Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Past

     As Thanksgiving ushers in the Christmas season I am recalling happy childhood memories of my early years.  Christmas was very magical when I was young, and I decided that remembering these might help me remember the magical feeling of this season.  It is working!
     Here are a few things I recall--
1.  A huge, live Christmas tree with lots of sparkle--metallic balls and icycles.  I recall laying on the floor near the tree and just watching it.  Very magical experience...  Oh, I remember having homemade cookie ornaments one year.  Very pretty.
2.  My dad was the assistant manager at the local A&P (grocery store); he brought home a box of goodies from the store just before Christmas.  Yum!
3.  Listening to Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite and twirling to Waltz of the Flowers.  Anyone remember the Nutcracker Suite paper dolls?!  They were really pretty!
4.  Our church Christmas Eve service; this involved the children singing.  I think I was a shepherd or angel one year.  What I really remember is learning Silent Night.
5.  My mother singing the aria He Shall Feed His Flock  from The Messiah
6.  Listening to The Messiah
7.  Both of my parents singing in the church choir.
8.  Going downtown in Fort Wayne or Indianapolis and touring the window displays.  They were so magical!
9.  Oranges in my red felt stocking........I can smell them
10 Revlon sister and I each got one (she got the blond one; I got the brunette doll).

11. Santa always visited my home on Christmas Eve. We would each get to sit on his lap and listen to his serious but very kind questions about our behavior and what was wanted for Christmas.  I suppose he had something in his bag, but I only remember him......oh, and his list.  I knew he was the real Santa.  His disguise and impersonation were perfect in my eyes; I found out years later that a close family friend  had done this faithfully.
12. Cuddling under a silky comforter in bed on Christmas Eve, too excited to sleep and filled with the anticipation of hearing Santa on the roof.  Really cool.  And we never peeked downstairs (well, I can't speak for my sister...).
13. My aunts read us a Christmas story about a special Christmas train and dreaming of sugarplums, I think.  I REALLY wanted to go there in my own dreams!!
14. Christmas specials on early television
15. Visiting a big department store and Santa .....a big deal to me since we lived in a town of 20,000
16. Being aware that elves were watching my every move
17. Santa songs...lots of fun!


18. Getting to be the Queen of Hearts in a second grade Christmas play which featured children's literature characters.  I had to learn to snap my fingers for one of the songs (it was hard work...just couldn't get it for a while).  Being the queen was a big deal.  My mother, who hated to sew, made me a costume that had a big pink tulle skirt covered with paper hearts. I thought it was beautiful.
19. Christmas cookies.  My mother always made Spritz and Mexican Wedding Cakes.  She gave away most of them...that was fun.
20. Both my sister and I receiving perfume kits as presents.  We mixed all kinds of scents in the dining room.  Boy, I bet it really stunk!!
21. China horses.   I always got these as presents to add to my collection
22. Going to a movie during Christmas vacation
23. Visiting grandparents, aunts and uncles in Fort Wayne. I only have two first cousins, and they were rarely around when we were there; my sister and I were quite doted on.  I LOVED going to Fort Wayne.  I expect some future blog entries will focus these.
24. Speaking of Fort Wayne, I remember being taken to Atz's Ice Cream Parlour at Christmas time.  We always had Sundaes, but that place also sold special Christmas ice cream....colored, molded pieces.  My family usually bought some. Yum!!
25. Making salt dough ornaments at school.  Those are still fun to make.....
26. Just lots of music.  My mother played the piano and sang many Christmas songs during the holidays.  She especially liked Frosty the Snowman.  We also listened to recordings.  A time for musical feasting.

That is enough for now, but I will probably be adding to this list!

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In addition to being a violist, I am a wife and mother (three sons). I dabble in writing, handwork, sewing and photography.