What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I'm Dreaming of a White Crushed Velvet Christmas

When I was a kid, we had a formal living room. We only went in it on Christmas Eve that I can remember. It was part of the dining room which we used every day, but we never used the living room. It was fuh-ancy. I am going to describe it to you and you will laugh and guffaw at the thought of it. But, it was absolutely beautiful in it's full 1970's style. First of all, on the floor, we had wall to wall avacado green shag carpeting. It was so deep that when I stood on it, or rather, in it, my feet disappeared into it. The walls were covered in dark paneling, of course. Our couch and chairs were white crushed velvet. I don't remember the brand as I was just a kid, but I know that those were the kinds of couches and chairs they use to make that lasted forever. When they got outdated, you just recovered them. Now you just go buy a new couch or chair. Let's see, back to the crushed white velvet couch. We had red and white brocade velvet throw pillows and a beautiful red slag glas hanging lamp in the corner. It hung from the celing by a very thick gold chain. There were heavy wooden end tables and a matching coffee table with thick black slate tops. At one time, the only knick knacks in the room were a set of white alabaster birds from Home Interiors. They got terribly dusty after quite some time and my Mama decided to give them a good overnight soak in the sink. In the morning, they had completely disappeared! And, there were houseplants. Lots and lots of big houseplants. Very, very nice and very, very 1972.

On Christmas Eve, I would take my bath and put on my nightgown and robe and then we would gather in the living room to open presents. We always have done it on Christmas Eve, and I really don't know why. But, we still do. Just the fact that I was in the living room made it a special night. I felt like I was at a cocktail party at the ripe old age of seven! It was just me, my Mama and my Daddy back then. But we always had special holidays, just the three of us. I remember the tree, opening presents, having a glass of eggnog (But not in the living room, are you crazy? Drinks near the white velvet couch? On, no, no no!), leaving milk and cookies for Santa and hurrying off to bed in anticipation of Santa'a arrival. On Christmas morning my stocking would be too full and heavy to be hanging on the brick wall, so it would be laying on the table. Lots of goodies in my stocking including a big fat orange.

I don't really remember a specific Christmas present that I ever got, I just remember having Christmas. And, I think that is what is important. Family, fun and tradition. No matter what the traditions are - silly, goofy or just sitting on the crushed white velvet couch for one night - they are important.

My little family has traditions. My Raggedy Ann and Andy ornaments from my childhood fo right there on the tree every year. No where but right there. There are magic snowy footprints leading from the front door to The Bean's stocking every year. Is he too old for that now? Probably. Will I do it anyway? Most certainly. Santa always leaves a big Hershey Bar in the stocking. One of those big $1.79 ones. We write silly things on the "To: and From" portion of the gift tags. Silly little clues as to what might lie within the package or just generally goofy nicknames. Thee's always something silly under the tree for everyone. You might open an MP3 player first, but then you might open a jiggly boob girl for your car dashboard (Hope my Dad likes it!). Nice things tend to cost money, so we fill in with silly fun things to make the opening last longer. Silly gift circa Christmas 2006.

Enjoy your traditions
Merry Christmas!


  1. Thanks for sharing your Christmas story with us, I can visualize your family Christmas gathering to a tee. :) It brings me back to my Grandparents house with their ultra dark wood paneling, avocado green carpet (and stove & fridge), dark wood coffee table and the ever changing sofa and chair (with plastic underneath) but a new furniture cover just about every year over top.

    We always opened gifts on Christmas Eve morning at Mom's because we would go with my Dad on Christmas Day.

    Happy Holidays to you :)

  2. speak português?
    I dont spead Ingles.
    good morning.


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