FOR THE HOLIDAYS- Christmas 2001
Trees and Great Memories
#20: December-January 2001-02
back in the forties and the fifties, family Christmases were quite
the production. Preparations went on for weeks. My grandparents
were from huge families and the gatherings were very entertaining.
All ages were welcome, and there was enough food to cover Grandmas
dining table three times over. These were the good old Christmases
when family gatherings and church festivities were more important
than gift giving and the commercial side of the holidays.
remember the light snows, they werent the bombardments we
get now. Carol and I tramped out tag patterns in Grands side
yard. Sometimes there was enough to actually build a fair-sized
snowman. If we were really lucky, Dad would haul out the hose and
flood the big area under Grands clotheslines. Those clotheslines
taught me how to skate. Easier on the knees, and I learned my edges
while Gram watched from her kitchen window.
Christmas trees were the thing back then the pine scent was
authentic. Decorations were invented. Pride in the homemade was
taken in our family. Cranberries, marshmallows, and popcorn were
the order of the day on the lower branches of our trees. We always
had a cat and a sheltie in our home, both capable of sniffing out
chocolates and destroying anything within reach. So, the bare lower
branches were for their delight and entertainment. Further up were
the precious ornaments that reappeared every year along with the
story of their origin and how they came to our family tree.
would inevitably arrive with every family visit. Since I was a Christmas
baby, birthday gifts would always double as Christmas gifts. Christine,
my daughter and I always console each other over this injustice,
as she is a Christmas baby too. As a child, I longed to celebrate
my birthday in the summer, with a picnic, and swimming. Now, at
my age, I just prefer to forget the whole thing.
girlfriends and I used to always walk from Walkerville, down to
Windsor, up Ouellette to Tecumseh and to Dads drug store for
a free ride home after closing time. Those Christmas walks were
wonderful memories. The first snow was a sign for us to bundle up
and window shop. We would laugh and sing carols, and press our noses
against store windows wishing we had a million dollars. Oh, what
we couldnt do with that million dollars
When we lived in Walkerville, the Christmas season always wound
up with a house party on New Years Eve. This was the tradition
as I grew up. An afternoon nap was always forced upon me, to make
sure I survived the night, and a rose velvet dress was the order
of the day. That dress and I seemed to grow up together. It was
altered a few times to the point where I really didnt want
to wear it ever again. My mom had wonderful lasting friends, and
this memorable New Years Eve party was at the home of one
of those friends. We kids had a great time in the rec room in the
basement while the adults entertained upstairs. The grand finale
was when Uncle Ron fired off his shotguns at midnight. Then a sumptuous
buffet fit for a king was enjoyed by young and old.
Jeff, my son and I are usually together at Christmas. It has become
very important to me to try to keep my family together, as soon
enough, the kids will be starting their own families and memories,
so I tend to overdo it as a doting mom will.
thanks to those who have taken the time to remember when
through e-mail. Its been a fun year!