A Christmas Conversation with Betty

The holidays are upon us and with that comes the most important part of the holiday season; making memories. Getting back in touch with friends and family who we haven’t seen in … well about half a day in my case. Sometimes less than that if one of us gets a new haircut.

So I thought it would be nice (plus someone on Facebook suggested it) to put the two, memories and family, together into one post.

I have for you today a seasonal conversation with Betty. Betty is my near 80 year old mother. To get an idea of what Betty is like you can watch her take out one of my kitchen walls with a sledgehammer here.

A Christmas Conversation with Betty.


Me: What was your favourite Christmas present as a kid?

Betty: Figure skates. I got them every year.

Me: You got figure skates every SINGLE year?

Betty: Yep. I loved them. It’s all I ever asked for. The only year I didn’t like them, well I thought they were O.K., but I didn’t really like them … they were brown. I mean they were brown. They got them out of the catalogue. That’s all the catalogue had that year. Brown skates. And … I still like white. Even when they wear those things over their feet in skating competitions, I don’t like it. NO WAY. I like the white. I got stupid things. I got a cedar chest when I was about 12. Mind you I loved filling that thing up. At the time I worked a store selling hats, and I’d buy sheets, pillow cases. The most expensive ones they had. I loved them. I got a duvet when I was 12 too.

Me: (I’m now beginning to become suspicious of my mother’s answers because she seems to have only gotten presents at the age of 12. And all of them. She got all her lifetime of Christmas presents when she was 12).

Betty: I’m still using that duvet. It’s on the bed right now. I had it refeathered. You know what though? It’s wearing out.

Me: NO! Maybe you could return it. Seems to me a quality duvet should last more than 65 years.

Betty: (ignores me) I think I got a housecoat I really liked once too. Out of the catalogue. The Sears catalogue. Or Simpsons. Simpsons/Sears.

Me: What is your most memorable holiday moment.

Betty: Oh I don’t know. I can’t remember. There weren’t any. I don’t know. Everyone went up to Matawa or North Bay and got drunk. That’s all I remember. Does that count?

Me: Would you like to hear my most memorable holiday moment?

Betty: Um … I don’t know.

Me: Mine was when you came downstairs with a shotgun with a house full of kids saying you didn’t know whether it was loaded or not.

Betty: YOU dreamt that! I did NOT. Why would I do that? You’re making that up! Is this going on your blog? Why are you asking me these questions?

Me: No. I’m just doing a survey.

Betty: Oh. O.K. That seems strange. Are you sure?

Me: Yup.

Betty: I don’t believe you.

Me: Do you like buying Christmas presents for everyone?

Betty: NO! (Laughing) (Still laughing) Half of me likes it and the other half doesn’t. I like it if I can think of good things to buy otherwise I don’t.

Me: When picking out a gift for someone else would you rather buy something you like or something the person you’re giving it to would like?

Betty: (Laugh) Well probably something I like. (Laughs hysterically)

Me: (Betty is notorious for only buying things she approves of and likes herself. If you want it but she thinks it’s in poor taste, well that’s your problem for having bad taste. She’ll buy you what she thinks you SHOULD want.)

Me: What is your favourite part of the holidays?

Betty: The Christmas carols.

Me: I don’t believe you. Name your favourite carol.

Betty: Ummm ….. I saw Santa kissing …. I saw Santa kissing … what is it … something. I saw Santa kissing mama. Is that it? I saw … Um… well I haven’t heard it for a year so I sort of forget. That’s my favourite though.

Me: If you could have any wish come true for Christmas what would it be? Anything. Like a magic Christmas wish.

Betty: For good health for all of my children.

Me: (I’m beginning to suspect she’s realizing these answers are indeed going on the blog)

Me: If you could have one celebrity over for Christmas who would it be? (I’m about to list 3 people she can choose from but she interrupts me)

Betty: I know who I want to come.

Me: But I was going to give you a list to choose from.

Betty: But I have my own list.

Me: But I was going to give you a choice of 3 people.

Betty: Johnny Cash. That’s who is on my list. It would be Johnny Cash.

Me: He wasn’t on my list.

Betty: Fine. O.K. who was on your list?

Me: Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus or Ron Jeremy?

Betty: Who is he?

Me: He’s a porn star with a big penis.

Betty: Oh God I don’t wanna see him. I’d pick Miley Cyrus.

Me: Why?

Betty: She’s cute.

Me: Not Kim Kardashian?

Betty: NO. She’s too snooty for me.

Me: O.K. That’s all the questions I have for you.

Betty: This isn’t going on your blog is it?

Me: Yes. Yes it is.

Betty: NO! No, no Karen you can’t put this on your blog. I said some not nice things.

Me: Like what?

Betty: Well, like that I didn’t like shopping.

The End.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good over and under double barrel shotgun.



  1. Mary says:

    Just thank you….. For always making me laugh with your wit and humor. You have great tips & ideas for DIY stuff but the effect/affect (???) of your writing goes so much deeper.

  2. Phyllis says:

    No wonder you are so damn funny!

  3. J9 says:

    That. Was. Awesome.

  4. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I LOVE your family..Great picture Betty..You look to be about 12 there..you were beautiful..and you still are..in more ways than one..Hugs..whether you want them or not..I don’t believe Karen either..lol

  5. Linda B says:

    Today’s quote of the day: “I don’t believe you”. LOVE!

  6. Mary Werner says:

    You gotta love Betty! Is that a ring she is showing on her finger? She was beautiful at 12 (assume) and still is. I can think about that video you made of her and the wall and still laugh – my kind of humor.

  7. Patti says:

    Wow she’s the best! I’m still cracking up at getting skates EVERY YEAR LOL

  8. Lori Hall says:

    Love Betty!! She is hilarious….so we know where you get it from!

  9. TC says:

    Ms. Betty still RoCKS!!! Love her!

  10. Amber says:

    My favorite Christmas memory is the year my dad bought my mum a new car. You hear about that sort of thing, on tv or movies, but apparently it never really happens. The car dealer had to pull all sorts of strings because my dad, a nurseryman, was always covered in muck and wouldn’t drive the car at all because he wanted it to be super clean for mum. She cried when she saw it, a green Honda station wagon

  11. Elen Grey says:

    Does Betty like a good martini? Because I wouldn’t mind having a martini with Betty. Just sayin’.

  12. Rebecca says:

    Hahah. I feel the same way about buying gifts.

  13. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    LOL, I love Betty. Karen you are so fortunate to have your family around you every single day!

  14. mickey says:

    Betty……you made my day!!!!

  15. Meghan says:

    Betty rocks my socks. This interview was hilarious!

  16. jainegayer says:

    When I opened my emails this morning and saw today’s topic, I just laughed and knew it was going to be special.
    Thank you for sharing Betty with us, Karen. She’s a gem!

  17. Gretchen Sexton says:

    Fun, fun fun interview! Made my morning and gave me my first chuckle. Thanks Karen! (and Betty…)

  18. Connie S. says:

    I never know what to expect from your posts and this one (as usual) did not dissappoint . This was lovely and you’re both such a hoot – Like mother , like daughter i guess ;)
    thx Karen for starting my day with a laf.
    What a fabulous picture of Betty – good for her!
    Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year to all of you!

  19. maggie van sickle says:

    Don’t know your Mom for real Karen but just from what you tell us about her I wish I did know her for real. She is a funny funny lady and so with it. Cherish her.

  20. Wendy says:

    The two of you should do stand up comedy…I’d actually go and laugh. Something I do not do when I watch a comedian on stage…people laugh but it really isn’t funny AT ALL. Or I could just be a fly on the wall when you start up a conversation with her…not that you want a fly on your wall…I’ll change my appearance to a butterfly…ok ?

  21. Bonnie Gray says:

    OMG…you two just crack me up! Best way ever to start my Friday morning! You are so lucky to have each other and to be able to share such awesome memories…..shotgun or not! ;)

  22. Ev Wilcox says:

    Thanks for the interview. Looks like it got a lot of us thinking about missing our moms. Mine was too much of a “Lady” to carry any gun, ever. Guess I didn’t get that “Lady” gene! My oldest sister and I decided that our middle sister had to be the lady after my mom passed away–neither of us wanted the job. And that sister IS the lady, to this day!

  23. Edith says:

    Hi Karen,

    O my goodness. She’s a hoot! Thanks for the interview, that was funny stuff!

  24. DanniS says:

    Lol Betty rocks!

  25. marilyn says:

    betty is a kindred spirit..and wow do i ever miss my Mom

  26. Heather says:

    Made my morning!

  27. Tigersmom says:

    My favorite Betty comment is still the paraphrased, “You can edit this, right?” as she was shooting video for your blog.

  28. Tigersmom says:

    Love, love, love Betty!!!!

    And I love how your conversation with her is peppered with “I don’t believe you,”s on both sides. I imagine that happens pretty much every time you two talk.

    I needed this this morning after two solid days of Christmas decorating the interior of my house (yes, I’m behind on the pledge) and that’s with scaling back on it this year. We’re pretty big on Christmas, so I kinda do it up. Plus I like for it to be a bit different each year and that takes time.

    • Karen says:

      Scaling back takes LONGER because then you have to (as you mentioned sort of) rethink of where to put everything. I scaled back this year and it took me 3 days instead of 2 to decorate. So scaling back sucks. ~ karen!

  29. Jody says:

    Merry Christmas Betty. I suspect you are a very special woman to be the matriarch of your daughters and extended families.

  30. mimiindublin says:

    Merry Christmas to Betty, you are amazing!
    And good health for your children and yourself.

  31. Farquist says:

    That’s a beautiful picture of Betty doing a peculiar pose. Photo booth hijinks?

  32. Cindy P. says:

    D’awwwwwwwww ! Thanks for the smile. I remember when I was twelve I got my one and only Barbie doll, and a few years later, when I was twelve, I got a BB gun, and Barbie was toast. I think I also got ice skates that year. Happy Holidays to you and your mom from Indiana !!

  33. Grammy says:

    I hate shopping, too, except for hardware or building supplies. But I wouldn’t want any of your proposed Christmas guests at my house, so Betty is better than I. It is very cool that you interviewed your mom for us.

    Tell Betty Merry Christmas from another fan here.

  34. Auntiepatch says:

    Your mom Betty and my mom Betty must have been sisters from different mothers! My mom is gone now so I really enjoy your Betty stories. I really miss her around the holidays. Please give her a hug for me!

  35. Pam'a says:

    Betty’s a doll, as always. However, I can’t believe you didn’t plumb the rich material that might have emerged if you’d asked about her *worst* Christmas memory!

    For example, if my mom was still around, I’m sure she’d bring up the year my dad gave her cash to buy a coat. It absolutely enraged her (subsequently terrorizing us kids) for the rest of the evening. I thought she was going to burn down the Christmas tree.

    Looking back now (having suffered a few indignities of my own), it’s hilarious to me.

  36. Jennifer says:

    We just celebrated my mom’s 80th birthday. It was fun, but I was the host and that stresses me out. I wish I’d read your interview before the party. Laughter is a great stress-buster! That and wine. I should have had more than one glass of wine.
    (The party did get me to clean and decorate earlier than usual; partial Christmas Pledge success!)

  37. Jennifer says:

    Johnny Cash!! Lol, your mom is AWESOME!!

  38. Dagmar says:

    What a hoot! Betty just tries to be all prim and proper whenever she is in the spotlight. But let’s just be honest, she puts her pants on one leg at a time.

  39. ruth says:

    Can Betty be my Mom too?

  40. barbee says:

    I’ve got twenty years to go, but I want to grow up to be Betty

  41. Mindy says:

    Laughed out loud. Mostly at the cedar chest filling…..by a TWELVE year old.

    • Karen says:

      Yes. She was 12. Because everything happened when she was 12. I believe that’s also close to the age she was when her parents sent her to a nunnery. ~ karen!

      • gabrielle says:

        Reminded me my BFF’s mother bought her a hope chest and when she was 12 and then proceeded to fill it up for her every xmas with home decor items according to her taste. The BFF never got married, but turned out to be an accountant and notoriously tight with money. Her mother gave up waiting, and started showing up with the goods. Stoneware settings for 12, etc. Haha! It doesn’t always pay to plan ahead!

      • julie says:

        I was surprised she worked in a millinery at 12….but I guess they went to work earlier in those days!!

  42. Valerie says:

    Your Mother is priceless. You are so very lucky to still have her with you.

    Many years ago in Northwestern Ontario on New Year’s Eve the men in our neighbourhood would get their hunting rifles out, load them up and right at midnight would go out and ‘shoot the gun’ up into the air on the front steps.
    I think if ANYONE did anything like that these days the police would be called and the poor critter would be hauled away no questions asked. Maybe guns and Christmas/New Year’s had some benign connection however weird it may seem to us today.

  43. Amber says:

    What a hoot! Thank you for interviewing Betty. I’m glad she agreed :)

  44. Becky says:

    Once some friends were over and we were having a camp fire in the back yard. My husband and his buddies are obsessive about firearms so they always get brought out (unloaded) and oohed and aaahed over….. Some random guy just walks into my yard like he knew where he was going. He sat down in a chair and joined the conversation like we knew him.
    I thought it was very bold of my friends to invite someone else over without asking first, but I’m easy going so I didn’t say anything.
    My husband had a rifle in his lap, his friend has another rifle that he’s playing with, and this guy didn’t even acknowledge the presence of the guns.
    About 10 minutes after he arrived, he gets up, and says “sorry, but I’m at the wrong campfire” and gets back in his car and leaves.
    We all just sat there staring at each other….. we all thought the other person knew who he was.

    true story. I was just surprised the guy didn’t call the police and report us for playing around with guns.

  45. Teresa J says:

    LOL LOL – I love your mother and she is so much like my mother, it must be the generation!!! My mom would have answered pretty much the same way to each and every question especially Johnny Cash and how she does not like shopping and does not like…….etc., etc. Ha haha! Merry Christmas Karen and your family – Betty, Pink tool belt and Fish Pedicure!!!

  46. Lis says:

    love it! oh yeah!
    I want to hear who she’d pick. Echoing her questioning your list – who the heck is ron jeremy? and why’d you pick him?

  47. Dan says:

    Bwahahahaha! Glad to hear I’m not the only one…We had firearms come out after a little too much vino at Christmas dinner a couple of years ago. I mean, really- it’s not really a memorable holiday dinner if someone isn’t packin’ heat. (Note, this probably only applies to your Canuckistan readers…)

  48. Andrea says:

    I love Betty! (I bet she’s a pretty good shot!)

  49. Paula says:

    I only found this site tonight and I am on hour 4 :) We are soooo similar (in the gardening department).

    I checked out the Brick Wall Betty video which featured your ‘almost 80’ year old Mom! Wow, great genes. Looking forward to at least another 4 hours.

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