Saturday, November 21, 2015

T minus 33 days and counting .... to Christmas

Where on earth did this year go??  How is it possible that this week is Thanksgiving?

This is the first Holiday season without Mom and I have to admit, I'm not doing so well.  There I admitted it. I'd hoped it would be easier, but I guess it is what it is - I'll just have to buy Puffs Facial Tissue in bulk this year! And try to avoid the Christmas specials and commercials!

Mom loved the holidays - every opportunity for a big production was welcomed.  She calmed down in her later years ... but boy-o-boy growing up, holidays were crazy!

First was Halloween - and Mom belonged to a "Social Club" - the Lenox Club.  Lenox was the name of the street everyone had lived on at one point or another.  Most of the members were family and longtime friends.  Most were ancient!!  Mom and Dad were some of the youngest members! And they had a Halloween party, complete with costumes.  In fact, you hoped your costume was good enough that no one would know who you were!  And I remember some weird costumes, because of course, you had to organize it from your closet or go thrifting for it.  No store-bought or rented costumes ever considered!!  I thought all parents did this! Below is one of the costumes!!  Mom hated that this photo existed - I can just hear what she'd say about being on the blog!! (insert my evil laugh here!)

Then Thanksgiving - the whole family got together, and being a Nebraskan family, the Husker game was always playing.  We planned around a lot of football on TV.  But the TV wasn't on during dinner.  I remember sitting across from my nephew (just 2 years younger than me); because we got into too much trouble sitting by each other! I remember putting black olives on our fingertips and trying to give each other the finger without being caught!  HS age - it was fun!!

Now don't think the rest of us just milled about during the games on TV.  Oh, no!!  There was a planned craft activity, attendance was mandatory - all hands on deck.

There were Mr and Mrs Santas; and I remember variegated crepe paper wreaths - we had to cut the paper in strips, wrap it around a dowel and using a kid's block smash it hard into crinkled curls.  Shiny Christmas balls were added.  It took alot of curls and we had to make one for everyone!!  I guess that's where I got my sweat-shop training!

                                           Image result for vintage sequin fruit

Then there was the year of sequined wax fruit.  Lord help us!!  We had to thread the sequin on a straight pin, then pin it into the wax fruit.  Why or why I ended up with the banana, I don't know - but that sucker went on forever. My fingers were dimpled for months after that.  I don't know why we couldn't hammer those pins in - it would have been easier. I remember just gold sequins on ours.  There is a reason no one does this anymore!

But the piece d'resistance was the turkey carcass breast bone made into a Santa's sleigh!!!  Don't look at me like that!  Ours was glittered!!  My DH told me he really did reconsider marrying into my family after that project was brought up!! (I don't blame him!) And yes, it was stuck into styrofoam!

And Christmas - well, it was spectacular!  There was a flocked tree that children were not allowed to help decorate - there was always a color theme.  Probably why my children always decorated the tree and there was a multitude of ornaments on it.

There was chili and hoagies on Christmas Eve, a tradition we still follow.  That informal set-up is a good plan.  It takes into account those who have to work or travel that day, Christmas Eve Church services, some go early and some go late; and keeps it all casual and welcoming!  But we did open family presents on Christmas Eve.

Then Christmas breakfast.  I remember setting the table watching Art Linkletter's Tour of the Holy Lands on TV???  I don't remember what we ate, but I remember setting up 6 ft long tables so we could all eat together.  Christmas dinner was later in the day so everyone could go to the In-laws and come back.

Here's an assortment of Christmas photos in no particular order!!

Christmas - waiting for Santa to come.  At the farmhouse, I was in HS.  The dogs were always part of it too!

I think this was in our basement on L St.  I was in elementary school. Not pictured.

Farmhouse - the aftermath!!! My nieces.

L St porch on a mild Christmas.  I'm the dark haired girl in a twin set!!  It was the 60s! Very fashionable!

L St basement - must be after Christmas breakfast but before presents. I'm in the red sweater, but don't you love those matching cowboy shirts my nephews are wearing!!  Grandma and Grandpa Grant on the couch.

Everyone dressed up, we were going to church later.  At my sister's duplex house on 33rd! My nieces and nephews with me.

When my Sister moved to Waverly, Christmas happened at her house.  My DD posing with the Great nephews and nieces.

My dad posing with the first Great-grandchildren!

Lined up with our favorite presents!  A little too cold out for adults to come out!

Christmas Eve - I'll grow into those jammies - maybe by next year!

At Farm with our oldest dog - Paddy O'Shea he was brought home on St Patricks Day as a puppy.

Thanks for reminiscing with me. Next time - favorite presents to give!


Mary said...

My mom loved Christmas too. It's been nearly 38 years since she left us on Christmas Eve. I still have a day or two of tears during the holiday, but I try to give my family rememberances of her every chance I get. She wouldn't want me to just be sad. Time does make the holidays easier. I think we had similar up-bringing. We didn't do the Turkey carcass sleigh... Thanks for sharing.

cityquilter grace said...

lovely photos doni and believe it or not, some look exactly like mine....LOL! you know,black and white, pajamas, gifts, the dated clothing...what lovely memories...chin up, my quilty pal.....the amount of tears is equal to the amount of love so let them flow....