Monday, December 24, 2012

Advent Calendar- Christmas Eve

Each Christmas Eve my mother would always read us the Nativity story from the bible before we went to bed. I can always remember looking forward to hearing it. It was something that her mother did for her when she was a child. When my children were small I continued the tradition and read them the story of Christ's birth. I can only hope that my own children will do the same with their children each year.

Merry Christmas to all of you and may the blessing of the Lord be upon each and everyone of you in the coming New Year!

This is the twenty fourth in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Advent Calendar- Christmas Sweetheart Memories

Evey year for Christmas I hoped to get that special thing all girls dream of.....the diamond of course!

The first Christmas my husband and I were together I was not thinking of getting a diamond yet, but I sure wasn't expecting twins! He gave me a set of the ugliest babies ever, Cabbage Patch dolls. Ugh. Not exactly what I was expecting. Every year after that however I would ask "What did you get me, give me a hint?" Out of worry for the repeat of the ugly doll incident. He would always just answer it is bigger than a breadbox and it won't fit in the mailbox. It never failed. This was always the answer. So I left hundreds of hints. Finally after five Christmases, I opened a box that had a radar detector on the box. I didn't even bother to open it. Who wants a radar detector for Christmas? He asked aren't you going to open it? I said no and finally after about an hour he said, "OPEN the dang box!" So, I did and inside was a smaller box. A ring box with that diamond inside!

He then asked me to marry him. 

This is the twenty third in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Advent Calendar- Christmas and Deceased Relatives

Every Christmas my family and I always stop by the cemetery to visit with my grandparents. One year we had a wonderful Christmas surprise. It snowed on Christmas day. Not a huge white Christmas kind of snow but a little snow that covered the ground in a light blanket. Just enough to give us all a thrill here in South Mississippi.

My children and I had just stepped out of the car at the cemetery. We were all silently standing there before my grandparents graves when the snow began to softly fall. It was such a beautiful moment that I had to take a picture.

This is the twenty second in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Advent Calendar- Religious Services

My whole family would always go to the Christmas vigil mass together. My grandparents, aunt and uncle usually sat in the pew in front of us. Sometimes I would sit with them if it were crowded. 
To me there is nothing more beautiful than Christmas Mass. With the candles all glowing and the lights dim. The creche would be lit by twinkling lights, the smell of the incense burning and the music was played so beautifully. There was a man named Mack who sang in such a deep beautiful voice each Christmas that he sent thrills up your spine just  to hear him.

I always would find myself staring at my grandmother's silver hair in the candle light. I would memorize the way she was in that moment so I would never forget her at Christmas. I can still close my eyes and see her sitting there in that pew with her rosary in her hands, my grandfather standing tall beside her, his cane hanging over the side of the pew. He would be grinning from ear to ear the whole mass. He loved Christmas.

We would all be dressed up in our Christmas best, stuffed in the pews with family and friends. Sometimes it would get too hot and Father would have to go turn the air conditioner on so we could get through mass without anyone passing out from the heat while wearing their Christmas sweater. His signal would always be the ladies using the hymnals as fans.

After mass was over the children would be dying to go, we wanted to get home and have our Christmas dinner and open gifts. The adults would stand around talking, and it never failed that my mother would call me over to talk to the priest to wish him a Merry Christmas. Then my grandmother would send me to the car to go and get a special gift of some sort, maybe a cake or food that she had made just for the priest for his Christmas gift.

This is the twentieth blog in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Advent Calendar- Christmas Shopping

The day that the big Sears and J.C. Penney Christmas catalogs would arrive was the ultimate thrill in our lives as children. This is where we would spend hour upon hour for the next few weeks, buried in the Christmas catalogs. We would have them so worn out that the pages would start falling out. Looking, hoping, and dreaming of the perfect gifts seen inside those glossy pages.

My mother was not a shopper, she ordered gifts from the catalog. We made our lists and she ordered the important things plus a few of the not so important. The huge boxes would arrive and sit in the garage until she started the wrapping process. We never dreamed of peaking into those boxes.

This is the nineteenth blog in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Advent Calendar- Christmas Stockings

My grandparents often told of their Christmas stockings. They always contained a piece of fruit, usually an orange, a stick of peppermint, nuts, and small toys. Sometimes maybe even a silver coin could be found inside.

As a child I had a red velvet stocking with my name embroidered on it by my mother. Since we didn't have a fireplace, we always hung them on the wall. The stocking was actually always one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning. All those secret small gifts inside, and candy galore!

I would always get up before everyone else on Christmas morning. I sat there with the Christmas tree lights and would first feel all the lumps and bulges in the stocking then silently I would dump out the contents of my stocking. I can still remember the feeling of seeing each little thing appear.
Marshmallow Santa's, a bag of chocolate coins, Avon lip gloss in cute shapes, Tinkerbell perfume, bracelets, rings, jacks and all kinds of fun little trinkets. Then after looking at it all, I would put it back inside as though I had never seen it and wait for everyone else to get up.

This is the eighteenth blog in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent Calendar- Christmas at School

December and the last month of school are the must fun for kids. Those two months are always brimming with excitement. At Christmas time the halls are decorated, you can hear children singing carols from their classrooms, and the teacher's are wearing their Christmas sweaters. All seems so merry and bright.

As an adult working in the school system I love December, we get out two weeks early and everyone is in a festive mood. I felt the same way as a child, except one year. The year my class was chosen to put on the Christmas pageant at school. I was a shy quiet kid. I did not want to be in the spotlight at all. Thankfully Mrs. Nobles, my teacher, put me in the background as one of the chorus members. We had to sing between acts. Except as we sang we had to perform hand movements that went along with the songs. I can still remember them. Everyday I stood there practicing, scared out of my wits about all those people looking at me. On the day of the play, I had myself so worked up that I came down with a migraine and they had to call my mother to come get me. So, I did not have to perform after all. I was not faking it, I suffered from migraine headaches and still do so today. Stress often brings them on. It was the last day of school before getting out for the Christmas holiday's so I did not get to partake in my class party or anything.

My mother had the honor of performing in her high school Nativity. She was chosen to be the Blessed Mother and her infant cousin was the baby Jesus. She had a photograph of her kneeling before the manger with Joseph that we used to love to look at when I was growing up. The local paper had taken it she said. Later years when I was doing research I came across the very same photo in the newspaper with an article about the Nativity play.

This is the sixteenth blog in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Advent Calendar- Holiday Happenings

This is for my daughter whose due date was on Christmas day. I felt conflicted when I was given this due date. I wanted to have a Christmas baby, I mean what better day to be born? Then I knew how hard it would be to separate her own special day of birth from the celebration of Christmas.

I was to have her by c-section, so I knew her birth would not be on Christmas day itself but rather near that, they were talking the 22nd. Then a small miracle happened. My obgyn went on vacation with his family and forgot to schedule me. I went to my appointments and never said a word to the doctor filling in. I was so hoping I could go past Christmas a few days at least for the birth.

 Christmas came and went and the next week I went in for my appointment. My doctor was so upset that I had not had the baby yet. However, he agreed that all looked well and since she was small she could have used the extra time, and they scheduled me for the next week in January. The day they gave me was my wedding anniversary. 

So now I share a special day with my daughter each year. Sometimes the hassle of Christmas, her birthday and our anniversary are a little stressful, but we manage. We always put off our anniversary dinner together until the weekend after her birthday celebration. Although she still complained the year that we actually went away without her for her birthday on our 20th anniversary, it has worked out.

She does get short changed on the gift department however since most of her gifts tend to be after Christmas markdowns. But hey, she gets more that way!

This is the fifteenth blog in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Advent Calendar- Fruitcake

I can remember coming home from school seeing all the little pieces of colored fruit cut up on the table. I knew what was about to happen. Mom was making the dreaded fruit cake. First of all I do not like anything with nuts in it, and fruitcake has them. So that made it that much more unlikeable to me. Next I could not understand why for the life of me they bothered to color cherries green. That turned me off as well.
But mother apparently made a good fruitcake because everyone always wanted her to share with them. She made it in a bundt cake pan and would slice it in portions to share with friends and neighbors.
It never failed that my father's mother would show up with a heavy store bought version that my mother always politely accepted and then later gave away, claiming the were inedible. We were sworn to secrecy as not to hurt Grandmother's feelings.

This is the fourteenth blog in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Advent Calendar- Charity

My family has always been involved with the St. Vincent de Paul Society at our church. At Christmas everyone picks a gift for a needy family. My children always enjoyed being able to shop for another little boy or girl. They would happily search through the clothes to find just the right outfit. Then of course they had to find just the right toy or game for the child as well. The gifts are always left in the back of the the church until they are distributed to those in need.

I can remember my grandmother always being charitable and one Christmas I especially remember that she had bought a checkers set for one of the alter boys at our church. We had just walked out the door with our bags in hand when we saw the Marines standing there with the barrel for their Toys for Tots. My grandmother stopped and reached into her bag and pulled out the checkers set that she had just bought and dropped it in. When we got to the car I said to her, "But MaMaw you just bought that for Danny." She replied, "I will buy him something else, another needed it more today."

My sister was just a six year old child the first time she realized that there were others not as lucky as she was at Christmas. There was a little girl whom she was friends with down the road. On Christmas my sister wanted to go show her friend all that she had gotten from Santa. When she went to the girls house she found out that Santa had not come to their house at all. She came home crying. My grandfather made some calls to the Salvation Army and they were able to bring some things to the family, but my sister added her own doll that she had just gotten from Santa. The one she had just wanted to go show off.
Many years later the Catholic News published my sister's story in their Christmas edition.

I hope everyone remembers those less fortunate at Christmas time and throughout the year.

This is the twelvth blog in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Advent Calendar- Other Traditions

Each year my mother put out the manger that was hand made by my grandfather. She then added the figures of the Blessed Mother, Joseph, the shepherd boy, sheep, cow, donkey and the three wise men.
Wait a minute. Where is the star of the show? The baby Jesus?

Not in our house, not before Christmas. On Christmas Day we would add the baby Jesus to the manger after wishes of Happy Birthday. I used to try to be the first one up so I could place the infant Jesus into his waiting manger.

When I had children, I carried on the tradition of adding the baby Jesus on Christmas Day. My daughter took over my duty of being the first one up on Christmas to add him to his waiting manger.

This is the eleventh blog in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Advent Calendar- Gifts

A child's favorite part of Christmas is most likely the gifts. I spent many hours each night sitting on the floor shaking and rolling the boxes over and over trying to guess what was inside the wrapped packages.

My mother hated wrapping the gifts and I loved to do it. So she and I had a great system where I sat on the floor in the hall outside of her door as she sat inside putting things in boxes and writing who it went to on the box. Then I was allowed in the room where I was supervised in case I decided to peek at my own presents, and I then wrapped each gift and piled them up.

We always had wrapped gifts under the tree that were from family members. The gifts from Santa all came unwrapped and assembled. There would be small gifts in our stockings as well.

My favorite gift of all time was a doll that could crawl. She was called Baby That a Way. I got her in 1974. In fact I still have her and love her just the same as that Christmas 38 years ago.

This is the tenth blog in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Advent Calendar- Grab Bag- Grandfather's Christmas

Once many years ago my sister and I recorded my grandfather telling us about life back in the early 1900's. He told us many fantastic and interesting stories about his life growing up and among the stories was one about a Christmas tree. So, here is my grandfather Vic Ladner's recollection of his Christmas tree as a child.

"The Christmas Tree"

   Boy, we had a Christmas tree, I'll never forget it! We had a big cedar tree as tall as this ceiling. You know what they had? Candles! Lit! I'd think a many a day, in a wooden building like that! To take that chance! They got on a step ladder and lit all them candles. Later years, I'm thinking,, there's alot of times now, I'm thinking what a fire hazard that was! And that cedar would've burnt like gasoline if one of them candles would of touched it! They had it fixed where the candles,, But still! We didn't have electric lights though, see.

This is the ninth blog in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Advent Calendar- Christmas Cookies

There are some cookies that are only made once a year in my family, generally at Christmas time. We call them the "Good" Peanut Butter cookies. My aunt still bakes them and gives them to my children and family as Christmas gifts. They have become a special tradition in my house.
I can remember making them and bringing them to Christmas parties and everyone exclaiming over them because they just melt in your mouth.
My Great Aunt DeDe always made us Mexican Wedding cookies each year at Christmas. They were her specialty and my father's favorite. She is gone now and last year I made some for my father at Christmas. He was over joyed and we were all reminded of DeDe once again.
My favorite was the almond spritz cookies. I used to love to use the recipe to put in the cookie press and make all kinds of designs. I decorated using colored dough and sprinkles. Then there are those kiss cookies that you make with rolled peanut butter cookies and a Hershey kiss in the center. Yum! It wouldn't be Christmas without those!

Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1  1/4 cups  all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix sugars, peanut butter, shortening, butter and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm. Heat oven to 375ºF. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten in crisscross pattern with fork dipped into flour. Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

This is the eighth blog in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Advent Calendar- Holiday Parties

Each year we attend Christmas parties held by various branches of the family and then of course there are those wild and crazy office parties.

As a child everyone came to my house on Christmas Eve for our family Christmas party. We had lots of food and drinks, exchanged gifts, and generally had a good time. We still get together today each Christmas Eve and eventually everyone ends up sitting around telling the favorite stories that no one seems to get tired of hearing. Usually they are told by my husband or my brother and are generally at my expense, but it is okay because I thankfully can laugh at myself. The favorite all time holiday get together story is the time it actually snowed in south Mississippi. My husband and I were then dating and we were all out playing in the snow, throwing snowballs. He made a snowball which was mainly ice and I ran screaming, zig- zagging through the yard and suddenly with perfect prescision WHAP I was knocked in the back of the head so hard I did a flip in the air head over heels. He thought he killed me, but I jumped up screaming, I am going to kill you for that!! For some reason this story delights young and old and they never tire of hearing it retold.

When I began dating my husband we then had three places to be on Christmas Eve. My parents, his parents, and his grandparents. His grandparents had a huge party each Christmas Eve for their large family and it was always a festive time to go from party to party with theirs being the last stop of the evening.

This is the seventh blog in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Advent Calendar- Santa Claus

I do believe! I do believe in Santa Claus!

I can remember going downtown to see Santa Claus as a small child. I was terribly afraid of him, but I wanted the candy cane he handed out and I wanted to make sure he knew what I wanted. Yet, when it was my turn to sit upon his lap I always froze and could not remember what I wanted. Barbie doll, was all I could get out. I was like the kid in the Christmas Story. 

My brother and I always made a list and mailed it off to the North Pole. Sometimes we got a letter in return reminding us to be good. Santa would always list some personal things that made me know he had been watching. 

Once Christmas Eve, I had gone to bed and I was just so keyed up that I could not sleep despite the warning of Santa won't come if you are not asleep. Suddenly the bedroom door opened and I shut my eyes tight and tried to breathe as though I were asleep. I dare not move a muscle as I felt a presence standing over me checking to see if I was indeed asleep. Was it Santa? My frantic mind was racing. I was sweating in my long flannel nightgown. It seemed to last forever, but finally satisfied that I was fast asleep the presence moved away and closed the door. I lay there listening to noises coming from the living room. I was so afraid I would be found out and off my presents would go. I curled up and did not move. I must have dozed off because I awoke around 5 am. I got up and grabbed the flashlight that I had stashed before going to bed and saw that my pink fuzzy slippers that were on the floor next to my bed were smashed flat where Santa Claus had stood on them when he was checking on me. 

I slowly crept into the living room and there was such a fantastic sight for my young eyes. I turned on the Christmas tree and lay there on the floor not daring to touch a thing, I just looked. I stayed there until I felt it was a reasonable hour to drag my parents out of bed so we could open our gifts and see what all Santa had brought.

I told everyone who would listen that Santa Claus had crushed my slippers. My parents just chuckled each time I said it. 

This is the sixth blog in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Advent Calendar- Christmas Cards

Well, this must be a reminder that I need to sit down and start addressing those cards!

I can remember my mother getting out the red book from the kitchen drawer. In the book were names and addresses of family and friends. Some were crossed out several times with newer addresses underneath. Some were sad reminders of family members who were now long gone, yet their name and address still remained in mother's little red book.

Each day the mail box would be full of envelopes of different sizes and colors. I could not wait to see the card inside. My mother would then tape the cards around the doorway so all could see. Sometimes the cards held letters and photos. I especially liked those and hearing my mother on the telephone calling her mother to say, "Did you know I got a card from so and so today. You should see the kids. They have grown."

When I got married this was one of the things I looked forward to the most. Getting Christmas cards in the mail and sending my very own. I bought my own little book and wrote the names and addresses of friends and family inside. Now 24 years later, I too have many lines marked through with new addresses underneath.

I  have a box full of cards that I have have kept from the first Christmas of my marriage. They are the ones that I have received each year. At the end of the season, I date them and place them in the box with the others. It is a fun journey of sorts to sit and go through the box each year and look at all the cards again.

In tradition of my mother's style of display, I too hang the cards up for all to see. Though sadly in the age of the internet and email, there are not as many as there once were. I however will continue to send my Christmas Greeting to all via the Christmas Card.

This is the fourth blog in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Advent Calendar- Christmas Tree Ornaments

When Hurricane Katrina was bearing down on the Gulf Coast, I packed many of my precious belongings into my car. One of the boxes that I packed was the Christmas tree ornaments. My husband thought I was crazy. "Why the ornaments?" he asked.  I told him that each and everyone of them meant something special to me and I could not bear to part with them given the choice. So they went and it was a good thing because a pine tree came crashing down just where they were stored.

Among my ornaments is a little pink glass pine cone with white paint on the edges like snow. It was always a favorite of mine growing up because it belonged to my great grandmother. When I got married my mother gave me all of my childhood ornaments and allowed me to choose one of hers, this is the one I chose. It is always the first to be hung upon the tree near the very top.

Then there is an ornament that I made in kindergarten in 1974. It is now a dull red and most of the glitter has flaked off, but it is still special to me. Mostly because for fifteen years my mother faithfully hung this ornament upon her own tree as though it were one of the most beautiful among all her ornaments.

The old ornaments from my own childhood that hang upon my tree all hold a special place in my heart. They are old friends of mine. I spent many hours gazing at them throughout my life. Some were bought, but many were made by the hands of my relatives. They are heirlooms that I eagerly unwrap each year to display. Hopefully one day they will be handed down and cherished with the same love and care that I have had for them.

This is the third blog in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Advent Calendar- Holiday Foods

Each Christmas Eve my family would go to Mass and afterwards everyone would head over to our house. Everyone brought a dish of some kind. We had a wonderful Christmas Eve feast.

My sister and I had spent the days before getting ready by making all kinds of sweets, one of which was whiskey balls. Oh how I hated rolling those cocoa balls in the powdered sugar. It was such a mess. The press cookies were always  my favorite. I loved to pop those little Christmas trees out and add sprinkles and non perils to them.

My great aunt always brought baklava. We were not Greek so I never really understood why we had baklava each year. But it never failed that she brought it. There was always a ham, dressing, and little sandwiches filled with pimento cheese, my father's favorite. Olives, and pickles, dips of all kind, chips, deviled eggs, and best of all my Aunt Janice's fried chicken wings. My grandmother would have made her master piece, a coconut cake.

We ate until we were stuffed. My grandfather then always sat back and had his high ball, and told us of Christmas back in the early 1900's.

This is the second blog in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Advent Calendar- The Christmas Tree

 The Christmas tree has always been one of my favorite parts of  holiday decor. I would beg my parents to take down the tree from the attic and all the wonderful boxes of ornaments that would accompany it. My father would sigh and eventually give in and climb up into the attic where he would then hand down the boxes into my eagerly awaiting hands. My mother would then spend the next few hours agonizing over the lights. Sometimes breaking into tears of frustration after just getting them all onto the tree and then having a strand go out somewhere. Which then would cause my father to have to get in the car and make a trip to TG&Y to buy some more. It never failed. Each year a strand would go out despite my mother making us plug each one in before hand and do the jiggle test to see if they stayed lit.
My Parent's tree

When the tree was finally lit we then got to pull out all the satin balls, the homemade ornaments from school, the crochet ornaments, the elves, the santa's and the angels. After we had decorated my mother would often do a little rearranging and then came the sparkly icicles. I can still hear my mother say to remember to hang them straight. She loved the icicles. As she put them on she would worry that it would be a warm Christmas and we may have to turn the air conditioner on and that would ruin the icicles because they would be blown about and become tangled.
We would turn off the lights and sit there in silence staring at the tree. I loved this. It was so beautiful. I spent night after night laying under the tree staring up the branches. It was so pretty looking up the tree this way. I can remember the lights would get so hot and burn you if you were not careful. When I was dating my husband I would drag him under the tree with me and together we would just lay there looking at the lights.

My Grandparent's tree
My Mother's parents had the tree with the big bulbs and the tin reflectors. I loved to go see their tree. They had fluffy tinsel wound around the tree and all of the ornaments were old. I loved to look at them and hear the story of each of them. They had the same tree as my children were growing up and it was always a special treat for my kids to go and see their MaMaw and PaPaw L.'s tree. Today they are long gone, but my Aunt still has the tree and still puts it up in the same way. My daughter says it would not be Christmas without the tinsel.

My Father's mother was not too big on Christmas decorating. She often did not put up a tree at all. That is until I found it while I was playing hide and seek in a closet. I saw the boxes labeled ornaments and what I found when I opened them was a great surprise indeed. They were all the beautiful glass mercury ornaments that many collect today from the 1940's. Then I found the most amazing tree of all. It was a 6ft aluminum Christmas tree with the color wheel. I begged to put it up. She allowed me to and even to place the ornaments on the tree. It was such a beautiful sight that shiny silver tree with all those glass balls. Each year until she remarried and moved away, I put that tree up for her. I just wish I had thought to ask for the tree and the ornaments.

I did however receive the best Christmas gift from my husband a few years back. My very own shiny aluminum tree. It is only a four foot one. But it is all I need to bring back those memories of my Grandmother's house at Christmas. I even have been able to purchase some of the same mercury glass ornaments that I used to carefully hang on my Grandmother's tree.

I have no less than five trees in my house during the Christmas season. My husband groans each time that he catches me looking at some in the store, fearful that I may purchase another. I tell him that to me Christmas trees are not just a form of decoration, they are my memory keepers. Because each ornament hanging on them tells a tale. Each light lit upon the tree holds warm thoughts and memories of Christmas past and future. The tree gives us a reason in this busy age to all come together and gather round. It prompts memories and stories of childhood's long ago by those who sit near. For this reason I will gladly fill my house with Christmas trees.
My Christmas tree

This is the first blog in the series by GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.