When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things give off the greatest glow of happiness.
- Bob Hope
Growing up, Christmas was my favorite time of year because it was magical. There were just so many things to look forward to in the month of December.
I loved decorating the tree, especially doing the tinsel. Mama would divide the package into thirds for me and my two sisters at the time and I'd carefully take one strand at a time to hang on the tree.
We played our Disney Family Christmas album ( from 1981). I still love those songs even now! I have found of few of the original songs on Spotify and my girls enjoy them, too.
We watched ALL of the Christmas cartoons with Mama. My favorites were Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas from 1977, Nester the Long Eared Christmas Donkey, also from 1977, and The Year Without A Santa Claus from 1974. I still watch them every year.
Mama always baked Christmas goodies. She is famous (in the family, at least) for her Oatmeal, Raisin & Chocolate Chip cookies. She uses the golden raisins which are softer and better, in my opinion.
In those days, Mama was a homemaker but she had various little cottage industries. She crocheted things for the Christmas bizarre at school. One year she made her own version of cabbage patch dolls that were very popular at the time. She also bred and sold Basset Hound puppies.
How I looked forward to getting the Sears Christmas catalog and pouring over the pages!
I loved all the family visits. Mama would let us kids visit for a little bit and then we were sent out to play so the grown ups could talk.
One Christmas Eve, Mama sent us to bed early so Santa could come. It was probably around 8pm. Oh, the excitement!! But we went to bed like good little girls do. I later woke up and I could see the kitchen light on and could hear Mama and my grandmother talking. So I turned my light on and sat on my bed waiting patiently for her to come get us kids. Mama soon realized I was awake and told me to go back to bed because it was still Christmas Eve!
One year she did some of her Christmas shopping with us kids in tow and we never had a clue! That woman had mad skills!!
Christmas was magical because Mama made it so. It wasn't about the gifts. It was about us being together, being loved and loving in return, and family traditions.