Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More Christmas Memories...

A I told you in the last post my baby brother and I were always kind of paired up in our escapades by virtue of being the youngest two in a small litter of six kids. I imagine that if mom were still here she would probably say what one of us didn't think up the other one did, but we were still good kids overall. Our imagination was naturally doubled or tripled at Christmas time. A lot of 'if I get whatever for Christmas I'll share with you and it will be sooo much fun.' Or 'if I get such and such I'm gonna play with it for a while and then MAYBE I'll let you play with it, too, if you are nice and do my dishes." Totally depends on the mood, don't 'cha know.

Anyway Christmas brought out extreme hyperactivity in our home. It started building at Thanksgiving. We'd get home from our Thanksgiving visit and mom would start getting out...

wait for it....

The Christmas decorations!!!

After being carefully packed away the previous Christmas unwrapping those familiar decorations was like Christmas itself. There were things that we put out every year. Decorations that had been given to the family by friends and other family members and just seeing them come out again each year was such a delight. Although I wouldn't have been able to describe it then like this it was a wonderful comfort of continuity that threaded our lives together throughout the years.

On the big mirror over the mantle we always taped the aluminum fold up MERRY CHRISTMAS letters, swagging it down 'just so'. I found this photo that showed not only the Merry Christmas sign but also my Aunt Max, mom's sister, her oldest daughter Nancy Gale and my Cuz... her youngest, Carol. We didn't think about the flash in the mirror almost obliterating the picture. I think this was the first and last Christmas that we took pictures in front of the mantle.


In the big house where all the Christmases I remember were celebrated we had a formal dining room that was set off from the living room by french doors. I don't know why they are called french doors and have never thought about it before now... but I digress. We always taped the Christmas cards that we received all over the doors. That always helped to lend an air of shared festivity along with whatever other decorations that were put out. That's my momma, closest to the camera, probably telling whomever was taking the photo to hurry up so we could have the blessing and get into Christmas dinner before it started getting cold. My dad, in all his trendy (not) attire is at the head of the table and my sister Sue is leaning up against him.




A look from the living room into the dining room looking toward the breakfast room and kitchen. There's yours truly and the baby brother Bennett sitting at the foot of the table. Mom is standing next to Bennett. Don't you love the aprons on her and Aunt Annie? I don't think there was ever a big meal that momma fixed that she didn't have on an apron.





Anyway, back to the decorations...
This is my mom with her first grandchild, Bill Stearns. Actually it's William Stearns but he ended up being called Bill Stearns all of his life. He is 57 now... got kids and grandkids now... and I don't want to think about that now...

The tree on the mantle to the left of Bill Stearns head had a light inside and when the heat built up the tree turned around. It was fascinating to us little ones.


I'll wind up this post with the Christmas tree and one happy cowgirl. I'm going on a hunt for more Christmas photos to share with you all and to try to get at least one more post in before Christmas...

Get to looking for your Christmas memories, y'all. It brings a whole flood of memories back... and most all of them good!

4 comments:

Pastor Sharon said...

Annie Oakly by the tree! Those are great memories, Helen!

I am enjoying your stories!

Laura~peach~ said...

beautiful memories :) love the decorations and i read something reciently about the aprons... I dont remember my grandma with out on ever! well cept for when we went to town of course!

hetty said...

I loved your Christmas posts! Aren't memories wonderful?

Sara said...

Merry Christmas Helen. Loved the shared stories of Christmas memories. Notice how they center around the people? One of my favorite Christmas memories is stopping on Christmas Eve at the house of family friends following church. As a little kid I was always excited because as we stood at the front door knocking we always heard Santa's sleigh bells ringing in the distance. It was years before I knew that Mr Dodge was on the back porch ringing those sleigh bells. We always "just missed" Santa at their house! They didn't have any children but made such an effort to make MY Christmas visit special.