What I Loved Most About Christmas Past

Christmas is a holiday for children. The season is wrapped in dreams of jolly fat men who magically slide down chimneys, flying reindeer with flashing red noses, singing snowmen and believing. Belief is the sparkle of Christmas but family is the foundation. What I loved the very most about Christmas is doing these 13 things with my family.
  1. The smell of a real Christmas Tree - for our family that smell of pine in the house was the harbinger of the Christmas season. Ours was always placed in front of the living room window, blinds left open at night so it could be viewed from the street. One year my Mom went "modern" and put up an aluminum tree, it was almost like the Grinch had stolen our Christmas. The next year that aluminum tree was relegated to the family room and our beloved Traditional Tree returned in all it's glory.
  2. Getting out the tree ornaments and seeing favorites again. I managed to save a few of my favorites from those days - some are actually older than I am, real hand blown glass.
  3. The Christmas "Bling" - All the lights and sparkle of Christmas decorations. I'm a sucker for bling and sparkle and Christmas has that in abundance.
  4. Seeing the Christmas presents pile up under the tree. I really was a greedy little bugger, lol.
  5. Trying to figure out what was in those presents. Butthead (that's my older brother in case you're new to this blog) was notorious for shaking and rattling packages but I did my share too. Patty, my older sister, was a teenager who disdained this practice which she called "childish".
  6. Buying presents. I saved up my money all year to buy my family presents. I think I enjoyed watching them open these more than I enjoyed opening my own pile of loot.
  7. Wrapping presents. I loved this creative part of Christmas. I would color my own paper, make little decorations, make my own gift cards and spend days cutting, wrapping, gluing and glittering the few presents I had bought to give to family and friends.
  8. NOT seeing Christmas sales before the day after Christmas. Somehow today's big sales and retail panic takes the joy out of holiday shopping.
  9. Watching Christmas spring up all over the neighborhood and town. The day after Thanksgiving the city lights and banners would go up, the stores started getting their windows painted with snowmen and Santas, and the town turned red and green overnight.
  10. Christmas Carols - My favorite? White Christmas.
  11. The Santa Claus TV show that was on every afternoon from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve. I wish I could remember the actual name - I think it was North Pole something - but I ran home from school every day to watch the show.
  12. Seeing all the Christmas Lights on peoples houses - in those days everyone decorated their house with at least one string of lights. The energy crunch of the 70s almost killed that custom but lately I see it coming back and it's nice.
  13. When it actually snowed on Christmas Day - there is something magical about waking up and seeing snowflakes falling on Christmas morning.


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  1. I think you must be my secret Christmas twin. Every one of yours is mine!

  2. I like all these parts of Christmas. What fun!

  3. I LOVE the ornaments. I have a few from my childhood too. I much prefer the Sentimental chritmas tree to the pretty one.

  4. We do a two-dimensional tree now, so don't have that pine scent, which I miss. Pine and gingerbread really make the season.

  5. Oh boy am I in the Christmas spirit now... I'd better find the Christmas CDs!

  6. Julia - For me Christmas is a family holiday which makes it difficult for those of us who have no family anymore. I tend to wax nostalgic because of that fact.

    Brenda - yes, it's definitely a big season of family tradition.

    Emily - Me too, next week I'm posting pictures of my favorite Christmas Ornaments I've collected or saved from my childhood.

    Alice - How do you do a 2-D tree??? Hmmm. I have a small ceramic one my sister made for me nearly 40 years ago and that's the one I put up for my little holiday.

    BTW, make some of my Mom's Ginger Snap Cookies for your Gingerbread smells - they are WONDERFUL!

  7. Beautiful memories of Christmases past. My mom always pokes fun at the beaten up flocked Santa my Grandmother gave me for my first Christmas, but it's always one of the first ornaments on my tree.

  8. I totally agree about the fuss over the gifts. Every year, I'm more and more glad I don't celebrate Christmas.

  9. An amazing 13!!! Me too....me too. [don't recall being a greedy bugger tho. ya, right? LOL]

    Thanks for stopping by today....return for a visit, anytime. Have a glorious Thursday.

  10. I popped over to try and soak up some Christmas spirit which I am lacking.

  11. Heather - the old beat up ones are the best! Maybe they're not decorator friendly but they have the most memories!

    Susan - It's a shame - gift giving should be even better for the person giving to my way of thinking. That's why I eschew the malls and sucker sales and either make my gifts (some people are getting sets of my Hand Painted Martini Glasses and some gifts from my stores that feature my art)

    Hootin' Anni - Ah, you were not a greedy bugger, wow man, you must have been high up on Santa's nice list . . . LOL.

    Elizabeth - Well, I hope you picked up some holiday spirit - I know it can be hard sometimes. I've found a few Christmas Martinis help a lot!

  12. really this is all past?

  13. Desi - For many people, like me, who have no family Christmas is more about past memories than present day celebration, yes.

    I often wish I could create a big "Holiday Inn" just for people who would otherwise spend the holiday season alone.

  14. I had forgotten how everybody decorated their houses with Xmas lights. My apartment complex is having a contest for the best decorations. The winner receives a reduction on their January rent.

  15. @Malcolm: I suppose if you do your lights really well, you'll need the reduction in rent to pay the electric bill!

  16. Malcolm - back in the fifties neighborhoods were so lit up they could have been used to signal ET from his home planet, lol.

    Remember the ones who really got into it? Dad dressed up as Santa, Mom dressed up as Mrs. Claus and they would sit on their porch each night handing out candy canes?

    We had one neighbor who turned his house into the North Pole - I mean complete with a Santa's workshop you could walk into and watch the elves making toys! Amazing.

  17. @Emily: Good point. I wonder if those who are participating in the contest have thought about that.

  18. Emily & Malcolm - It's a pretty nice idea to give a rent reduction to a contest winner, smart property management, lol.

    I remember in the 70s some of the houses that still did put up lights started to put a donation box out front - I think they did pretty good too!


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