Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas' Past-----

The "Children's Tree" upstairs in the family/game room. Santa knows to leave about half of the gifts here----but ONLY the children's gifts. Many of the decorations we made (the kids and I) and this one has candy canes (and it is okay to get one off the tree to eat while watching cartoons).

This is the more "formal" tree. This tree has ornaments that my children (my grandbabies parents) made. They love to hear the stories behind each one. See the little white bags. At my oldest (he is now 11) grandson's school, the senior class has a fund raiser to support their mission trip. The kids (in the lower grades) bring $3 per gift for each person on their list. Each student then gets to "shop" the store and pick out gifts. I love this school tradition. It is so interesting how my grandson really tries to get a gift that is special for each person. I can't wait to see what he got for me this year. The remainder of Santa's gifts goes here along with the "adult" family members gifts. These gifts are opened later in the day than the upstairs ones.

Now for my post today---Christmas' Past---. I really enjoy reading Lane's posts. He writes so eloquently and always gives me "pause to think". This latest post did just that. He details some specific memories of his "Christmas' Past", and really got me to thinking. Unlike him though, I don't have a specific memory, mine are more a "montage" of memories. I remember:

  • making sugar cookies on Christmas eve with my Mother and using the Christmas Tree cookie cutter.

  • Waking up on Christmas morning to the smell of turkey. My Mother cooked the turkey all night in a really low oven. When she took it out it was the most beautiful brown! I have never been able to duplicate that color---probably because I cook mine in a roaster.

  • Putting out the sugar cookies for "Santa" and then getting up in the morning to see a bit of cookie left with a obvious bite taken out. I (of course) didn't eat that piece of cookie left (you do NOT eat after people---I was thinking like a nurse even then), but I do remember smelling it. I guess I thought Santa left a definite smell---but all I was able to distinguish was the faint smell of cinnamon from the cookie.

  • I remember my Mother's rolls. So light---it seemed they melted in your mouth. I have her recipe and use to make them---but now I can't find cake yeast and so have had to resort to another one that is good, but not nearly as much as my Mother's.

  • Going to see my Grandmother. She lived to be over 100 and seemed always old. She held "court" at her house (I don't know why she didn't come to dinner) and my Mother would fix her a plate of food and we would make the pilgrimage. She wasn't particularly a loving Grandmother (I don't ever really remember her hugging me) and my cousin and I have agreed that she really didn't like any of us---but we went anyway. She always spoke in a very low voice and we gave her chocolate covered cherries (which I hate). She would always take them with a small smile (I always felt I should curtsy) and we would sit and be quiet (no running around in Grandmother's house) while my Mother spoke in hushed tones until my Dad said, "Okay Mother, is there anything you need, we will be going now". I was so happy to be outside where my brother and I would race home (we lived within walking distance).

  • I also remember the Christmas I got a bicycle -- it was red I think and my Daddy told the story of Santa being chased around the house by JoJo (our dog) who was upset with the reindeer and the bright red suit.

  • I also remember eating at the dining room table---a place reserved for special occasions, and drinking from my Mother's crystal goblets. I have some of those (when she died my sister's split her set and left me some---I was only 14). I know they are not real crystal, but to me they always will be. I don't take them out---one was broken and I stopped, but I always look at them and remember.

I am working really hard as many of you are, to create special memories for my grandchildren and add to our children's memories---and mine as well. At this point I think I am doing pretty good. Definitely they will remember "Mai" (what my grands call me) and "Poppie's" (my DH) hugs and kisses, unlike my Grandmother's (we called her the formal Grandmother) lack of...I never met my Grandfather (he died before I was born), but I hear he was in fact a "hugger"---wish I had been a recipient...but that is another story for another day.

Have a great remainder of the day!


  1. Merry Christmas. Get some rest from all the quilting that you do!

  2. I'm so far behind reading. I loved this post. And, the holiday memories. Thanks so much for sharing. Lane


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