Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Friday Five: Ghosts of Christmas Past

The créche was around for my first Christmas in 1944. War materials took precedence, so this is flimsy and after so many years, mended in places. I remember the roof and floor being covered with straw, but only traces remain. These days, the Small Person and the Wee Bear Cub are allowed to arrange it on the hearth. I hope someday they’ll share it with their children, too.

The larger ornaments are among the few which remain of the original ones purchased by my parents, probably when they married in 1940. Jim and I bought a box of ten smaller ones in Kananga (Congo) for our first Christmas tree--cedar brush wired to a wooden frame he’d built. Because we couldn’t afford more than one box, we cut old Christmas cards into various shapes and hung them on the tree with green twine.

Little brown teddy came to me at the age of 3 or 4 from my maternal grandfather who later taught me to love history. He was a fine little bear once upon a time with a yellow ribbon around his neck and just the right size to cuddle. 

My mother and grandmother loved the Ideals magazines and always brought them out for seasons through the year. 

I first heard the song I’ll Be Home for Christmas (if only in my dreams)as I sat on the tennis courts of the school where I taught in Congo. I was 22, and I’d never been away from home on Christmas before. For the next three years, Christmas and home would not be a reality. Later I happened on the movie by the same title, a heartbreaking reminder of the WW II era in which I was born. Last year I paid a rather steep price for a copy and plan to watch and weep again. And, of course, the old classic White Christmas is part of the package. 

Shabby? Yes. Old-fashioned? Of course. Cherished? Absolutely.  
And I wouldn't trade any of them! 

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