Sunday, December 16, 2012


Approximately 1940

"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."

Joan Mills

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.



  1. I'm glad you posted this tonight, Judy. I needed something fun and beautiful to look at as my mind has been on the victims families all day. Everyone is so saddened by it all. Your home is gorgeous and your table tree is so pretty. My eye went straight to the skirt. I would love to see it up close so maybe you could do a request photo. My husbands parents owned a general store in a tiny town in Ontario and, years ago, used to sell toys much like those that you have shown. I love the little train under the tree. We have a smaller one under our tree this year. Love the photo of Buddy. I just want to reach in and give him a big kiss on the head. He looks so gentle and loving. Have a fun week preparing for Christmas. In light of all that has happened this week we must still carry on for our own little ones. Hugs, Deb

  2. Judy,

    This was an absolutely beautiful post! I am glad you decided to send it any way... I have been sad as well, even having nightmares about my little boy. I can only imagine the pain of those dear parents. And my heart breaks for them... I am praying for their healing. Your home is fabulous and I am glad you continued your story....

    Amy Jo

  3. Judy your stories and images are always beautiful. Your childhood memories are far from frivolous or presumptuous, on the contrary. Those memories and connections we have with the past and our childhood are so relevant. There is an appreciation of what's important, hope and love. You are truly kind and sweet. Sending love,

  4. This was beautiful Mom!!! I love you!!!! Tami

  5. Thank you, Judy for this thoughtful post. It is so filled with innocence and wonder. Your tree is stunning and oh, how I love the strands of shiny tinsel. I can remember my Dad taking his time putting them on the branches one at a time.
    This is a time for us to all remember the good times as we face this new era in our nation's history. Yes...They were the good old days...Let us not forget them.
    Blessings and prayers for all our fellow Americans who are touched by the sadness of tragedy and loss during this sacred time of year.
    Carolynn xxx

  6. Thank you so much for this posting, you have a way with words.....Blessings to all....

  7. This was a lovely post, on many levels.

  8. Judy,
    I am glad you did this post in spite of what has happened. It lifted my spirits and I think we all can use a little lifting of spirits in light of recent events.
    Things happen out of our control. I work with a girl that lost 2 young children , all in a period of 5-6 years. It was a long time ago but it left it's mark on her and her family but life went on....
    Your home is just beautiful! I know exactly what you mean about trying to cut back after decorating to the hilt for many years. I tried and still ended up with 19 trees!! My Hime Tour is now complete on my Christmas Blog.... Hope you will stop by if you haven't already...


  9. I think it's nice that you're keeping the tradition alive by decking your halls all out each year. I loved seeing all of the old toys scattered about and learning what era they were from. So interesting. Many of them before my time! LOL! Your home looks beautiful all decorated for the holidays.

  10. Another cute old photo of you Judy. I love how you have all the old toys set up with your beautiful decorations. Love the tribute and old photo of your parents.

  11. What a lovely post, Judy. I enjoyed every word and photo! Tell me, do you have your beloved vintage toys out all year, or do you bring them out only at Christmas? Before I got married I used to use some favorite toys to decorate with, and now I don't know what ever happened to them. I really wish I did. Thank you for sharing the Christmas memories of your Mother. So wonderful that you are carrying on the traditions started by her!

  12. It's lovely, the way you present your childhood Christmas and the way your mother made the home beautiful to the season. Not everyone have that gift but it's always lovely to watch the way people that have are doing. It was also nice to read about gifts that wasn't that expensive. A heaven between the way people buy to their kids nowadays. I think it's crazy to buy all these expensive gifts, but who asks me?

    Yes, the shooting was terrible. I feel so bad for the poor parents that have lost their kids. It's unbelievable that one young man can do such a thing to people around them. It must be a terrible Christmas for them.

    Take care.
    Love Elzie

  13. Hello Judy
    Your home looks stunning, already for a magical Christmas
    Yuletide wishes
    Thea x

  14. Hi there--I was looking for information on the Noah's Ark from Well Spring--like the one you have--and found your blog. I have a full set--and I happen to have an extra set of zebras. If you'd like to replace your little broken one, email me. I am happy to provide pictures. Fondly--Amanda Burkett PS You have a lovely home!


Your comments are so special to me...Judy