Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Past

Christmas Eve is tomorrow. I think I will have it all together by the time everyone arrives to have breakfast and open gifts on Christmas morning. I am so blessed to have our children live nearby.

I have been remembering my childhood Christmases. Sometimes after we were bathed and dressed in our pajamas, Daddy and Mama would bundle us up to go see all the lights in town.

Although Christmas displays were pretty modest in the fifties, I do remember Oklahoma Tire and Supply dressed their store windows in all the latest toys.  I could have sat there for hours looking at the dolls, doll houses, and carriages.  Of course, my brother was into the Tonka trucks.

The red, blue and green lights across Spadra bridge seemed magical to me. 

I love this picture of me and my brother. What do you think of that huge bow in my hair and my too short bangs. Is that the way bangs were supposed to be cut in the fifties?

Isn't my little brother cute? He looks pretty suspicious of Santa. Several years later, I threw his Huckleberry Hound hat out of the car window on Main Street. He was really upset. Another instance of "I should have got a spanking" but did not.

I remember Christmas morning smelled of new doll vinyl. I got twin dolls for Christmas the year we lived in Chouteau, Oklahoma.

My Oklahoma City Grandma came to visit and had sewn a whole wardrobe for my twins. I think that was the year I went to the first grade and told the teachers we did not have money for a new coat. The teachers bought me a pretty red coat. Mama made me give it back and took me to town to get one not as pretty.

There was a big snow that year but I still went to school. I walked in Daddy's footsteps to get to the car. I wonder why he didn't just carry me? I was little bitty then. We made snow ice cream there too.

We did not live there long. I was glad to get back to Clarksville. 

I remember I got a doll carriage the Christmas before my sister was born in January.  I remember telling Uncle Paul if they would stay all night with us, his newborn daughter could sleep in my doll carriage. They did not stay though. 

I got my first Barbie doll when I was twelve. Mama thought I was too old for a doll so she bought me a pearl necklace too. This Barbie had black hair styled in a bubble cut. Mama was probably right about being too old. I wish I had kept her though.

I asked for a record player for Christmas the next year. I did not get one but I did get a radio. The only music playing all Christmas day was Christmas carols.

I remember asking Daddy if he liked Paul Revere and the Raiders. He preferred Jim Reeves but said he did not care what I listened to. Later he watched the Beatles with me on the Ed Sullivan show.

I do not remember many of my Christmas presents. I suspect I did not receive a whole lot of gifts. But I always had a warm bed to sleep in, always had plenty to eat, and always had a lot of people who loved me.

I always knew why we celebrated Christmas.

I expect to be busy for a few days but would like to take time to wish all my family and friends - new and old alike - a most Blessed Christmas. May you all enjoy a warm bed, plenty to eat, and many who love you. And most of all, may you always know why we celebrate Christmas.


  1. I enjoyed your memories so much. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  2. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
    I so enjoy your memoirs and look forward to more in the New Year. You are, indeed, fortunate to have your children close by. Enjoy!

  3. Love the bow and the bangs!!
    Hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful stories, look forward to more in the
    New Year!!


  4. Rita, that was beautiful. I also loved the multicolored lights over the bridge and all the way down main street. People today comment on the lights on the bridge and how pretty they are - but to me and Ronnie they don't begin to be as pretty as the ones when we were young. I still have my brunette bubble cut hair Barbie. Mom told everyone I was too old for dolls and to get me clothes, but Grandma Greta was buying the new "Barbie" for my sister and cousin so she got me one also. I loved that doll, hence I still have it. IT was the year Barbie was for sale. HAve I told you how much I thought of Grandma Greta? That's a joke because I know I have. Every Christmas Eve we went to Grandma Greta's church for the Christmas program. We always were a part of the Nativity. When we were real little we were angels (you can never have too many angels) or shepards and we eventually graduated to being Mary. Someone always read from the Bible about Jesus' birth. I miss that program. Even though we attend church faithfully and have raised our children in a good home, I feel like I have failed them because they do not have those wonderful Christmas Eve program memories.

    My children also live nearby. I will have all three grandchildren here tonight to celebrate our family christmas, so I am truly blessed. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I look forward to your blog in the future. Love you!

  5. From your terrible Brother...I enjoyed reading this. Although I almost never recovered from your throwing Hucks hat out the window, I forgive that moment. Love and best wishes to you and Don and your Children this Christmas Eve and Christmas. Love you Sis.

  6. Merry Christmas to you! I have enjoyed you blog so much. You make me remember things in my own life I never would have thought of again. So funny about the red coat!

  7. i do believe you have some great memories (much more important than the toys). :) love that photo of you and your brother!

    hope you and your family make wonderful memories today. :)

  8. Glad to hear your Christmas was good. I wish you the most wonderful 2012~