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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Ghosts of Christmas Past

I borrow this wonderful idea from several bloggers who (probably, like me, running frantically!) decided to share a few favorite past moments! ("Yeah, right," says the Marmelade Gypsy, "You had to lead with me!")


Yes I did. I miss my Orange Boy terribly, my Christmas Kitty. This one -- Lizzie -- well, you have to keep your eye on her!



I started out as a child... Yes, that's me. And that's how I spent Christmas Day for a lot of years -- with old people. All gone now, since Marie, dad's only remaining cousin, died this spring. She's between Mom and Grandma. (And speaking of Grandma, she is the same age there that I am now. Thank you, Paula, for keeping my hair young...)


When your parents are avid amateur photographers, you get "used" a lot. Above, it's a three-year-old (or maybe 4?) discovering the magic of Christmas. And below...


With my best buddy Major. No fire in that fireplace. Just a couple of well placed lights.


I can't think of Christmas without thinking of my mom and dad. She loved her Christmas tree skirt!


And of course, there were the Christmasses with the cousins. We did that for a number of years till families got too big to travel at the holiday.


The men of the family -- always good times.


And times with friends. Even in college I had to have a Christmas tree!


And friends today! Each year we do a Christmas exchange with our friends Mark and Jan. We pick a Christmas song and all the gifts in our $25 limit relate to that song or theme in some way. We've done this for 11 years now! This picture was from "Let It Snow" -- and as we had our Christmas brunch at Mark and Jan's, it began to snow!


There was that first Christmas with the kids. At about four in the morning, Kevin got the hurlies. I guess I knew I was supposed to be with this family when I realized I was cleaning up kid puke and the kids weren't mine!


But now I sure feel like they are.


Then there was the year we went to Frankenmuth and world's biggest Christmas store, followed by the traditional Christmas dinner. Don't you love Kevin's smile -- complete with blackjack gum!


They're a lot taller now! We've added Molly to our family and next year a baby KevMo!


It doesn't feel like Christmas if we don't do our annual Christmas Eve cookie decorating after dinner. There have been quite the cookie designs. Greg's "haz-mat" symbol, after his cancer treatment, Kevin's multi-layered frosting bombs and then the traditional!


Christmas is sharing and there was the year we shared the holiday with Japanese friends, introducing them to the American Christmas. On one of the coldest days of December!


There will always be a Cork Popper Christmas.


And a visit to Southern Exposure for some holiday eye candy.


We will remember sweet Kitty Boys who graced our hearts, like Stimpy, Ace Tree-Knocker-Down Champion.


And listen to yappy Sweet Lizzie purr her carols! (And sing -- very loudly -- howl for her dinner.)


And then we will toast to the season...


...and to all the new memories to be made in the coming year.

What are some of your favorite Christmas or holiday memories? Please share!

29 comments:

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Jeanie, I so enjoyed reading this post and looking at all the pictures! Thank you for sharing! -Jenn

Deb said...

What a great post, Jeanie. I always love to look back on old photos and Christmas ones are my favorite. You have some fabulous photos here. What could be better than memories of sitting around the table, the Christmas tree being the star of the room, with special friends. I loved the one of you and Major; a face that makes me miss my dear Kane. You would think that was him. Deb

Joanne Huffman said...

I recently heard the phrase "visually literate," which I think applies to this. Perfect photos.

Anne said...

Your memory post makes me smile, as always.

Valerie-Jael said...

Love all the memory photos, this is a time of year when we think of times past, and I try not to as it's too painful. Your childhood photos are lovely, and you are easily recognisable. My cats would NEVER let themselves be dressed up! Have a good week, hugs, Valerie

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful way to look back on times. Good memories and painful ones all blend together to make a Christmas that you can relate to. I never grew up with a camera until I bought one myself. So, having photographer parents (even amateur) is a bit foreign to me.

May you have even more good memories this year, too.

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Oh I loved the post and the olden pictures. Everyone all dressed for the occasion and now people are dressed in torn jeans and sweat shirts. My how times have changed. I always got a new out fit for Christmas,, mostly a new red sweater.

The kitties are darling and I know how much they are missed.

Thanks so much for this great post, it brought back many of my Christmas's when I was young.

Have a wonderful special week.

Hugs,
Mary

My name is Erika. said...

Love seeing these photos. Even though they aren't my photos they feel familiar. It sad when you look back and old photos and family members (both human and non) are not in our lives to celebrate any more), but exciting to welcome new members and not have to clean up the hurlies any more.:) Hope all is well and you are having some holiday fun. Hugs-Erika

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Jeanie,
I LOVED this post! Reflecting on those wonderful moments of Christmas past and the joys of those folks so near and dear to us and beloved pets as well.
One thing that resonates in each and every photo is your marvelous, genuine smile and those bright and beautiful shining eyes.
Happy Monday to you!
Jemma

Victoria Zigler said...

I love hearing about some of your holiday memories.

I remember a Christmas when I'd just turned ten, which was one of those that was good or bad, depending how you look at it. On the one hand it wasn't a good one, because I was sick, and only just made it home in time for Christmas (I literally just came out of hospital Christmas Eve evening). On the other hand, the staff at the hospital were making a huge effort to make Christmas awesome for those of us there around the holidays, plus I had my parents to myself, since my brothers were at home with my Grandparents, and I really loved that.

I also remember many of my other childhood Christmases, and how excited my brothers and I always were. My poor Mam must have been exhausted, since one of my brothers didn't sleep well under normal circumstances, and slept even less when excited, so most Christmas Eves she was lucky if she got an hour of sleep.

Then there was the Christmas I spent in Canada. That was one of the few times I had a proper white Christmas, and also one of the few were there weren't many presents under the tree. Despite how little we had, it was a great Christmas.

I also have several fond memories of Kero at Christmas... He always got so excited, especially when he saw that "Santa Paws" had filled his doggy stocking. Christmas hasn't felt the same since we lost him. Actually, even though it's been more than two years, I'm still having a hard time with that in general.

Katie Clooney said...

Love all these past pics, Jeanie!! You should have been a model when you were a child. You still have time! Love all the smiles of your photos of Christmas past. Enjoy your week!

La Table De Nana said...

Beautiful child! Again that snile,and the hair,look at your ringlets..love your mom's skirt.
You have a beautiful family:) And friends..so many!
I don't know which was my favorite Christmas..I only remember the worst..:(
I like Christmas..oh wait maybe the year Lucas was born..and then every Little..yes those Christmases are my best!

pilch92 15andmeowing said...

Very nice photos, you have a beautiful family. Your ginger boy was adorable and so were all your others.

Decor To Adore said...

Oh, Jeanie, your post brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. First and foremost the old family pictures are true treasures! I love seeing your sweet kitties. I want to thank you for all your wonderful visits to my blog. I do apologize my response is so slow. I just finished up my latest round of college finals on Friday and am just starting to feel a bit human. You are a treasure, Jeanie. Blessings of the season to you!

Jenny Woolf said...

What a wonderful collection of photos, Jeanie! the childhood photos are charming l - and I bet your mother loved dressing you up! I am so impressed by the wonderful frosting on those cookies, perhaps I'll have a go myself this year! There is something so delightful about Christmas when it is snowing, even though the joy of snow wears off pretty fast after a few days... I don't know if I have had a white Christmas since I was a child. I hope your coming Christmas is just as nice as these ones have been.

The Artful Diva said...

thank you for sharing these wonderful memories, Jeanie. The photos are delightful!

Jeanne Washburn said...

Jeanie - What a beautiful post filled to overflowing with lovely Christmas memories...this is what Christmas is all about...hold tight to all of these and make new ones too. :)

Jody Gabara said...

Thanks so much for sharing such wonderful family memories! Christmas time is the best!
Hugs, Jody ♥

Tammie Lee said...

So many lovely Christmas memories. Wishing you lovely holidays.

Red Rose Alley said...

Jeanie, that is the most darling picture of you at four years old. It really could be a greeting card. You had a great smile even back then. You kind of look like a little Shirley Temple. It looks like you had many great Christmas gatherings with your family. I love that picture of all of you getting the tree. The cat pictures with Santa's hat are so cute. And those Christmas cookies look soooo Yummy. Jess is the baker in the family, and she always bakes a plate of Christmas cookies for everyone. It's one of my favorite gifts. It sounds like you are filled with the Christmas spirit, Jeanie, and that is wonderful!

~Sheri

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I am laughing over here, watching these FELINE ANTICS!!!!!!!! I remember we were at the house of some friends back in Boston. We stayed over night, stringed popcorn for the tree, ate and sang. Then the cat. Yes, the cat ATTACKED the tree and down came that tree with all the glass ornaments! teeheheheheheheheheh

The ghosts of the past. They are the only spirits that bring joy and no fear, just laughter and tears. I think I shall reminisce about the wondrous Christmases of the past.

shoreacres said...

I don't think I've ever seen a photo of Stimpy. And you and I shared something when we were kids: pipe curls. Oh, my mother wanted in the worst way for me to be Shirley Temple.

Your mother's tree skirt is so perfect. That was "the thing" back then. And do you remember the fancy, organdy, sequined-trimmed "hostess aprons"? They didn't protect your clothes, but they sure were fancy!

Janet said...

I love seeing your old photos and hearing your stories. I have so many Christmas memories that I could spend hours reminiscing over them all. It's such a magical time of year. Thanks for sharing your memories with all of us.

Love the lead in photo of your "Orange Boy" in his Santa hat!!

Bella Rum said...

I know you've posted another post since this one, but I had to come back and look at all these fabulous photos. Oh, gosh. They are priceless. Your parents were great photographers. You were adorable. The kitties are sweet and as always, thanks for sharing with us.

The French Hutch said...

What beautiful memories you have Jeanie. I enjoyed seeing pics of the boys when young, and yes, some things are just meant to be! How wonderful you will have a babe in the pic next year. Sweet Gypsy and Lizzie pics are always sweet. Wishing you and your family all the blessings of the season............

Lynne said...

Loved this post Jeanie . . .
Oh my, your curls . . .
Sweet and precious you were amongst the "olders!"

A favorite memory is hearing the sleigh bells and realizing
Santa was my dad . . . I had heard the bells MANY a year . . .
Everyone played along . . .
But at nine or ten the truth came out . . .
I have the sleigh bells.

Skiing to Christmas Eve services when my late husband was alive.

Christmas Eve fondue with family since 1961 . . .
Not this year though . . .

Ice Luminaries . . .

Marilyn Miller said...

I love all your traditions and memories. For the past 20 years Jim and I always include a Christmas Jazz concert at a historic church here in the city. That always gets me into the spirit of the season. Looking forward to making gingerbread goodies with the little guy. I didn't realize last year that I had started a tradition, but he asked for it this year. Then as a girl shaking packages and trying to guess what is inside. Oh what fun!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I love it when you share old photos! What a treasure to have those in your possession. We need to do something about digitizing my parents photos so they can be shared among us kids!

Christmas holds so many memories for me. Advent was always such a special time for my family. Of course there were sports events and other evening commitments that made it hard to gather as a family, but we tried to all gather in the living room each night during advent. My mom would light the candles on the advent wreath, she'd read a prayer, and then we'd each take turns saying our prayers out loud (actually, praying out loud together as a family was something we did year round when I was young, although not nightly due to busy schedules). Then my mom would play the piano and we'd sing a couple of Christmas Carols.

Danielle L Zecher said...

What a great post! I really love all of the cat pictures, and all of the happy memories. Isn't it wonderful how many people we share Christmas traditions with over the years?

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