Monday, November 26, 2012

Memories of Christmases Gone By

I was recently rummaging through some old files I'd been keeping in my closet when I happened upon a folder of drawings and collages that look like they'd been made by a young child. None of them looked like anything I'd made, and then I realized they were all made by my mother, which means they're something like 70 or more years old. There were a good number of Halloween-related drawings, and a few from Thanksgiving -- but only one had a Christmas theme, and that's the one to the right. My mother was an only child, and she died shortly after my ninth birthday, but I remember enough to know that Christmas was always a very big deal in her home when she was growing up. Unfortunately, I don't have much in the way of holiday memorabilia from her side of the family. However, we do still have the angel that sat atop her family's tree each year, and atop our own as well when my brother and I were growing up.

Our Tree-Topping Star
Back then, we always followed the same general pattern each Christmas. My maternal grandmother and my godmother would join my Dad, my brother and I at our place on Christmas Eve and we'd exchange gifts on Christmas morning. I can remember how difficult it was to stay asleep that morning, and I was usually wide awake before 5 am. Somehow I managed to keep myself from sneaking downstairs before the others on all but one occasion -- the year I received my own workbench and set of child-sized tools, which was exactly what I'd hoped for that year. Funny, because I can barely hammer a nail now that I'm grown. Anyway, sometime around mid-afternoon we'd get together with my father's sister's family, including my cousins Dana, who was close to my age, and Sandy, who was close to my brother's age. One year they'd all come to our place, and the next year we'd go to theirs, and those visits typically lasted for a day or two after Christmas. They were wonderful times, and I remember them vividly.
My mother, my younger brother and me
 in our home in Westwood, Massachusetts.

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