Treasured Memories and Pieces of Christmas Back to Special Days Menu page.
One of our family traditions was to drive around and look at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. Sometimes we would go to a candlelight church service first. Our favorite Christmas scene was a fairly large pond with waterfalls coming into it and white swans swimming in it. The evergreens were all in colored lights. Some years were snowy, some were icy and some were rather mild. I believe the swans had a shelter they could go in. We would stand and watch quietly for quite a while.
Then we’d go home and hang up our Christmas stockings. Our parents always hung up stockings, too. After we all knew about Santa, we helped fill the stockings. On Christmas morning we woke up early. Our parents would bring fruit, juice, and cereal upstairs, trying to get us to eat something good before we found the candy and sweets, but they still controlled the sugar consumption! We girls would have to make sure our parents didn’t peek in the living room when they went to get our breakfast to bring upstairs. My younger sister would go downstairs first, I was next, then my older sister, mother and then my dad. We opened our stockings simultaneously when we were young, then when we were older, we took turns. That’s how we opened the gifts, taking turns. It made the gift opening take a long time which was wonderful!
The Christmas tree was a favorite part of Christmas. We all went to pick it out together at a little fruit stand north of Danville. My dad braced the tree with a wooden stand and we would let the branches come down for a day. It was always an 8-foot tree that we sometimes had to snip a couple inches off. Then our dad put the lights on and then from top to bottom – we decorated.
We often made long paper chains and other handmade ornaments. Strung popcorn and cranberries. The tinsel was the last to go on and in the olden days it was real metal. We would slide along the carpet and then go up and a strand of tinsel would swing out and shock us. Today I can’t remember why that was fun but as a child it was great fun!
These are some of my childhood Christmas memories.