Friday, September 01, 2006


Christmas was a very special season growing up in our household. We celebrated in many ways... the Christian elements as well as the commercial elements.
We grew up attending the East Livermore Methodist Church, as part of the Sunday School program and also as the mainstay of the junior choir! I remember all of us sitting in a row, taking up most of a pew with mom and dad at either end. Pageants and choral presentations were just a regular thing during the holiday season. We celebrated with the Advent wreath, hanging of the greens at home and at church, potluck suppers, making gifts for one another, baking all the special holiday treats and visiting relatives during the month of December.
Some of my favorite Christmas memories include going to Nana and Johnny's where we'd almost always get a FABULOUS game (like Mouse Trap or Operation) and often times clothes. We'd visit Grammie and Grampa Randall (aka Grammie and Grampa 'down' because they lived down the road) where we'd get our new mittens, and Grammie Davis (aka Grammie 'up' because she lived up-town) where we'd get to see the silver tree change colors as the wheel turned and play with things like the snow skiing Santa. Santa, by the way, was a real entity until I reached 6th grade and found the 'list' with all our names and various gifts... my first reality check into the world of "grown-up". We got Barbie's, Tammy's, Skipper's and Dodi's... we got Ballerina's, Chatty Cathy's, Susie's, and Thumbelina's... we got blankets and sweaters, mittens and skis, sleds and games... and we got lots of love.
Needhams and meat pies are still a favorite staple of our bigger family gatherings, reminding us of all the celebrations over the past 50 years. New traditions emerge with our own children these days, for my family it's "Eggs Benedict with Holiday Sauce" because when the kids were growing up they didn't quite get Hollandaise but they KNEW what a holiday was and that's when they'd get this treat! To this day, Hollandaise is synonymous with a special holiday (that includes the kids coming home to visit no matter what day it is!)
Paper chains, homemade ornaments out of tin cans, origami stars with glitter... all reminders of days gone by as we forge ahead with memories for the future.

No comments: