Archive for October 2019

Childhood memories of Christmas

October 25, 2019

Christmas has always been the time of year I look forward to the most. The music is happier. The decorations are bright and jolly.

The radio station I listened to most growing up added Christmas music gradually to the playlist. The first week of December one Christmas song per hour was played after the news at the top of the hour. The second week of December the station added a Christmas song at the bottom of the hour. From the third week to Christmas Eve, Christmas songs were added to the quarter hours. Four Christmas songs an hour, that is the most Christmas music played per hour until 6:00 p.m. Christmas Eve. At 6:00 p.m. Christmas Eve the radio station began a program called The 30 Hours of Christmas. It was wonderful. I remember Santa tracking updates from NORAD, a narrated musical version of A Christmas Carol (I didn’t know until recently that the songs came from the Christmas Carol movie starring Albert Finney) and ad wrappers called The Customs of Christmas telling how certain customs started. (That is where I got the name of my website, I went to sleep listening to that station and woke up the next morning listening to that station.

For a number of years we had a real Christmas tree in the house. Sometime in mid-December the whole family piled into car and drove an hour and a half to my grandmother’s house in the middle of the Adirondack Mountains. Then while we kids played with cousins and enjoyed my grandmother’s house my dad hiked back into the forest behind the house to cut down our tree. In later years we just used artificial trees including a silver tree that reflected the Christmas lights wonderfully.

Every December we could look from our kitchen window into the kitchen window of our neighbors’ house and see them baking cookies. We knew it wouldn’t be long before they gave us a large tray full of the Christmas goodies we saw baking.

Christmas morning we kids were not allowed downstairs until mom and dad had breakfast ready for us. We finally were allowed to go downstairs. Opening our stocking gifts occurred while we ate. There was always a banana in our stocking to go along with our breakfast. We didn’t do oranges. After breakfast we opened the presents under the tree. After the presents were opened it was time to get ready to go to my other grandparents’ house for Christmas dinner with mom’s side of the family. My parents were never known for being early or on time for anything. We usually were baking one of the turkeys for dinner so we could count on phone calls asking us to hurry up. We finally made it. My grandparents’ house was full with most if not all my mom’s 6 brothers and sisters, their spouses, and children. Talk about bedlam. After dinner, or was it before I don’t remember, there were more gifts to open. As the day advanced, games appeared, new and old, adults talked of family happenings, and others went outside to frolic in the snow and play outdoor games.

It was late before we finally left for home tired but happy.

That was my childhood Christmas. Please tell us about your childhood Christmas in the comments below. I would love to hear your story.

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