Monday, December 20, 2010

Yuletides of Yesteryear....

A Christmas picture from my childhood....sister Lynn on the right, my mother and me (L) 

Yesterday I was reading Sherry's post on her blog, "Country Wings in Phoenix".  She was recounting her childhood memories of Christmases gone by.  Since I had similar memories, I decided to share them here.  I don't think I've even ever told my children exactly what they were like...so now kids, you'll know!  The anticipation for weeks (2 or3 as we never saw decorations until after Thanksgiving) ahead was so much fun yet Christmas was so very simple compared to what ours is like today.  We always had a cut tree but most of our decorations were homemade with a few glass balls and lots of tinsel that the cat ate.  On Christmas Eve we had church services and since I was raised in a parochial school, a Christmas pageant!  We all had to learn our lines playing various Biblical persons, often in costume and were very nervous. The whole community came out for it and following in the Fellowship Hall was always the Christmas gift....a brown bag of goodies for each child!  This was a large grocery bag full of nuts to be cracked, oranges and apples, (even these were seldom seen delicacies..) various hard candies and chocolates!! Chocolate cream domes, orange sugar slices and chocolate covered nuts were the best!  We only had candy twice a year, -at Halloween and Christmas...such an anticipated treat!!
Then we went home to our family Christmases....ours always opened presents on Christmas Eve.  It seemed magical because of all the festivities and then the dark, starry night.  There is something special about seeing the tree lit in the dark with all of us gathered around.  We often had some kind of treat that mother had made to start with.  Then each of us had a gift,...very often only one, to symbolize the gift God gave the world.  Each of us took a turn to watch the others open and appreciate what was in the package. My favorite was a ballerina doll that I had for years.  Another year it was the original Barbie with the blond hair and striped bathing suit.  The simplicity of it all startles me as I recall how Christmases used to be.  Now I enjoy having many gifts for the children and grandchildren to open and be excited about.  It ends up being a lot of work to bake and shop for weeks until the first gifts I wrap I've forgotten that I had purchased! It seems so special and yet as I remember the simple times, I know we were just as excited and happy. Do I over do it?  You bet! -and will I next year?  My resolve is always not to.......and yet?

10 comments:

saltbox treasures said...

Hi. It sounds wonderful! Merry Christmas to you and your family! Visiting from BNOTP party. Your grandson is adorable. It looks like Scoobie loves him too!
~ Julie

Crawford Family said...

My husband and I talk about whether we over do it sometime too. I love the post and idea. One year we took the kids to MN to see grandparents. We gave them an old-fashioned Christmas (Laura Ingalls style.) They got a tin cup, 2 pennies and an orange in their stocking. Plus a couple of packages, but the trip was the gift. We loved it and they still talk about that Christmas.

Sue said...

My parents did give us more than one gift, but they were very modest gifts....more like "something to open" than a big deal.

We loved it!

=)

PS. We probably overdo it, but we're really careful to lay low on giving the rest of the year.

Hope said...

beautiful memories! thank you so much for sharing!
Merry Christmas!

yaya said...

Yes, Christmas was much simpler when we were young...my family had 6 kids in it, so a few gifts for everyone always looked like a ton! My parents did Christmas up good, but we didn't get gifts during the year unless it was our birthday. Sweets were a rare treat too. (something I should go back too! HaHa!) Even though we didn't have much in material things, I never felt deprived. Great post! I love your dress in that beautiful picture!

Donna said...

I love the photo of you and your mom and sister! What pretty dresses! And I also enjoyed hearing about your memories, too! I think the simple things are what we remember most. I was just thinking today how when I was little, I would get SO excited after the Christmas program at church in the evening. Everyone got a little box filled with candies and peanuts. It was really a big deal to me! Ok, are you ready to go to Quebec City? I am!!!:)

jen said...

Thanks for linking up today. The best part about this post? Your kids will have it.
Happy Christmas!

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh Sweetie...
What a beautiful post. I love it. Isn't it funny when we think back on the wonderful times that the holidays were, and yet they were SO simple.

We loved the holidays. We got to spend time with cousins we only saw once a year, everyone came home for the holidays. It was a lot of laughter, love and eating. So much eating.

Beautiful photo sweetie. Love your dress. What a cutie. Great memories and times. Oh I thank you for sharing with me this evening.

May God richly bless you and your family this CHRISTmas season. I so enjoy blogging with you. You have blessed my heart many times sweet friend. I so look forward to 2011 and the news it brings us.

Many hugs and SO much love, Sherry

Beth Dunn said...

Love that picture!
xoxo
SC

Katie said...

That picture is priceless! Thanks for sharing.