Every year when Christmas comes around I grow nostalgic remembering Christmases past. I have been so blessed all my life in having Christmases that were filled with family, love and fun.
When I was growing up, besides Summer, Christmas was my very favorite time of year. From the start of a new school year until the big day, I was always looking forward to it, planning for it, thinking about what I would get under the tree, practicing Christmas songs for the school program or church program. When Ruth Lyons . who was the host of the 50-50 Club, a tv show out of Cincinnati, began to sing how many days there were until Christmas, I knew the Christmas season had really begun. My family would make the trip to the city to Veach’s, a toy and department store that sold everything you could think of. Down in its basement were all the toys and it was packed from floor to ceiling with all things that make children’s hearts sing. I had my eye on a blue Schwinn bicycle one year. I had learned to ride a bike the previous Summer on my brother’s bicycle so I was ready to get one of my own.
As I was scrolling through family photos for this post about Christmas I got tears in my eyes remembering all the people who are gone, families that have broken apart, children who have grown up and moved away. Remember that scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation where Chevy Chase’s character gets locked in the attic and he finds an old projector and watches old movies and cries? That was me, looking at these old pictures. Everyone looks so young in them. Sad music should have been playing in the background as I looked at picture after picture. But all I could think was, “we sure have been blessed.”
So without further ado, here are some pictures of Christmases past at our house.
We always had a lot of gifts under the tree. I loved shopping back then.
Our two boys, nineteen months apart. They were always so excited about Christmas. too.
Our daughter. She must have been very happy with her present.
The boys watching with interest what I was unwrapping. Not a very pretty pose. Notice the playpen my foot is on. Do people use those anymore? It was like a cage for your kid when you wanted to keep them out of things.
I made both of our outfits that year.
I made both my boys’ outfits, too.
I went through a gingerbread house making kick for a while. I use to bake and bake before Christmas. This year, one batch of cookies. Everyone is on a diet of some kind.
Yes, I made these outfits also. My poor boys had to wear a lot of clothes that I made. I didn’t make quilts back then.
I really must have shopped a lot that year!
One year we went to the Virgin Islands. David’s mother ran a guest house down there and we spent Christmas with her. It seemed very strange to be where it was so warm at Christmas.
Here was David and our daughter with her cousins looking on as she opened a present.
We spent days at the beach in the middle of the Winter.
This was the view from David’s mother’s house. Not bad.
The years have flown by so quickly.
My mother and daddy loved Christmas. When all us kids were grown, we met at their house on Christmas Eve every year and gave each other gifts.
Mom opening a gift while two of her grandsons looked on.
My daddy loved having us all together. Behind him is my oldest brother, Jack, who passed away many years ago. I still miss him and can’t wait to see him again. He was in college before I even started school. If you could see his senior picture, he looked like a young Clark Gable without the moustache. Jack was a very handsome man. And a kind man. I’m so glad he was my brother.
Daddy’s sister, my Aunt Ruth is behind Daddy. She never married and lived with her parents until both of them died and then she came and lived with us. Family took care of each other back then. If one didn’t have a home, they were taken in by family. My parents took care of my daddy’s father in his last days, my mother’s mother until she had to go into a nursing home because mom could not lift her any longer and Aunt Ruth. Aunt Ruth was a very sweet lady and she always dressed so nicely and smelled so good. I don’t know what kind of perfume she wore, but I always loved it. She lived with us almost all through my childhood and after I married and left home. I’ll always think my brother became the reader and excellent student he became because Aunt Ruth spent hours reading him storybooks. The same ones, over and over again.
These final pictures are how I remember Christmas the best.
The looks of sheer delight on our children’s faces as they came downstairs Christmas morning.
It was always the same year after year.
Even when one was suffering from an earache, he was still excited Christmas morning.
And remembering David’s grandmother who was always so kind to me and really loved our children. The feeling was mutual.
A big green machine and a new bicycle one year. We lived on a big hill right beside a park with a lake. You can see the lake behind the boys through the trees. I really loved living there and cried so much when we had to move.
Family. It’s what Christmas means to me. From that precious family in the stable on that first Christmas, down through the centuries to my little family and now on to theirs and on and on. But Christmas will always be about one thing to me. Love. Merry Christmas. Bye.