Christmas was always a wonderful, magical time in our family when I was growing up. I love reminiscing back to a much simpler time when the extent of our outdoor decorations was a plastic Santa head that hung above our mailbox beside the front door. But it DID light up!
Indoor decorations were also scarce, but those we did have were extra special. We made our annual trek to the local A&P grocery store to pick out our “Charlie Brown” tree. My brother, Frank, always had the task of putting those dreadful lights on. And then having to unscrew every bulb and replacing it with a new one to find out which was the burned out bulb that made the entire string go out! Our trees were filled with sparkly garland and silver tinsel and we always had the cheap little light-up star at the very top – the one we had bought at our local Dime Store. A white sheet served as our tree skirt. The only other decoration was a little plastic nativity scene that we all cherished. It too had to have come from that little Dime Store; but by the way it was packed away each year, you would have thought it to be an expensive set from a big city department store! We eventually added other decorations, as well as a few handmade decorations here and there. One I remember very fondly was a Christmas candle my brother, Stan, made one year. He poured melted wax into a half-gallon milk carton and let it set. He removed the carton and then somehow whipped up candle wax and applied it to the outside of the candle. He then sprinkled multi colored glitter on it while it was still warm. It was a beautiful candle and I can still see it vividly in my memories!
Presents scarcely filled our tree and we always opened those on Christmas Eve. Of course they were filled with clothes, but we always loved what we received under the tree. That was soon followed by a wonderful dinner filled with Polish dishes. And then it was off to Midnight Mass. As a little girl I often remember lying on the pew and falling asleep through what felt like an endless service. I always worried that while we were at that midnight service, Santa would have already visited our home. I would carefully shield my eyes while walking through the living room on my way to a quick retreat into bed!
Christmas morning was saved for Santa. I would be so excited for that one gift I would receive! It was always something very special and the first one I ever remember was my wonderful doll, Tinderbella. The only special thing she did was shut her eyes when you laid her on her back, but that was all I needed for me to love her!
Christmas was so simple back then, but that’s why I remember them so well and will always treasure them! Oh, how I would love to relive just one of those wonderful Christmas seasons! Here’s hoping your Christmas is filled with memories you will always treasure! ~~Annie