Friday, December 21, 2012
ACCM: December 21, 2012
What songs did your family listen to during Christmas? Did you ever go caroling? Did you have a favorite song?
Before I answer the questions, I want to say, I love Christmas music and listen to it all year long. Not all at once all of the time, but when the mood hits.
1. My mother played piano and had a lovely voice. We had a second hand upright piano, then in my later years in high school, my parents sold it and got an organ. I learned to play piano on that one. Anyway, she would play the piano and all of us would sing with her. She would start with Christmas carols and then have some Christmas standards, then back to carols. I learned a lot of them early on as she would have the music for her students to learn for their Christmas programs and practice it at home. She would show me the motions to go along with the songs and she would have me perform as she played and we both sang. She could then see if anything needed changed.
2. Yes I went caroling a lot. When I was young, I would go with my Girl Scout Troop and my youth groups from church. Then when I was a Girl Scout leader, I would have my girls carol. They always asked to do it each year. We would go to their neighborhoods and one or two nursing homes. Then when I was the technical school, we caroled at four nursing homes and gave the residents who wanted them, manicures. That was very rewarding.
3. I actually have more than one favorite. Silent Night, Oh Holy Night, and O Come, O Come Emmanuel are my three favorite carols. I'll Be Home For Christmas, Little Drummer Boy, and The Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on an Open Fire) are three of the seasonal ones. Go Tell It On The Mountain fits almost anywhere. Those are my favorites. Whenever I hear and/or sing I'll Be Home For Christmas, I get chill bumps and a slight lump in my throat as it always reminds me of our service people who are serving during war time or away from home. I remember the Christmas my first husband was in Nam. We had both turned twenty less tan two months before and we were so young and missing each other and afraid of the unknown. It was early in the war and not too many knew very much about it as a country. That Christmas he sent me home a menu for his segment's Christmas Dinner. He also wrote me a poem and sent a photo of him in the ancient city of Hue' before the Tet offensive when everything was in tact and absolutely beautiful. That really brought home to me of all that I had been trying to wrap my mind around - he has his .45 strapped on. That memory with that song go hand and hand to me and I hate the thought of any other young couple going through it.
Do you have any favorite carols or songs? Do you have a story about why they may be important to you?
Today was the first day of winter and our temps dipped into the 50s and will be 32 degrees F or lower tonight. What was your weather like?
Happiest of Holidays to everyone and a very Merry Christmas on Tuesday, just in case we don't make it on line. I wish for you and yours blessings of the day. I love each of you for all that you are!!
Peace Love Joy
Our Spirit of Christmas who we lost in January, he lives on in our hearts.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
ACCM: December 20, 2012
Did your family attend religious services during the Christmas season? What were the customs and traditions involved?
1. Yes my family attended religious services during the Christmas season. Usually several times during the week leading to the Day. We did, too, up until two years ago when I have been too ill to do so.
2. I grew up in a community church environment, but would attend church with my cousins when i stayed with them, so I knew a lot about Mass before I converted in 1977.
Our community church would have a Christmas Eve candlelight service at 7PM which we attended. We were permitted to open a gift before then and my parents always made sure it was one with new clothes, shoes, etc., so we could wear it to that service. When I got older, I would often go to Midnight Mass with my cousins. At their church and the one where I received my confirmation, a lot of the service was in Slovak. It was the Byzantine Rite and had done the Mass in "the vanacular of the people" long before the Roman Rite gave up Latin for the language of the people. When i moved to FL the only churches nearby were of the Roman Rite. I was a lector (read the Bible readings for emphasis for that week) and would often read on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Mass, too. I was in choir at the community church and at the one here in FL, too. When the Christmas plays were done, I was usually singing in the choir. i loved every minute of it. Christmas music is one of my favorite kinds, and I miss not being able to sing as I used to do.
At the community church, the youth groups would meet after the service and go caroling for an hour. We also did that the weekend before Christmas. We'd then return to the church hall for hot chocolate and cookies and if our group had a gift for our youth minister, we would give it at that time.
This is such a beautiful time of our liturgical calendar, and I wish more people would have the spirit of goodness toward all others all year long. What a much better world
this would be.
My wish for all of my Spark Buddies is to enjoy the season in the manner in which you believe. No matter what that is, be sure to show kindness towards others and towards yourself, too. It can be a crazy busy time, so try to remember to take time for yourself and get some rest. please know I keep each of you in my heart and prayers. Y'all have meant the world to me and I cherish each friendship.
Peace Love Joy
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
ACCM: December 18, 2012
Did you have one? Where did you hang it? What did you get in it?
1. I don't recall having a stocking until I was older. Now i have several, but use only one.
2. My stocking doesn't hang anywhere actually. Rather it is placed on a bookcase near the tree or under the tree itself. I've never had a mantle or any place to hang one.
3. Traditionally, the items in my stocking are never wrapped, unless it is an "important gift" that might get lost under the tree. The usual contents are nuts, fruit, some candy, coloring book, crayons, pens, lip balm, puzzle book, IOU notes for downloads, paperback books, cards announcing magazine subscriptions, shower gel, and other girly things. And yes, I still color!! I enjoy my stocking and look forward to it each year.
ACCM: December 19, 2012
How did your family handle Christmas Shopping? Did anyone finish early or did anyone start on Christmas Eve?
1. I'm not sure how it was handled when I was young other than my mother showing me one or two things for my dad and for my brother and letting me make the final pick. I remember when I was about 11 and my mother gave me two dollars and my brother took me to the drug store and I picked out a gift for my dad on my own. I chose Vitalis hair grooming as I had seen an ad for it I liked. My brother told me how silly I was for getting it. My mother helped me wrap it, and when daddy opened it, he appeared to love it. I guess that was a very early lesson for me about marketing and being careful about ads. The problem? i'm sure you've guessed. Daddy was bald!! I'm sure Daddy did help with some shopping as when I was older he would always tell me what he wanted for mama and I would often pick it up for him and wrap it. Sometimes, he would ask me to go with him to help choose it.
2. In my opinion everything was done on time. Nothing was ever late. I used to shop all year long when I would see something special I thought someone would like, i'd get it. Most of the time, my shopping was done by November 1 each year. Since I haven't been able to drive, that has sort of gone by the way side. I order on line and have it mailed to whoever, but sometimes I must wait until between Christmas and New Years. Poor Bob is usually the recipient of these kinds of IOU notes. But i enjoy getting tools he likes or wants, and I want them to be correct, so I'll give him the IOU for Christmas and be with him when he picks them out between Christmas and New Year's. It seems to work. Besides which it is difficult for me to get anything for him when we are always together.
Did you have stockings? Do you still? What is normally in them? Are you an early or a late shopper? Are you going to get yourself a present, too?
On a sad note: Monday my radiation oncologist's 33 year old daughter was killed in an automobile accident. In 2007 he lost his son, who was 26 at the time. I feel so bad for his wife and him. They have now lost both of their children. Each was so intelligent, giving, and had fine leadership qualities that made them successful all throughout life. So i am coming to you my friends again, to ask for prayers or good thoughts for Dr. K and his wife Shelia. (Dr K's picture is in my photo album). Thank you so much. I can't even begin to imagine their grief.
Here's hoping you are all getting you time in to relax and rejuvenate. Blessings to you, i'm so happy you are in my life.
Peace Love Joy now and always.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
ACCM: December 16, 2012
Christmas At School
What did you do to celebrate Christmas at school? Were you ever in a Christmas Pageant?
1. We would give our classmates cards with usually a bit of Christmas candy such as a candy cane. We always had a gift for our teacher, too. We were allowed to pick them, but with guidance from my mother.
2. Yes I was in Christmas pageants both at church and school. I remember when I was in ninth grade, the band and coir presented Christmas programs and as i was a majorette, I got to be an elf in Santa's workshop!! At church it was the Christmas story from the Bible each year. Sometimes the hymns would change, but the beautiful story remained the same.
ACCM: December 17, 2012
Author’s choice. Please post from a topic that helps you remember Christmases past!
For today'''s grab bag memories, I have decided to post about memories of Christmas dances.
In high school we would have a Christmas dance that was semi-formal in nature. Although freshmen could go, i didn't go until i was a junior and 16. Even then it had to be in a group. Several of us who were in Summer 4-H Band invited friends from there to go as "dates". We had a really good time together. I remember the first year I went i had a really pretty light blue fancy dance with rhinestones sewn into the bodice. I felt so pretty! And I got to wear heels!! It was the first time all of the guys were tall enough for me to do so!!!
Until I moved to Florida, my sorority held a Christmas formal with a queen and attendants. Each chapter would elect their chapter candidate and there would be a semi formal tea where the candidates would meet the panel of judges and answered questions. I remember one year when I was a chapter queen and candidate, the question was what woman did i consider a hero and why. I answered my mother for all the things she did in a time most women didn't do such things. She went to New York City one summer on her own and worked for a dentist and his family as a nanny. On her days off she would go on her own all around the city. This was in the early 1930's. in the mid 1930's she and two women friends drove on their own from Ohio to California. They took a summer term as USC. Remember, there were no interstate or even many 4 lane roads at that time. For women to do this on their own was rarely heard of at that time. They also went to the World's Fair on Treasure island. Mom was also on a women's semi professional basketball team during the depression. She was simply incredible in my eyes, then as she still is. One of the sisters in my chapter said I'd never win with saying my mother. I didn't win, but that's just as well!! I enjoyed myself and gave an honest answer. I'll have to add some pictures of her during those times whenever I come across them.
Blessings to all of my Spark Buddies. I treasure each of you.
peace love joy
Saturday, December 15, 2012
ACCM: December 13, 2012
Did you or your ancestors travel anywhere for Christmas? How did you travel and who traveled with you? Do you remember any special trips?
1. 2. 3. Our family stayed within our county during the holidays. When we went to church or visiting, we drove. My mother told of her family traveling across the state to see her mother's family and it would take days by car. That would have been in the 1920''s.
After my mother passed away, I flew to OH to be with my brother and his family at Christmas.
ACCM: December 14, 2012
Fruit Cake – Friend or Foe?
Did you like fruitcake? Did your family receive fruitcakes? Have you ever re-gifted fruitcake? Have you ever devised creative uses for fruitcake?
1. I never cared that much for fruitcake, as I found it too sweet in a not good way!
2. My parents always received fruitcakes while I was growing up. I can't remember too many as I got older.
3. We never re-gifted fruitcake at all. There was always those in the family who loved them. They would always be gone by January 6 th.
4. No, I never came up with unique ways for uses. i did, however receive some from a sorority sister that were small loaves of individual chocolate ones that she gave the recipe for with each loaf. It came from Southern Living Magazine from years ago. It was soooooo good. I made them as gifts one year, too.
ACCM: December 15, 2012
The Holiday Happenings
Often times December to mid-January birthdays and anniversaries get over shadowed by the Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year holidays. So we’re going to shine a spotlight on those family members and ancestors this time around. Select one or more December to mid-January birthdays and/or anniversaries on your family tree. Write a short tribute to or memory of those birthday guys and gals and write a toast to the anniversary couples.
1. Both my niece and one of my cousins share Dec. 12 as their birthday. My cousin was the first granddaughter born after my Baba died so was named after her. My niece is very special to me. Her eldest son and Bob's daughter share December 31st birthdays.
My father's birthday was January 6, and if he were still living, he would be 100 next month. My nephew's birthday is January 17th and my brother's birthday is January 19th. Our mother's birthday was January 30th. If she were still living, she would be 99 next month.
2. I am sure i have missed some of the birthdays in the family. I can't remember any anniversaries, but I'm sure I have missed some of those too.
For those with December and JAnuary birthday guys and gals - my your special days be as special as you and that you have only peace, love, and happiness.
For those anniversary couples, i am very happy for the couples and the years they were able to spend together. Cheers!!
May all my Spark friends have happy days ahead this month and next.
Peace Love and Joy be yours always.
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