Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Memories

Christmas 1965

This picture embodies all my Christmas memories.

Me and two of my sisters, Glenda and Cindy (I'm the one on the top)

More dolls than we knew what to do with.

Lots of baby supplies too. Cradles, buggies, bottles, etc.

How I grew up without having kids, I don't know. (Well, I do know...LONG post)

Santa always, always came to our house on Christmas Eve. I figured it was because our last name started with an "A", and we must have been first on his list.

We would be in the living room watching TV, there would be a knock at the door.

We'd answer it, and there would be a huge sack of presents.

Moments after the screaming subsided, mom would come in from the kitchen, out of breath, to see what the commotion was about.

She pulled that off until I was about 10. The same year I learned there was no Santa Claus, I also learned where babies came from, thanks to my older sister Glenda.

I walked around for months shocked, dismayed and disgusted.

I shared a bedroom with all three of my sisters. I learned a lot. Sometimes before my tender mind was ready to learn it.

Remember Viv, my mentally handicapped sister?

OH my goodness, we'd all be so mad at her on Christmas.

She would tell my mom and dad everything they were getting right before they would open it.

"It's a toaster!" She'd exclaim.

"It's Old Spice cologne!"

A fight then ensued.

My poor parents.

As I type this now it's snowing here.

It's just me and Glenco.

I've been reading Martha Stewart's Homekeeping book, drinking coffee and contemplating taking all the decorations down today. Time to get a move on...that's how I feel. I'm excited and ready to start a new year. So many plans, schemes and ideas. I want to seal grout and wash baseboards, organize recipes and plant production gardens. I can't wait to make rag rugs on the old rug loom Glen got me for Christmas, and clean the basement. I could go on and on, but I'll stop here, before you think I'm completely mad.

We'll go the to movies and out for Chinese with Cindy and Aaron soon.

I miss my family very much today. I wish I could give my dad that bottle of Old Spice that he got every stinking year, and seemed surprised to get.

I wish I could hand a gift to my mom and hear Viv exclaim "It's a new iron!" just one more time.

Wishing you a Christmas Day filled with hope, good memories, new memories, and exciting plans for a New Year (that may or may not involve cleaning basements).

If you are one of the lucky ones that got to 'go home' for Christmas, I do hope in my heart of hearts, you realize that alone is the greatest gift you'll get this year.


  1. I loved your post today, especially the last paragraph. Even though the four of us always have a nice Christmas together, I miss my family something fierce.
    We're taking the decorations down this Sunday. As much as I love all of them, after a while I'm ready to move on.

  2. I loved this post. Even looking at the pic brought so many of my own memories flooding back.

    I loved the real christmas trees with the tacky tinsel and vintage full colour bulbs. The heavy metal blinds on the windows with the wide cloth bands, just like in your pic. My Tippy Toes and Chrissy dolls. The real glass tea party set.

    I'm fortunate to have my mom 20 minutes from us. And even though she's moved from the 40 acres I grew up on, where she is, is simply, home.

    Know what I desire at this given moment? Not really to rip all the decor down, but to redo it. NO NO NO I'm so not going there! (I might redo the mantel). I am hopeless. If I had a box of vintage ornaments right now, I'd be totally redoing the tree. Sickness.


  3. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all for one night a year take a trip back in time and experience again our favorite childhood memories.

    Hey, I wish I had a basement to clean. Great place for food storage:)

    Merry Christmas.

  4. I love to read your words. Perhaps the lyrical way you move us along with your narrative. Anyway, spent the last few days decoupaging and going on a rampage with the hot glue gun. Everyone in my family got stuck home anyway due to the snow storms. Lucky me: stayed home in my cozy little abode and got things done. I'm thinking the same as you. Get on with it, take down the decorations, plan for a new year. Organize. That's what a new year tells me. Dispatch to the closets and organize!

  5. Wonderful beautiful post Jayme! I'm so stealing some christmas pictures from my childhood tomorrow when we go to see my folks in Indy. Our family trees are almost identical.

    Did you have Velvet? You know, the chick with the long blond pony tail you could yank outta the top of her head???? Then turn the dial on her back to make it all go back in??? HOw creepy is that? But how much did I love her??? My Gram made all her clothes for me. And my gram (who's 92) is in her last days we believe...won't be able to join us tomorrow. First time in my life Gramma won't bake her famous pies for our Christmas dessert. :(

    Enjoy the movie and chinese...that sounds delightful to me. I'm down with a touch of the flu and been in bed mostly all day.

  6. Thanks you for your "memory lane" blog. I know what you mean about not being with family on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, althought I do have My Wonderful Guy and we have been and are having a fablulous Holiday together, I still miss family.

    My mom and dad have been gone for many years but a day does not pass that I do not think of them with a huge smile. My son and wife and three grandkids live in Hawaii. My daughter and her husband live in the Tahoe area. So it is My Guy and me.

    We took a walk to downtown San Francisco to look at store windows and have a cup of coffee. Fun and more fun. I gave out $5.00Starbuck cards to people who looked needy or lonely. Chatting with them warmed my heart.

    My Guy is cooking Cornish Hens for dinner and then we will exchange gifts.

    You are going to have so much fun with your rag rug loom! What a great gift.

    Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and thank you so much for being a fabulous and funny blog friend these past months!


  7. Whenever I have my four kids (ages 23-30) around me all at the same time, I count my blessings, and know that one day they will be gone separate ways. This year my son is in Florida with his girlfriend's family, but we will see them next week, and I'm thankful to know that he is in a good relationship.
    Right now the kids (including one spouse and one boyfriend) are playing card games together. I love it, and will probably join in for a round or two.

  8. Hey soul sister ... I do not think you're crazy. I am always ready to take down the decorations, too. It's something about the huge buildup, the overwhelming excitement, the stress and pressure to decorate ... a day with family and THEN ... it's over. And I'm tired. And I just want to clean up the stuff and start fresh and clean and energized. :) I'm looking forward to the new year as well. And YES, I have a basement that needs cleaning. I hope you have a wonderful new year and can't wait to read how yours begins!

  9. Thank you for being honest about how you felt about Christmas. After reading so many posts on my Facebook page today, I know that not everybody is that stinking happy today. I have not been able to go "home" for Christmas for over 20 years. My parents got divorced and sold the house. My dad moved into an apartment and my mom moved in with my aging grandparents. It took me several years to come to terms with how to celebrate Christmas as an adult. I no longer have a relationship with my dad, my mom is the primary caregiver for my very sick and elderly grandma, and my sister and her family moved to Maryland this past year. So no getting together with my family this year. I have really enjoyed being with my kids, but they are getting older and wanting to do their own thing most of the day. Thank you for helping me know that my melancholy feelings are normal, and that I am not the only one out there struggling with memories a little bit today. :)

  10. Sometimes I miss the old traditions of my childhood, but I have become much better at adapting to change! I am lucky to have most of my family nearby. (I do miss my Mom.) I don't even want to think about taking down the Christmas decorations. It feels as though I just put them up!
    Christmas Blessings,

  11. Tradition here is that Christmas decorations stay up until Epiphany, which is 12 days after Christmas and commemorates the Three Wise Men's visit. My decorations usually come down the weekend after Epiphany (this year Jan. 8-9.) Last year we took the tree down on Jan. 2 because there were more needles on the floor than on the tree, but this year we cut our own tree down and it's holding up beautifully - I expect to enjoy it another couple of weeks.

  12. Jayme, I miss my dad so very much at this time of year. It felt good to be with the rest of my family though. I hope you know that you and your family are a big part of the memories that I cherish. I just loved your post on 'Twas the Night'. Your talents have always amazed me. Take care. Cynthia

  13. Thank you for this beautiful post Jayme and for sharing your memories.

  14. Loved my holiday and I'm not ready to take it all down just yet. Although Sweet Hubby did try to get me to let him drag the tree out last night. No sir. I am looking forward to some new projects and spending time on the house now.

  15. I just love the blog and the comments, it's like we have our own little group of farmgirls, honestly Jaym you could start a chapter with just us. I just loved the pics, like u, I'm a photographer at heart so I'm always awaiting the pics. I had to comment about Cindy's Velvet, I had her and Chrissy and Mia and another one and I loved them and my dawn dolls to pieces! They were a weird concept but we all loved them. Today may be the day the tree comes down....I'll focus on cleaning the surrounding rooms, but it just may happen. love you much, me

  16. You don't realize what you've got until it's gone.

    How true that is, isn't it? I get to sort of go home but part of my heart is somewhere else, and I dread the days ahead when more pieces will be taken away. I try to remember that they are in a safe place waiting for me and someday, it will be whole again.



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