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Every year, thousands of television viewers wax nostalgic over the fat Christmas goose Mr. Scrooge generously dispatches to the house of Bob Cratchit on Christmas morning.

Yet, I’ll lay ten turkeys on a wager if that goose ended up at their house instead, it would receive an entirely different sort of welcome.

The notion of seasonal fowl harks me back to the year I was seven years old when my mother was gifted with a live chicken, purchased from a local farmer. That chicken frenetically ran circles in our basement for hours, squawking bitterly. Finally, it hid behind the old mangle-style washer, until one of our male guests gave it a merciful wringing of the neck.

My brother, sisters and I were concealed at the top of the stairs to watch the feathers fall like snow. However, after seeing the contents that issued from the bird’s bowel upon its demise, we later unanimously begged for macaroni and cheese at dinner.

When I asked some later life mom friends to share their 1960’s childhood Christmas nostalgia for the blog, I heard about how some got Christmas “goosed”.

Fifty-two-year-old Lynn—mother of toddler, Kyle—related to me a similar story.

“One Christmas, my grandmother won a live goose playing bingo at the local church,” she recalls.

“Granny kept that goose in her basement for a few weeks to fatten it up.  That goose was huge and I was afraid to go downstairs.”

“I remember sitting at the top of the basement stairs while Granny loaded the clothes washer with the goose at her side.  Then it would follow her around while she hung the clothes on the line in the basement to dry,” she continues.

“Christmas day was spent at Granny’s,” says Lynn. ‘I don’t remember eating the goose—I opted for the turkey instead!”

Catherine—a 57-year-old Canadian who manages a website for later life women trying to conceive (http://www NULL.borntolove NULL.com)—recalls a seasonal tale from the same book.

‘When I was 10 years old, my stepfather won a goose in a Christmas raffle,” she says.

“We thought it would be a frozen bird—but it was alive.”

At the time, Catherine’s family had lived in a very old house where the only bathroom was in the basement.

“On Christmas eve, I woke up and needed to go,” she remembers.

“I called to my mom, but she said ‘no’ at first because I would have to pass through the living room where the tree and all the presents were.”

“’But, I r-e-a-l-l-y need to go!’, I told her.”

When she was finally permitted downstairs, her mother warned Catherine not to peek, or Santa would remove all of her presents.

As she crept down the stairs in the dark, she tried to walk with her eyes closed as she passed through the living room, but kept bumping into things.

“I just opened my eyes a crack,” she says. “Then I saw a large chalkboard under the tree! I was so excited, I had always wanted one!”

She ran to the basement door, but the light over the stairwell had blown out. Catherine braved another walk in the dark, down the old, creaky wooden stairs.

“When I reached the bottom, I saw the bathroom light was on in the distance, but a terrible honking noise was coming from inside!” says Catherine.

“I thought, oh no! They knew that I peeked and left a monster to eat me up!”

She wanted to run back upstairs and hide in her bed, but the forces of nature were implacable—she must go.

So, she crept towards the bathroom door and peeked in….

“There, in the bathtub, was a live goose, honking and flapping his wings.” It was the fastest I ever went—I was convinced he was going to bite me!”

As she ran upstairs to the safety of her bedroom, Catherine swore she’d never to the bathroom on Christmas Eve again.

Notes for this blog:

Please post your childhood Christmas story in the Comments section of this blog! Were you Christmas goosed? Do you have a nostalgic tale? A special wish for your child? We’d love to read it!

Angel La Liberte is the founder of the website Flower Power Mom.com—The Truth About Motherhood After 40 (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/) (www.flowerpowermom.com (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/)), featuring commentary, real mom stories and expert advice about motherhood after 40. She actively advocates for more supportive attitudes towards women having children in midlife and to raise awareness of the real issues related to later life motherhood.

Angel also hosts “A Child After 40”, an online community to empower all women on the journey of motherhood after 40. To join, go to: http://www.achildafter40.com/a-child-after-40-online/ (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/a-child-after-40-online/)

Angel gave birth to her children at 41 and 44 after conceiving naturally. For her full story, go to: http://www.achildafter40.com/my-story/ (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/my-story/)

3 Responses to Getting Goosed At Christmas

  1. Michelle says:

    They are the funniest goose stories I’ve ever read.

  2. InSeason Mom Cynthia (http://www NULL.inseasonmom NULL.org) says:

    I thought I was the only child of 1960s era who had “a wringing of the chicken neck” experience. I had buried that memory so deep that I actually forgot about it! When I think about Christmas as a child, I can taste the hard sweet candies in different colors and shapes. The candies along with big red apples and oranges overflowed in my brown paper grocery bag, which I decorated the previous night for Santa. Yes, I had presents, but the hard candy and fruits are what I remember most.

    • Susan says:

      Yes! Our stockings were always filled with fruits, a relic of my own parents’ (children of the 30’s) Christmas experiences as children. Seventeen years ago, I filled my first daughter’s stocking with fruits, but my son, now only 4, just can’t see the point of a stocking full of fruit, so this year I abandoned that tradition.
      One thing I have been able to share with my young son from my 60’s childhood that I was unable to share with my daughter when she was little, are the Christmas programs we watched every year (just once a year, of course!). Thanks to YouTube, I was able to find Alvin and the Chipmunks singing Christmas songs, the orinigal Grinch, and some of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer with those little moveable dolls. Since we live out of the country, my daughter was never able to see any of these on TV when she was little, but my son just loved them all this year!

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