Is there any other season that tugs at your heart strings more than Christmastime? Those days of yore when the family gathered around the Christmas tree all a-twinkle with coloured lights and those vintage ornaments lending their sweet old-fashioned appeal to each branch. There was just something special about those days. Bells that tinkle and horns that toot are a-plenty now but when I was a girl they weren't so plentiful. Yet my mother had them on our tree.
My boyfriend, now Hubby, standing beside the seven foot Christmas tree at my parents' home. The walls were painted in my mother's favourite colour; aqua. I think every house we lived in had aqua walls in the living room. Sorry about the glare.
I wish I could zoom in on some of the old glass ornaments. They were in the most beautiful jewel tones; red, gold, turquoise, fuchsia, emerald green, and royal blue.
I wonder if I may transport you back to my Christmases as a girl?
As a child, we didn't have any more than the average family. I grew up mostly in rented houses and apartments but when Christmas came around, I felt like we were as wealthy as the royals.
The weeks leading up to Christmas were always busy with Christmas concerts and church festivities, my mother baking, and lots of secrets. My brother and I would have been mistaken for angels those few weeks leading up to the big day!
Mum and Daddy would trim the house before bringing in the fresh spruce tree. I can still remember the scent of fresh boughs hung over the doorways and windows sparkling with silver glass balls and icicles. Then there was the tree itself. Never was there a more beautiful tree! My mother had a gift for decorating and I always thought that our tree was the most beautiful in the neighbourhood.
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, which Daddy built and my mother painted, took his place of honour in the front window and when he was plugged in, his nose glowed bright red and all along the base were many coloured lights. To us kids, Rudolph was quite magical!
This little china deer was a gift from my mother many years ago. He comes out every Christmas and spends time on the window sill reminding me of the Rudolph in our window so many years ago.
We always had the best presents because Daddy worked as an accountant at a home and auto shop which also sold toys.
These little tykes build a snowman every Christmas on my window sill above the kitchen sink.
One magical Christmas when I was seven years old, my brother and I found the most adorable puppy next to the Christmas tree in his brand new dog house which Daddy had built. He was a blond and white pure bread cocker spaniel and he was the sweetest thing!
This pup belonged to our good friends but he could pass for our puppy's brother.
That was the best Christmas ever! We called the puppy Jingles.
This ceramic spaniel puppy was made by my son in High School which he gave to me. The pup reminds me of our puppy, Jingles.
After the gifts were opened we always had a big dinner. The turkey took center stage and all the fixings were spread out around the turkey on the festive tablecloth my mother would use that time of year. Of course everything was homemade in those days. The dressing, rich with onions and summer savoury, sweet and tart cranberry sauce, home made pickles and relish, and the wonderful savoury gravy. What a feast! Dessert was always mincemeat pie with whipped cream or plum pudding. My brother and I always enjoyed both!
In those days, Walt Disney had an afternoon special to watch on TV every Christmas Day. That is when my father would get down on the floor with my brother and me and watch the cartoons with us. He laughed and enjoyed them as much as we did. Lady and the Tramp, Chip and Dale, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, etc. Walt Disney was the icing on the cake so to speak because we knew Daddy was going to enjoy the cartoons as much as we did. If the truth was known, he was just a big kid himself at Christmastime. Such warm memories of family times!
My Daddy is gone now and my mother is in a nursing home so Christmas is bittersweet at times. But my love for Christmas burns bright because of the legacy my parents left me.
When my children were growing up, I did my best to make Christmas magical for them.
My middle son has the same love for the Holidays as his mom and his grandfather before him and he too becomes a little kid at Christmastime. His children are enjoying the benefits of Christmas magic passed from one generation to the next.
Christmastime is so very special to all of us because of the extraordinary Gift that was given over two thousand years ago.
So enjoy the music, the food, the decorations and the presents. Greet one another with kindness and extend good will to all men. And remember to thank Him for it all. For without Christ, there would be no Christmas!
Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi