Updated 10/15: I am also linking this to Traditions Celebrating Holidays party hosted by Marie at Emma Calls Me Mama. Marie wants us to share our Christmas memories and traditions as well. Be sure to visit her blog to see all the participants. It's great fun to see what traditions we all share. And the trip down memory lane is pretty fun as well.
Welcome to week two of the Twelve Weeks of Christmas hosted by Keelie At Red Writing. This week's subject is Christmas memories and traditions. I've decided to post a few photos I found of Christmas from my childhood. I only had time to look through 1 old photo album & I found 5 photos. But for some reason when I scanned one of the photos it cut my head off & I didn't realize it until I was at work & couldn't fix it. So needless to say, I did not include the headless photo.
This first photo is from 1966. I was 8 years old. Wasn't I cute? Here are a few of things I got for Christmas that year. I'm sure the super giant baking set was for my Easy Bake oven. Did you have one of those when you were a kid? It was super cool. I loved mine. I think it was my favorite gift as a child. My son got a kick out of the old TV in the photo. Santa didn't wrap presents at our house. So we would always go to bed with a flashlight and then in the middle of the night, my sisters, brothers & I would sneak out to see what Santa had left us. That was always the best part of Christmas. One year Santa tricked us, he wrapped every gift. We were shocked when we got up in the middle of the night. He was trying to stop us from our annual adventure, but that didn't stop us. And after that one time, Santa went back to his old ways and left everything unwrapped for us.
I was 9 in the photo below, so my brother would have been 7. This was our first Christmas in our house that my parents currently live in. Another tradition is that we always got to open up one gift on Christmas eve. I had forgotten about my baton. How I loved that baton. I was going to be a world famous baton twirler. That lasted about 5 minutes. I was never very good at following through with anything. Did any of you watch America's Got Talent a couple of summers ago on TV? They had a teenage boy who was great at baton twirling. That is what I had in mind when I asked for the baton. But the practicing part got in the way of my dream. It always does.
I would have been 15 in this photo. I loved this elf costume. We were in a Christmas program at church. Don't remember exactly what we did, but I'm sure it involved Santa. Dawn was my BFF this particular year. I loved being in plays & wanted to be an actress. But I didn't have the confidence to pursue my dream.
This last photo I am 15, Eric 13, Jodi & Todd, 11 & Andrea would have been 6. This Christmas we decided we would put on a program for Mom & Dad (I was very theatrical at this stage in my life). I was a dancing doll. I'm sure I made up some dance to a Nutcracker song as I love the Nutcracker. Eric, Todd & Jodi dressed up as the 3 wise men & sang "We 3 Kings of Orient Are". The robes they are wearing as the back side of quilts that Mom had made for each of them. Not sure why Jodi & Eric don't have crowns. Andrea was a fairy. Not sure what she did other than to "look pretty". The program was a "hit". I think this was the only year that we did a program for Mom and Dad. Santa came to check on us before we went to bed when it was all over.
Now to my story of my close encounter with Santa, his elves & Rudolph. This is a true story. This happened to me somewhere between 6-9 years old. I can't remember exactly when, but it was before we moved to the house where my parents now live & we moved there when I was 9.
We didn't have a fireplace in this house, therefore, no chimney. I remember being quite concerned about this and brought it to Mom's attention. "How is Santa going to bring us presents if we don't have a chimney for him to come down?" I asked. Mom in her infinite wisdom responded, "Santa doesn't need a chimney, as he has a magic key. This magic key gets him into everyone's house who doesn't have a chimney". Boy was I relieved. Santa would not be passing us by this Christmas.
When we went to bed on Christmas Eve we were told we needed to be asleep before midnight. Santa comes at midnight & sends in his elves to check to make sure that all little boys and girls are asleep. If you are not asleep, Santa won't leave you any gifts. Well, who could sleep on Christmas Eve? Everyone but me it seems.
About midnight I heard the clock chime 12 times. I got so exited. I just knew that Santa was coming any minute. Then it happened, I heard the bells on the front door jingle. Santa was here!!! He was using his magic key to open my front door. I could hardly contain my excitement. Then I remembered Mom's warning. Santa won't leave gifts unless everyone is asleep. I knew that Santa would soon be sending in his elves to check on us.
Now I slept in the top bunk in my bedroom. I remember hearing my bedroom door open & I could feel someone was in my room. I had to pretend I was asleep, but it was so hard. I felt someone climb up the end of my bunk bead & I knew that an elf was looking at me to make sure I was asleep. I wanted to peek so bad to see the elf, but I knew if I did, no presents. I wasn't going to risk it. So I kept my eyes shut until I knew the elf had left my room.
I wanted to jump out of bed to take a peek at Santa and his elves leaving all their goodies for us, but I couldn't chance it. I wasn't much of a risk taker, I follow directions, so I stayed in bed.
A little while later I heard the bells jingle on the front door again & I knew that Santa was gone. I looked out my bedroom window up into the sky & could see a red blinking light going across the sky. I knew this was Rudolph pulling Santa's sleigh back to the North Pole.
I had experienced Christmas magic at it's best for I knew that Santa was real.
Thanks for letting me share some of my Christmas memories and traditions. I love everything about Christmas. I love the music, the food, the tree, the decorations, the lights. But the thing I love the most is the memories of spending time together with my family.