Each year that Christmas rolls around I can't help but think of all the years gone by, and how much I looked forward to this season. It wasn't about just getting a lot of toys, but it was more about the general feeling; that feeling still resides in me today. One of my favorite memories is of the old wrapping paper. I loved the ribbons, bows, and all the different colors and designs. It was especially fun to wrap the presents, wondering about how mom, dad, or one of my brothers would react when they opened it. The old Christmas tags that went on the presents was equally wonderful.
Have Yourself a Dickens Little Christmas
Christmas cards were way more fun than they are now; they were full of life, and wonderfully painted. I always loved the glitter cards, and the cards that depicted Victorian London street scenes. For some reason, those really seem to stand out in my memories of the holiday.
One of my favorite Christmas memories is that of 1962; we received so many Christmas cards, many of them depicting the old street scenes where shoppers were out and about. The scenes weren't so far-fetched that they were unbelievable; many of our neighbors would be out, either putting up lights, or returning home from shopping trips, or even bringing home the family tree. It's funny, but even back then I think we all loved the old christmas street, or country scenes, such as the Currier & Ives paintings. I think we secretly longed for a time that was simpler and filled with joy. My life as a kid then was not complicated, but the images portrayed in these cards were as carefree as anything I could imagine.
I loved watching mom decorate our own Christmas tree; she used tinsel, ornaments and even put some candy canes on the branches. Of course we boys snatched those canes whenever she wasn't looking, but they somehow magically reappeared soon after.
The old candy dish with the hard Christmas candy in it was something that was always in the house - usually near the tree. even from another room Mom could somehow hear our fingers digging around in the dish.
Home for the Holidays
One of my greatest joys about the season was when Christmas drew nearer, and school was out for a week! Here in the Pacific Northwest, snow was not always guaranteed, but there were some years when it came. Building snowmen and having snowball fights were some of the best fun ever. Christmas break was a time without school and structure; it was a time of absolute vacation and enjoying the season to its fullest.