I was thinking about this being the first Christmas since Dad died in Aug, and the second one without Mom and how different it all is now. This will not be a sad blog though. I know Dad is happy to be with Mom forever now and I am fine with that. It just seems odd and strange not picking out gifts for them or not sending a box of our Welsh cookies home that Dad loved so much. He said once they tasted just like the ones his Mom (my Nana) used to make and that was a great complement. He always looked forward to getting those cookies at Christmas.
If you look at the picture of me with Santa, I think I was bout 6 years old there in 1954. I remember that coat and hat so well. It was navy blue with gray fur. Then later on you will see the picture in the middle of my blog. I think I was about 12 or so. I received the whole outfit for Christmas..the black and white slacks, sweater and the watch I'm wearing. Boy did I think I looked great. The watch had a red band. It was my first watch ever! Love the picture of my 2 brothers too. Pretty cute boys.. and they have turned into nice looking young men today with sons of their own.
I loved to start decorating for Christmas so I took it upon myself on Thanksgiving night to go up to the
third floor of our house where the decorations were kept under the eaves and get the gold sparkly wreath and red candle I bought Mom and Dad for their anniversary in November. Then and only then could I put that candle on the dining room table. That was the beginning of the Christmas season for me. The first week in December we could bring more things out. We had beams on the ceiling of our family room that needed to have things hanging from them as far as I was concerned. One year I alternated candy canes and pop corn balls tied with ribbon from the beams. Another year I hung gold glitter snow flakes and candy canes. Mom let me pretty much have free reign with the decorating. Every year they would host a music teacher's party in their home. ( My dad was supervisor of 33 music programs in 33 schools in the jointure.) There were a lot of music teachers then. They all would look forward to coming to our home. That was when I learned how to serve coffee and tea and be the little hostess along with my parents. My parents were good at teaching social graces and I am so thankful for that today.
Anyway, back to decorating. My brothers were in on it too. They are much younger though..there is 9 and 10 years between us. But, they would tie the ribbons on the snow flakes, pop corn balls and candy canes for me and hand them up to me. That was fine until they started eating the pop corn balls and candy canes. I was upset because I had a certain amount all counted out so it would be a balanced look. But Mom reminded me that we could get more if needed. I hadn't thought of that.
We would all pile into the car on a night in the last week before Christmas and go tree hunting. There were a lot of Christmas tree stands back in Pa then and the grocery stores had them too. We always found the "perfect" tree, or so we thought. The year Mom was pregnant with Doug and due early in January we got a tree home and after Did set it up in the stand we discovered the trunk was crooked. we had to wrap up a brisk and lean it against the tree to hold it straight and prayed no one tried to " open " that present. I must say that was a short Christmas. The tree was down two days after Christmas and Doug was born Jan. 4. Doug always felt he got cheated and that his b-day gift was a left over Christmas gift. It wasn't but he thought so. Of course he doesn't feel that way now.
One of the traditions was that we couldn't go downstairs until Dad went down and checked to see if Santa had come and also to turn on the tree lights. That continued for as long as I can remember while I was living at home.( I moved out when I was 23)
What we didn't know was that when we heard Mom and Dad in the hall, he and Mom were usually just coming upstairs after putting all the toys and such together.
Well, just a few passing memories. It was good writing them down and I know Mom and Dad would want us to remember those happy times. Arjay and I have created our own happy times now. He proposed to me on Thanksgiving Eve in 1979 and we were married just 4 weeks later on Christmas Eve. Needless to say we have never forgotten our anniversary! It'll be 33 yrs this year.