Monday, November 28, 2011

Itchy Dresses and $50 GIVEAWAY!

That is not me, but I guarantee you, that dress is only half as uncomfortable as mine were.

Every Christmas my Mom's dad (our sweet grandfather) and his wife (the Wicked Witch) would send my sisters and me matching dresses covered with lace and a big fluffy skirt so we looked, in our young opinion, like a bunch of Pollyanna freaks.

Every year when the UPS guy delivered the dress box from a fancy-schmancy store in Florida where they lived, it was met with a round of groans and contempt. This unpleasant annual ritual continued until I was 10 and my oldest sister was 12 years old!

Did I mention the dresses matched?!?

Hideous is the best way to describe them. To add insult to injury, the Wicked Witch managed to find dresses that itched worse than a nasty case of poison ivy.

Not to sound ungrateful, but I hated those dresses, every single one of them, but each year we dressed in our new outfits, buckled on our Mary Jane patent leather shoes and headed off to church Christmas morning. We'd scratch and itch through the entire service.

But that wasn't the end of it. Oh no.

After church, we loaded into our gigantic family station wagon and headed to my dad's folks-- the grandparents we really liked, and had a big Christmas dinner.... In our itchy dresses.

To ensure we would never have to wear those wretched dresses again, one by one, my sisters and I deliberately spilled food down the front of them. Red Jello was my food of choice as I knew it would stain and never come out. Big Sister usually "wore" the gravy, guaranteeing a huge grease spot, and once my Middle Sister caught on to our antics, she'd either flip a biscuit slathered in butter and honey, or a full glass of chocolate milk in her lap. All were guaranteed to permanently stain and land those ugly dresses in the trash after one wear.

I don't think my Mom ever caught on to our scheme since, no matter how hard we tried, my favorite Grandpa always, and I mean always, managed to dribble something on his tie with his very first bite of dinner.

Ahh, Christmas memories.....

Make a Christmas memory of your own by entering my SILVER, GOLD & CASH GIVEAWAY! You could win a gorgeous handmade ornament and a $50 Visa Gift Card!

All you have to do is leave a comment below on THIS POST telling me if you prefer the silver or gold ornament pictured here if your win. Then go to THIS POST for all the contest details and a whopping 15 more changes to win!

Anyone, anywhere can enter, not just in the USA. So come on and join in!

The gorgeous ornaments are from Attila The Mom at Cheaper Than Therapy who heads up an awesome organization that's a privately-funded project providing individuals who live with disabilities and/or mental illness as well as the family caregiver an opportunity to step towards independence through the sale of their own art and crafts creations. Each distinctive ornament is produced by several sets of hands-- all working to create something special.

More chances to win in each of my posts between now and Midnight, Pacific Time, December 10th so don't be shy-- Keep commenting/entering!

Click here for details for a 10% discount on all ornaments. I ordered several and trust me, they are stunning and very reasonably priced.

What would you do with the $50 Gift Card if you won?
Welcome to - Joanna Jenkins

This memory was inspired by a photo of Mrs4444's husband all dressed up as a kid for Thanksgiving.

Photo Credit: © Magalice -


  1. Hi again Joanna - loved the Christmas story! And I'm also just popping by again to mention that I love the silver ornament decoration!

  2. NOW I feel Christmas-Y

    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } ( ° >


    < ° ) } } > <


  3. I'm scratching as I read. I remember those kinds of dresses well. You and your sisters were a clever lot.

  4. Hee hee love it....not the itchy dresses the brilliant sabotaging of them!

  5. haha...devious...but with reason...never had to wear one of them but shirts and ties and all night at my aunts ugh i can relate....

  6. The dresses story cracked me up! My mom used to give me hand down dresses...hers...and they never fit! So I had to look like some homeless person each Sunday at church! Humiliation abounded!!
    That gift card would definitely be put to good use!! And those ornaments are gorgeous!!

  7. Maybe your mom knew exactly what you were doing but hated the dresses as much as you did so she just let it happen.

  8. I laughed at the story of how you foiled the itchy dresses from a second wear. I sure do wonder what some people are thinking when they buy identical dresses for sisters. Even when my parents dressed Norma Jean and I in similar clothing, at least we had different colors! :-)

  9. I lean toward the silver ornament!

  10. I lean toward the silver ornament!

  11. ugh itchy dresses! I remember those days.
    I love the silver ornament!

    siilentii27 at gmail dot com

  12. I never had an itchy scratchy dress. They must have looked great on the hanger but not so great on a body. My mother sewed too, but mostly dresses in cotton.

    I too loke the silver ornament but my daughters would expect me to pick gold. I'm one that believes all bling is good bling!

  13. You are awesome. And I love the gold ornament.

  14. Ah - wonderful memories!

  15. when my daughter was a pre-schooler, she received similar dresses from her grandma back east. Being the assertive little thing she was, she would only allow the dress on long enough for a photo and that scream until it was taken off. All that itchy lace. Ugh.

  16. That's so funny! And devious!
    My mom always made our matching Christmas and Easter dresses. Now I'm grown up and have sons and they get no new clothes for holidays.

  17. No ornament for me, but this brought me back to the era of pins in dresses, and the ones our moms didn't catch. Ouch! Great post.

  18. Did we have the same grandparents? I wasn't smart enough to spill on mine though. Or my mom scared us straight, maybe. Did you also have the matching wool coats and hats? ohhhh memmmmmmories!

    PS LOVE the silver ornament!

  19. Interesting Christmas memories! I'm thinking I like the silver ornament now!

  20. Leaving my daily comment but laughing over the dress stories. Thank you!!

  21. Itchy clothes are the worst. Grandparents may mean well, but the gifts they select for their grandchildren, especially the ones who live miles away, usually do not suit the children. It is funny to read about now, and you present the story in a humorous manner, but I know it was indeed uncomfortable to be inside an itchy dress all day. You were smart to use the jello!

  22. Too funny. But also sad that some people don't have a clue how to buy for someone else. My mother-in-law (RIP) was a huge garage sale queen. One year I received a set of knives with yellowed plastic handles. Yep, those went into the nearest trash dumpster as we left town. This year my aunt bought me a book on digital photography - dated 1995! Now, I ask, what good was that going to do me? Oy vey!

  23. I don't know if you are keeping track of our prize choices. Mine was gold.
    Intentionally destroying your dress - you have me wondering if any of our daughters did that. Wicked Witch - sounds like a bad relationship with that one.

  24. The Silver one.

    I laughed at this story because it reminded me of the Christmas story where the poor kid got a rabbit footsy pajama that his mom made him put on.

    Good thing you didn't stand too close to the fire or the dresses might have gone up in a burst of flames within seconds.

  25. Oh lordy. Those dresses. At least if my sister and I had to dress alike, she would have had the worst of it, at five years older. You reminded me that my incredibly old great-aunts used to send us girls white cotton gloves--the kind with seams between the fingers that match up--at Easter. Come to think of it, they were also responsible for the Christmas fruit cake. I wonder if they ever died. They'd be about 130 by now.

    I'm just dropping by--and do not need a Christmas decoration, although they are spectacular.

  26. That made me laugh out loud. Thank the good lord I never had a Christmas experience/dress like that. Thanks for sharing!!

  27. Ooooh! I like the gold one! I have a couple of these ornaments as well, and they are GORGEOUS!
    As for the dresses, I hear ya. My grandmother, bless her heart, always sent me a dress for Christmas that she had lovingly and skillfully made, for me, her only granddaughter, out of stuff like doubleknit polyester in shades of brown and olive green. Sigh. Double knit polyester doesn't stain. I tried.

  28. Oh Joanna, I laughed out loud just reading the words "itchy dress". It brought back a flood of memories of me standing in the kitchen, very unhappy with my arms held out from my sides. Too funny. :)

  29. Ah the memories! Hope you're well, JJ.

  30. ckg in today for a possible new post and an opportunity to leave a comment in order to WIN BIG! :-)

  31. Oh, I remember frocks like those, I even have a photo of me wearing one of them(age 6), taken with Santa Claus at my school Christmas party, complete in my button shoes! Haaaaaaaaa - thing is, it STILL didn't stop me also dressing my own daughters up like Christmas fairies, when it came my turn. They rebelled circa age 8, as I recall.. Happy days. What a lovely post, thanks for making me laugh.

    Oh, and yes, I still love the silver bauble.

  32. You and your sisters were Genius's!
    Why the hell did I never think of doing that to the dresses I hated?


Thanks for stopping by and commenting, I really appreciate it.