Back when I started this blog, it was a place to “remember” all the projects I had made. I am terrible with taking photos of things I have made. I went though a “bag” phase, I must have made 100 of them. I don’t have a photo of a single one….. People would ask “hey can I see one of the bags you made?” And I would always say “ummm… don’t have a picture” I figured the blog would be a good cure for this. And it has been.
Then I decided to work a little harder at the blog thing, and here we are today.
I never know if I should share “my life” on this blog… do you really care? Do you just want the ideas and instructions? I don’t know the answer to that one, but I had a post planned for my personal blog and thought it would be appropriate to share here. It is Christmas after all and I’d like to share a little of myself with all of you.
My sister, Emily posted the top photo on her blog today. A flood of memories have started coming back to me today, and I wanted to write some of them down before I forgot.
This was my Christmas sometime back in the 70′s… (okay, my sister has obviously raided my parents stash of photos)….. Do you see that Mandy doll???? Did you have one? I was just talking about her with a friend the other night, then Emily posts this today…. Weird huh!!!
Oh and if you’re in for a good laugh, do you see that is a Charlies Angels hair kit under the tree??? I also totally remember the 2 large white snowmen… & the Holly Hobby Cradle (that was Emily’s gift that year).
These are NOT the things I remember from my childhood at Christmas… I have since forgotten what I got each year- I only remember now, because of the photos…
BUT the THESE are the things that I do remember…
-Mom baking like a mad woman, we had EVERYTHING! Lemon bread, sugar cookies, graham cracker balls, cakes, pies homemade rolls…It was a veritable feast for the month of December.
-I guess my sister and I were always a little over anxious on Christmas Eve/Morning. We would not sleep. I’m sure this drove my parents crazy!!! I remember one year they resorted to moving the furniture in the living room so that it blocked the doorway. That way even if we did get up in the middle of the night, we would have to move the furniture to get in to see our gifts, thus making a lot of noise and getting ourselves caught.
-Christmas in Spanish Fork… My Grandpa would always have a fire, I can still see him stoking it when I close my eyes. And winding the clock that was always on the mantle. My Grandma would cook… pies usually… and they were in a word…. “unusual”… She would make fruit pies with whatever was in her cupboard. It was not out of the question to have pineapple, apple, raisin, & mandarin orange pie. Ummm yeah.. not so good. She also took to coloring her own hair. It was a “secret joke” between my siblings and I to see what color Grandma’s hair would be each time we saw her.
Sometime over Christmas break we would undoubtedly talk my parents into letting us sleep over at Grandma’s house… when we would wake up Grandpa would have cooked us the BIGGEST breakfast ever! First course, cold cereal followed by cream of wheat, eggs, bacon (the good kind, from the butcher), pancakes (with bacon bits mixed in sooooo good! I still eat always bacon with my pancakes).
- One year we traveled to Kansas City (Independence to be exact) to have Christmas with my Mom’s family… Aside from the car breaking down in Nebraska (our car ALWAYS broke down in Nebraska… why??!?!?)…. I remember the wreath my grandma had. It had little sculpted faces on it… one for each of us in the family… (they were sculpted out of nylons, do you remember those crafts?). I loved to look at the wreath will all of us on it and see me on it.
This year, my cousin Andy was there (he’s a year older than me)… I got a little blender (the kind you push a button and it makes a noise)… Andy got something else, I don’t know what it was, but all he wanted to do was play with my blender… Today he is a police man, not a chef… so I guess the interest was short lived.
-My Mom would always sew for us at Christmas… she was quite a seamstress, she denies this now, but I remember it. She would shut herself in her bedroom -we were not allowed in there because she was working on things. She made us baby dolls (yes you can make a baby doll), doll clothes, quilts etc…..
-A couple of gifts I do remember. The year that cabbage patch dolls were “new”.. my sister and I really really wanted one. It was a pretty unrealistic gift that year. There were none around and they were pricey. My mom got someone to make us dolls that year. They were all hand made, with the faces painted on and the hair sewn in one strand at a time. A labor of love I’m sure.
-One year we were given a bunch of hand made Barbie clothes. In later years my Mom shared with me where they came from. A lady in our church made them. She had a handicapped daughter and was single, and struggled to make ends meet. I guess my parents were having a hard year, because she would not let my Mom pay for the Barbie clothes. I still think of her generosity and tear up. Even though we had a hard year, we had more than she did, yet she was so willing to serve our family.
-My Aunt Mary Ann, (my mom’s sister) did not have any girls. So she “adopted” my sister and I. Every year she would send us a homemade rag doll. She would stitch our names on the tummies. I have them upstairs, I’ll have to take a photo of them an share them. They came in all different sizes, and all different outfits. They had curly yarn hair and hand embroidered faces.
-There were also, visits with cousins, trips to Wyoming, caroling with the church, & the dreaded Bearnson family christmas party. (dreaded mostly by my Mother, but thats’ a story all it’s own). Oh I could write a whole book with memories from those parties.
My Grandma had 12 brothers and sisters, most of those 12 kids had 3-4 kids, then those kids had 3-4 kids… you can do the math… it was a big family by the time I came along. They held 2 family reunions a year. One in the summer and one at Christmas. They rented a hall in Provo, and decedents from far and wide (well wide as in Salt Lake County, that was pretty far away for them, most lived in Utah county all their life) came. We had a visit from Santa, with our own little gift, and a talent show, that I was always required to play the piano at. The anticipation of the piano playing alone would have been enough to ruin the party, but I didn’t seem to care.. there was food, lots and lots of food, & cousins everywhere. Now, all but 2 of those 12 siblings have passed away, and our families are truly spread far and wide – there are no more Christmas parties in Provo. They stopped having them a few years ago, I heard it might have had something to do with a food poisoning incident, but I think it’s because those 12 were the glue that held everyone together.
I treasure those memories of Christmas in my childhood. Things were not perfect, but that’s not what I remember (aside from the car breaking down in Nebraska). I try to work hard so that my kids will also have wonderful memories of Christmases when they were young. I always joke that it’s really “hard” to be a Mom at Christmastime… You are the one that makes things “special” for your family and sometimes it’s really hard to keep up with it all. I just need to step back sometimes and remind myself why I do it. I remember my parents working so hard to make Christmas special for us each year (and they did) and I am so grateful that they did. I hope my kids will remember me working hard for them as well….
next post.. memories of Christmas present… then back to our regularly scheduled programming… (i.e. crafts!)