Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Memories.

My friend Lee recently wrote a beautiful post about her Christmas memories.  She got me thinking about my own memories of Christmas.  I grew up in the 60's when Christmas wasn't so commercialized.  Nobody decked the halls in the style we do now, we didn't hear Christmas carols for 7 full weeks before the 25th, or get run over with nonstop commercials.  I can't remember anyone on my street putting up lights on the outside of their house nor can I remember anyone putting up their tree before the Thanksgiving left-overs were gone. 

What I do remember is how exciting it was to stay up a little late on a school night when a Christmas special was on.  I'm not sure if my favorite was Charlie Brown or The Grinch.  We only got to see those shows once a year...not every other day and twice on Sunday if we own the DVD.  As a young working professional, living hours from my parents, a group of similarly situated co-workers had a gathering at one of our homes to watch either Rudolph or the Grinch because they had cable and 'got' the channel that it was on.  It was just a little trip down memory lane as we all started negotiating our adult lives...newly away from home during the holiday preparations.  I am sad that my kids have lost the opportunity to experience that little thrill. 

Another memory involves a count-down to Christmas present my grandmother made.  My birthday is in early December and on my 9th birthday a box arrived that included the candy laden count down wall hangings.  There was one for each child in the house.  It was long and thin and had 24 peppermint candies tied to it.  We were to eat one candy each day working our way to the top where a Santa button perched.  That was the COOLEST thing I'd ever had!  Number involved candy.  Something we rarely got. (I sound like a kid who grew up in the 30's or something but really, we never had candy in my house.) And second, my mother bought 2 bags of peppermint candies each year so we could refill these lovely count down treats.  I have such vivid memories of watching the line grow shorter and shorter as the month wore on. 

I'm pretty sure that's where my love of advent calendars comes from.  When my kids were little I stitched this one. 
Every year, at Thanksgiving, I tie on the new candies and the kids take turns snipping them off.  There is an extra basket of candies for everyone else.  I'm not sure how much they'd miss this if I didn't do it.  It wasn't until supper time today that anyone cut the very first candy off.  I bet I do it more for myself than them.  The proof will come when the last child flies the nest and I'm still tying those candies on.
A couple years ago I made this one.  It's from JBW Designs.  Each day a new little picture gets attached.  This one grows fuller as the month goes on. 
I am going to make my first stitching resolution for next year.  I'm going to get this pattern out and work in it throughout the year...doing 2 or 3 parts each month so I have it for next year. 
It's another one where you add to the picture each day to count up to the 25th. 
If feels like a realistic goal.  Mostly I keep my stitching promises.  Here's hoping this one is manageable, too. 
Let's hear what you remember. 
In the mean time.... 
Happy Stitching.


  1. Here's to the good old days of the non~commercialized Christmas!!
    I have had a hard time getting into the spirit this year ~ just so done with the overdone...I am going to try and make our Christmas a simple one.
    Love your advent calendars!

  2. Really enjoyed reading your Christmas memories--it does seem like things were simpler and more enjoyable way back then, doesn't it?

    Your advent calendars are so pretty--will you show us a photo of the second one all filled up? It is adorable!