Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Geneablogger’s Advent Calendar

It has been a very busy month for us with Ed going through major surgery, so I have not kept up with the Geneablogger’s Advent Calendar. I thought maybe I could play catch up now that things are settling down a little bit.

December 1, The Christmas Tree
Growing up, our Christmas trees were live, flocked trees. My paternal grandmother, Pauline DeMotte Smith, made Christmas centerpieces and flocked trees for the holiday. Many local businesses bought flocked trees from her every year. They had very thick flocking in a number of sparkley pastel colors. My dad would often help her with the flocking which required wearing a mask to protect the lungs. Grandma Pauline had taller ceilings and she would always flock a larger tree for her home, usually in a white or pastel blue with blue spotlights on the tree rather than strung lights and blue and silver glass balls.The year Grandma died in 1968, Grandpa bought one of those awful aluminum trees. We all knew Grandma would be turning over in her grave! My Grandma Rioth always had a real tree with tinsel, old favorite ornaments, bubble lights and candy canes. I even remember her having lit candles on the tree sometimes in remembrance of the days they did that.

December 2 - Holiday Foods
Did your family or ancestors serve traditional dishes for the holidays? Was there one dish that was unusual?
Basically, it was pretty traditional. One thing that was unusual for the time, was that Aunt Mildred would bring pomegranates from Chicago area. They were something we never saw in stores here when I was growing up.

December 3 - Christmas Tree Ornaments
Did your family have heirloom or cherished ornaments? Did you ever string popcorn and cranberries? Did your family or ancestors make Christmas ornaments?
The most special thing I remember was the bubble lights. Over the years, I have bought some of the Hallmark motion ornaments. And yes, we did string popcorn and cranberries.

December 4 - Christmas Cards
Did your family send cards? Did your family display the ones they received? Do you still send Christmas cards? Do you have any cards from your ancestors?

Yes, our family sent Christmas Cards and displayed them. I rarely send them. I often have good intentions of sending them, but... I don't have any cards from my ancestors. My dad has collected Christmas postcards and has some really beautiful ones.
I would love to post a photo, but my computer is down so can't use the scanner either.

December 5 - Outdoor Decorations
Did people in your neighborhood decorate with lights? Did some people really go “all out” when decorating? Any stories involving your ancestors and decorations?

We aren't too much for outdoor decorations. Mom and Dad used to hang a big lighted Santa Face on the front door and one year when the December weather was very mild, I draped the bushes in front of our house with white lights. I enjoyed that very much, but hubby really wasn't on board with it. Our neighbor across the road has tons of lights this year.

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