Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 6 - Santa Claus
Did you ever send a letter to Santa? Did you ever visit Santa and “make a list?” Do you still believe in Santa Claus?

I still believe in Santa and of course I visited Santa, made lists and wrote letters

December 7 - Holiday Parties
Did your family throw a holiday party each year? Do you remember attending any holiday parties?

Christmas Day was all family parties and exhausting. We children always got up early and opened presents. Then it was off to one side of the family to celebrate, followed by the Christmas party at the other side of the family. I refused to do this when I grew up.

December 8 - Christmas Cookies
Did your family or ancestors make Christmas Cookies? How did you help? Did you have a favorite cookie?

I never met a cookie I didn't like.... Mexican wedding cookies were always a favorite. Of course rolled cookies cut out with cookie cutters and decorated were a must at Christmas time. I carried on the tradition by baking dozens of these cookies on the last day the kids were in school. After everyone arrived home, the whole family gathered around the kitchen table and decorated the cookies with many colors of icing and lots of candies.

December 9 - Grab Bag
Author’s choice. Please post from a topic that helps you remember Christmases past!

I have a funny story. When my son and daughter, Eddie & April came to me asking if Santa was real, I wasn't ready to give up Santa and they had a baby sister, Amber who still needed Santa. So, I told them their suspicions were right, but that Dad doesn't know. You know Grandma. She would never have told your Dad about Santa. So all these years I have had to sneak around and do Santas job by myself and now I had them to help me. What a relief! So the legend of Santa lived on awhile longer. (I do still believe in Santa.)

December 10 - Christmas Gifts
What were your favorite gifts, both to receive and to give? Are there specific gift-giving traditions among your family or ancestors?

Secret gifts, ones that the person doesn't expect, but wants dearly and doesn't know who gave it. That is truly a blessing to behold. Of course the traditional bicycle, dolls, doll houses were fun to receive as a child and fun to give to children.

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.