the right gift so we decided to just give cash. That way it was their fault if they didn’t like it.

    I usually liked to fool the kids by wrapping lots of gifts as gags. I would wrap a box with a piece of wood inside. One Christmas every child had a small present under the tree. They had sad faces as they each unwrapped their small box of Milk Duds. No one said anything but grumbles could be heard. One of the kids thought they might as well make the most of it so they started eating the candy. All of a sudden there was a shriek as the child uncovered some large currency. Everyone dug through their candy and ended up liking their monetary gift. We had them going for a little while.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch December 19, 2016 / 6:27 pm

      I love hearing other peoples Christmas stories 07. That was a great one!I’ll bet they had fun shopping.


      • scoper07 December 19, 2016 / 10:30 pm

        Yes. We had to go shopping the next day. The money was burning a hole in their pockets.


  2. Patti December 19, 2016 / 5:31 pm

    Thanks for bringing a smile to my face.


  3. countrygirl57 December 19, 2016 / 8:12 am

    Another great story. I guess there is always one in the house who can’t keep a secret!!πŸ™„

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  4. lifelessons December 19, 2016 / 12:22 am

    My favorite Xmas story is the year Santa gave dad 3 bantam roosters.. but I’ve already told you that story. Can’t think of any others. Loved all of your Xmas stories, this one, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mary Francis McNinch December 19, 2016 / 8:43 am

      Thanks Judy. I don’t remember the rooster story..I love the quote I read in your blog. I hope things have settled down some for you today.

      Liked by 1 person

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