Thursday, December 1, 2011

Early Memories of Christmas

Happy December 1st everyone!  I really can't believe we are here, to the last month of 2011.  The time goes way too quick!

One of my goals for December is to journal about different Christmas memories-one a day!  My purpose for this is to create a record of these special holidays for many years to come.

I want to start with Christmas from my childhood.  These memories won't be from a specific year, but rather a combination of years that I remember.  I want my kids to have a glimpse of what Christmas was like for me!

I grew up in a small town in southern Nevada.  We were a few hours north of Las Vegas and although we were in the desert, we were a bit higher than Vegas and did have a little bit of winter. It wasn't often that we would get snow during the Christmas season and even then usually more flurries than snow that really stuck!  But it did happen and it always made things more magical!  I am the oldest of 5 kids, so I remember a time when my parents were young and poor and worked so hard to make Christmas special for us!

Every year, early in the month of December, we would all load up in the truck and drive about an hour to Irish Mountain to pick out and cut down our own tree.  I remember those times fondly.  We would sing Christmas songs, as we drove and there was usually a little bit of snow up in the mountains!  My dad would drive the truck, while my mom looked for the perfect tree.  When it was found, we would stop and get out and play while my dad took his chainsaw and cut it down.

Once back home, my dad would set it up in the living room, in the tree stand he made himself with welded metal.  I can still picture that simple stand like it were yesterday!  We would wait until Sunday after church to decorate.  The anticipation used to kill me!  I couldn't wait to get the ornaments on the tree!  Mom always insisted that the lights and the tinsle went on first.  And while she worked, we would listen to our favorite Frosty record and sing along!  When she pulled out the ornaments, we would look through the box for our individual ornaments.  I had ones I made in school and ones that were bought with my name on them!  We loved our little collection of individual ornaments.  Our tree didn't have a "theme", it didn't coordinate and it certainly wouldn't have been showcased on any magazines, but I remember it as the most beautiful thing!  It was us and full of love!

The month of December usually meant lots of Christmas baking.  My mom has a talent for making the best homemade candy I have ever tasted.  Her twice cooked divinity is not only the best thing I've ever tasted, but a recipe I have never been able to master!  Even now, homemade Christmas candy is one of the highlights of the season!  I remember that by Christmas Eve, she would have platters of goodies to deliver to neighbors and friends and plenty for us to enjoy!

Christmas Eve was usually spent with extended family.  Sometimes it would be at my grandma's house and sometimes at my uncles.  I remember how much I loved the lights that my grandma had on her tree.  They were very old and beautiful.  They are large lights, in bright colors and in beautiful shapes.  I would give anything to find lights like she had to recreate a tree in my own house!  I found them to be so magical and festive!

Almost every year, I got a new doll from Santa, including a Baby Alive doll, which was one of my favorites!  Some of my favorite gifts, that I remember still today are:  a new furry coat, books, homemade dress, homemade pillow case (I especially remember the one with Annie material!) and one that I will always remember was a little white table that my dad made for us.  He painted one corner with my name and a little picture and the other corner for my sister.  We loved that table and used it for years!

I know my parents didn't have much back in those early days, but I have fond memories of how hard they worked to make it special!  My memories of Christmas as a child are some of my favorite childhood memories and I've worked hard to hopefully make it special for my own children!

Thank you for indulging me down memory lane!  I would love to hear some of the things that made your childhood Christmas's special!  What little things do you remember most?

For today's freebie, I have a template for an 8x8 december daily album!  It's the cover and I hope you will use these in any way that fits!  This will be a simple album and will really work for anything!

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**Also, wanted to post that if you are wanting a FREE double pager that I created, I have been invited to host a template challenge at ScrapMatters!  You can check out all their amazing challenges and find my template HERE 

Be sure to check out their Bingo card-the new challenge tracking system!  It's awesome! I can't wait to fill mine up and get some free products!


Stefanie said...

I loved reading through your Christmas memories, my goodness, how times have changed. Now children watch dvds or play on some or other handheld device while the parents drive, no more sing-a-longs like I remember as well.

Vanessa R said...

Love your memories! Thank you for sharing them. I am going to try my very hardest to journal about my memories of Christmas THIS December!I will be following along with you!

Mara said...

I will look forward to reading your stories all month!
Happy December!
Thanks for all the templates too :)

CBH said...

Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies, under the Page 12 post on Dec. 02, 2011. Thanks again.

Helene Bahnman said...

Thanks for sharing your Christmas Memories with us. I have many similar memories and should follow your lead and journal them too.
Thanks for the template.