Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Boomer Christmas Memories 2014

Well, here we are, nearly at the end of 2014. Had a big milestone birthday this year! It has been several years since I have had a “family” Christmas. Still, I can’t help reflect upon the hundreds of  memories from long ago.  

 My mother usually hosted the family gatherings as she was beyond doubt the best cook. Example: One of my dear aunts neglected to remove the turkey from the wrapper. It was not tasty. 

 We had the smallest house, so finding a place for everyone to sit was difficult at best. Buffet was the prerequisite. If everyone attended (and they usually did) there would be 30 people, more or less. Mom would pray for good weather so we kids could play outside. My mother invariably cooked herself “into a stupor” as we say. The prep work would begin weeks before. There would be multiple lists and each of us had a task. Dishes needed washing, silver to be polished, etc. Of coarse, my mother’s unusually clean house had to be “cleaned.”

 Mother would bake pies and cakes.There was homemade fudge and candies.The entrees would include turkey, ham and pot roast. Sides included both mashed and sweet potatoes. Mom also prepared 2 kinds of stuffing. We a stove upstairs and oven in the basement and all would be working overtime. 

  The 60’s were a great time to be a kid. Department stores were full of opulence and there was plenty of assortment for all. In 1963 I received my very first record player. A red portable (I did take it everywhere). Santa bought me 3 LP albums that year. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (Gene Autry), Christmas with the Chipmunks, and Songs by Ricky (Ricky Nelson).

The next Christmas in 1964 I received my first guitar. A Japanese made Sears Silvertone 6 sting acoustic. It was purchased so I could participate in our church’s Saturday guitar masses. I learned 3 chords. 

Since I had to wear uniforms for school and my mom was such a great seamstress, she made most of my clothes. I seldom got “store bought clothes.” I was allowed in 1965 to pick out my own presents. That meant a to visit Robert Hall clothing in Highland Park. I was allowed to choose 3 outfits! I was in heaven. 

I had a very difficult time selecting so it took quite a long time. My poor dad went to car and waited. He loathed shopping. I finally chose a pink ribbed short sleeved “poor boy” top and pink and tan plaid hip-hugger, bell bottom pants with a very wide pink belt. Next, there was a sleeveless cowl neck sweater in a very pale mustard with hip-hugger plaid pants in lime green and mustard. Lastly there was a Mondrian color-block shift dress. I was even allowed a pair of white go-go boots! I thought I was a mod queen! Curious how I have remembered those outfits all these years!

These days I am grateful for a quiet evening with friends, loved ones and good food. I hope all who read this have a most wonderful Christmas/Holiday and good fortune in 2015!

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