Sunday, December 18, 2011

Random Christmas Memories

Silver aluminum trees with the revolving color wheel light that shined on them to change the colors.

Riding around after dark just to see the Christmas lights.  The link below goes to the big light show in the town where I grew up.   We always had to ride by that one several times during the season.  Of course, there was always a small traffic jam to see them. 

                    Forest Park Christmas Lights

Opening that one gift on Christmas Eve - - - the pajamas!  (You had to look good Christmas morning for those pictures!)

Always had an apple, an orange and pecans in the bottom of my stocking.  (Depression era leftover from my Mom.  She said their Christmas gifts had to fit in their sock that they hung up, and they always got an apple, and orange and nuts.  Can you imagine trying to fit a child's Christmas gifts in their stocking these days?)

Those fat lights on the Christmas tree. They had little clips on the back so you could clip them to the tree. 

Silver icicles on the tree.

Bubble lights. 

Candy canes on the tree.  (What do you do with those things after Christmas anyway?)

Home made fruit cake soaked in Mogen David wine in a tin for a couple of weeks.  (It was pretty gross but my Mom liked it.  Wonder why?)


Strawberry congealed salad.  (Good stuff!)

Christmas cards taped across the mantle.

The same Christmas stocking hung every year.  Red with the white cuff and my name written in glitter. 

Family and friends coming together in fellowship and love.  May you all have a wonderful Christmas holiday with your family and friends this year.  Remember the reason for the season.  Love one another always.  Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Favorite Christmas Gift

I was reading an article in the little EMC magazine we get every month.  The writer was talking about how things are probably going to be tight for some folks this year.  He had a teacher who told him one time to think about his favorite Christmas gift when he was down and needed a lift.  I had a sobering thought at that moment.  I sat there and thought about that for a few minutes.  And do you know what?  I can hardly remember any Christmas gift I ever got, much less my favorite one.  That's pretty sad.  I've gotten a lot of nice gifts through the years:  Books, perfume, clothes, electronics, jewelry.  But what was my favorite?  Can't think of a one.  We all run around at Christmas time worrying over buying gifts and spending money, but how long does the recipient remember the gift? 

I'll tell what I do remember, though.  I remember getting to open one gift on Christmas Eve every year:  A new pair of pajamas so we could look nice for the Christmas morning pictures. 

I remember going to Granny and Grandaddy's house on Christmas Eve for dinner.  How we all packed into that little house I'll never know.  Granny and Grandaddy had 6 children, they all had wives and husbands, and each had 3 kids with a few step kids thrown in for good measure.  So that's a minimum of 32 people in a 2 bedroom house.  The uncles would place bets on whose kid would spill something first.  Uncle Roy always won because he had Cindy who had cerebral palsy.  On the way home we would tune in to WSB on the radio where they were tracking Santa Clause.  Everyone drew names in the weeks before Christmas to exchange gifts.  Back then, the aunts and uncles went to Granny and Grandaddy's house at least a once a week or so.  Granny would make little slips of paper with the names on them and put them in an envelope on the mantle.  Then when we visited we would get to draw a name from the envelope.   I don't remember one gift I received. 

I remember after I had Jessica my family coming to my house Christmas morning for brunch.  It was a nice tradition.  When Mama was single, she and Sherry would come and spend the night on Christmas Eve so they could be there Christmas morning.  I always cooked goodies in the week before Christmas, so we would have Sausage Pinwheels, pound cake, cookies, fudge, cinnamon rolls, etc.  More junk that I care to discuss.  I don't remember any of the gifts.

Gifts are nice things, but the thing I remember most about the holidays is being with my family.  A lot of them are no longer with us:  Mama, Daddy, Grandaddy, Granny, Grandmama, Aunt Ruby, Uncle Donal, Aunt Doris.  Granny is cooking roast beef in the pressure cooker.  Aunt Doris is cooking a banana cake.  Mama is cooking a peppermint candy cake.  Aunt Ruby is making strawberry candy.   I'm sad they aren't with us any more, but I know they are happy and enjoying each others' company in heaven. 

So don't worry so much about the gifts.  They might be enjoyed for a short while, but it's more about family and friends and being together at Christmas.  That's what your kids and grandchildren are going to remember - the time spend with you. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Leave It To Beaver Life

I call the first part of my life my "Leave It To Beaver Life."  This was up until about age 5 when my Daddy had his first heart attack.  The years before this were idyllic, of course as far as I can remember being younger than the age 5.  But even from hearing Mama tell stories about our life then, it was just so perfectly normal and placid.  Daddy went to work every day, and Mama stayed home with the 2 children and kept house.  She got up every morning and had the children fed, the house cleaned and the laundry on the line by 10:00.  During the summer, children were not allowed to play in the house unless it was raining.  Mama would send us outside and latch the screen door.  No running in and out!  Daddy would come home in the evening and Mama would have supper on the table.  Good home cooked food and vegetables!  Then we would play outside a while longer after supper before we had to get a bath and get ready for bed at 8:00.  It seems like every day was like this.  Just calm and smooth, no big glitches.  Not like today when we hurry to work, hurry home, hurry and cook dinner, hurry and clean up, put on a load of laundry, fall into bed, then start over and do it again the next day.  And that's if you don't need to do shopping or go to kid's ball games or work late.  I have spent most of my adult life searching for that "Leave It To Beaver Life" again, but I don't think it exists any longer.  We're all caught up in being "busy" and running around all the time.  I'm hoping that when I retire I can relax a little and actually take a breath.