"Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for tonight!"
Elizabeth Akers Allen
Remember when you could hardly wait for Christmas? The time went by so slowly and your head was filled with thoughts of...
Pretty little dollies...
Clifford, the Red Dog pull toy and Raggedy Anne in Tami's baby chair
...or of galloping like the wind on your trusty steed...
Gumby and his faithful friend, Pokey
Approximately late 1950's
...or the ring master in a three ring circus...
A circus box that could be used as a backdrop for the little circus toys inside and a Mickey Mouse bank, approximately 1960's
I can remember numerous nights, unable to fall asleep, for the thoughts of an upcoming event that was so important...
Like the first day of school...
A cross-stitch picture made by my SIL, Linda, as a gift to me
...or a special birthday party...
A print from a picture painted by Grace Gebbie Drayton. She was the creator of the Campbell Soup Kids. She was born in 1877 and died in 1936, so this painting was done sometime before 1936.
But never was there a night as special as the one that held the excitement of the coming of Christmas.
This is my Mom and Dad sometime in the 1950's. I apologize for the blurriness of the photo but it is the only one I have that illustrates part of the following story.
My mom was the true definition of the word, housewife. She didn't work outside the home and she didn't drive a car. She was an exceptional cook and our home was always spotless.
Donald Duck, hard plastic head and soft rubber body and Dumbo, a squeaky toy in a tiny suitcase that is embellished with fairy tale decals. Probably used for a little girl's doll clothes and made around the mid 50's.
A small child's oak roll top desk and swivel chair from the late 1800's, early 1900's, and several small Disney characters.
She grew beautiful flowers, which she loved to arrange in every room and she had an eye for decorating and was always rearranging the furniture.
I would say that I got my love of Christmas from my mom. We always had the most beautiful tree and it went up in the living room on the day after Thanksgiving and stayed up until the day after New Years. It was the same every year except the decorations would change with whatever style or color was "in" that year.
We have a tabletop tree in this room every year. It is very indicative of the Victorian era.
Buddy sends his Christmas good wishes
One year she had the tree decorated in all silver and green with green lights, or all white flocking, blue balls and a clear spotlight another year. We even had a spotlight that turned and changed colors one year.
There was always great excitement during that time. My sister, brother and myself shared a bedroom and we would stay awake for hours whispering about all that was going on.
Noah's Ark, hand carved and picked up at a craft show in the 80's. When we had the earthquake in Santa Cruz in 1989 pieces fell off the shelf and one zebra had it's leg broken. Now she always sits with her nose resting on the gangplank so she can stand up.
Those were really great years and I have so many fond memories. Looking back over my life, I seem to have many great memories, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Santa Claus always brought us the things that we most wished for and it seems, looking back, that those things were mostly simple and so were not out of the realm of possibilities.
This metal horse is the Mojo brand, produced in England from 1950 through 1970. It became popular in America because we wanted to replace the wooden rocking horses. When a child sits in the saddle and places his feet on the pedals, the horse rocks forward. This has his original paint but is rather rusted and squeaky, just the way I like him.
If you look at this photo quickly, do not the curtains on either side of the tree look like angel wings?
"For Christmas is tradition time - Traditions that recall/The precious memories down the years,/The sameness of them all."
Helen Lowrie Marshall
I have tried, over the years, to carry on this tradition. I have always decorated our homes to the hilt. Our friends and neighbors have always looked in awe at how many decorations there were. When the kids were small this way was a fact of life.
Tami,6 and Brent,3 with Santa.
Such trust, admiration and innocence
Since the kids grew up and left the nest and just the two of us remained, I thought I would tone things down a bit, but I'm finding old habits hard to break...
This little nursery rhyme train pull toy is made by Holgate. I researched the company on Google and could not find a date for this particular toy. The company was established in 1789 and still remains in business today, so I am just assuming that it was made in around the l940's or 50's. It consists of the Old Woman in the Shoe, Rub-a-dub-dub, Cinderella's Coach, 3 wise Men from Gotham (which I have never heard of), Wynken, Blynken and Nod, and a tiny Coal caboose for naughty little children.
There is something about the "feel" of Christmas that is embedded in my very soul, and I find that impossible to change.
"Christmas is the keeping place for memories of our innocence."
I have been seeing frames used as "wreaths" this Christmas in many blogs and have admired them all. I knew I had an old frame hiding in the garage but didn't remember that it was embossed with holly and berries until The Captain pulled it out. I love the look of it. I added a battery powered candle that I had.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter of our Christmas story and the decorations in the sitting room. Since our parlor was not available this year, no matter how hard we worked to get it there, I will leave you with a picture of what it looked like a couple of years ago and how we hope to have it look, once again, next year...Judy
"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas time."
Laura Ingalls Wilder
I am sharing with:
I know that this has been an especially long post and I had it written a few days ago before the devastating occurrence at Sandy Hook. I thought long and hard about whether I should send it. It seems such a presumptuous and frivolous thing to do in light of what happened there.
Here I am in my little part of the world, safe and knowing that my family is here, excited about Christmas and then my mind goes to the parents in that town, a part of New England, which is almost always synonymous with Christmas.
Christmas is always about families. It has been from that night in the stable to the nights all over the world when dreams are being dreamed and magic is happening. I keep envisioning these parents going home, after hearing the devastating news that their children are gone, and seeing the presents already under the tree waiting for a child that will not come. It will be a silent night of another kind.
I can relate to losing a child, but not one so young, with a lifetime ahead that would include all of the things that I felt as a child at Christmas time and beyond.
I decided to send this on in spite of a heart that is heavy with regret. Things happen in our world that we have no control over. Something needs to be done to at least try to stop the violence, and things can be done, but the sad thing is that bad things will continue to happen no matter what laws are put in place. They always have and they still do.
We have to remember that we all belong to the family of mankind, and that there still is beauty in this world. We will find it if we just look. Try to lend a helping hand of support to those that need it. Our actions will speak volumes and hopefully, one day, make the world a better place.
My thoughts and prayers are with everyone. We are all changed by this.