28 December 2007

A Very Vintage Vicki

This treasured photo is from my Family Album, Christmas 1965! At 10 years old I was attending 5th grade at Whitemarsh Elementary School in Pennsylvania and my best friend's name was Carrie Lukeman. (don't you just love the stretch pants?) Although I've strained to see what was under the tree that year... the memory of what I cherished most this time of year is crystal clear:

  • Having my mom's mother and step-father, Alice and Walter King (affectionally, "Gaga and Pop Pop"), spend the night with us on Christmas Eve
  • Singing along to our favorite christmas carols that dad compiled from his LP collection and taped on his Wollensak reel-to-reel. Here's a link to one of our favorites!
  • Putting out cookies & milk for santa and carrots for his reindeer.
  • Mom & Dad sleeping downstairs on the pull-out couch so they could take care of all the finishing touches before christmas morning! Assembling toys, putting up the HO train table with the plaster-of-paris tunnel & lighted village, stuffing stockings, nibbling on cookies & carrots and arranging gifts under the tree.
  • One of the grown-ups reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and the Christmas Story from the bible.
  • PRAYING for a white christmas.
  • Driving around with the family to look at christmas lights.
  • Picking out a cut-tree together a few blocks from home at Miles Park.
  • Dad & I fiddling with several strings of large, multi-colored lights, replacing bulbs and laughing together! Then hanging them on the bushes outside & inside on our tree.
  • The whole family decorating the tree together - pop-pop untangling the hooks and gaga telling us exactly where to place the satin balls, tinsel, plastic ornaments & treasured keepsakes.
  • My brother & I begging our grandparents to wake-up, then sitting at the top of the stairs on the hope chest, squirming impatiently, waiting for our parent's "OKAY!"
  • Finally, a very special memory - One christmas eve, the two of us took a ride in the old Ford Victoria with Dad in the midst of a blinding snowstorm. Our destimation was our humble Messiah Methodist Church which my parents helped to found. Dad wasn't about to let the storm deter him because we were on an important mission! He was in charge of setting up his tape recorder to play a continuous loop of special christmas music for the silent midnight prayer service. Having arrived before one of the parishoners could plow the steep driveway, we each carried a box filled with wires, speakers, and tapes then hiked together through the deepening snow drifts up to the church. Then, with the set-up complete and snow softly falling outside, I can remember the feeling of PEACE and AWE that welled up inside me as those cherished songs began to play! "Oh, holy night! The stars are brightly shining. This is the night of our dear Savior's birth!"

EDITED 12.31.07: When I mentioned this blog to my mom (84), she reminded me that she "baked a birthday cake for Jesus" when we were young. It was important to my parents that we celebrated the true meaning of Christmas in our home. I hope that plays a part in your celebrations as well! It's our ACTIONS that speak louder than words. xo


Artsy said...

Have a Happy New Year and hope its full of even more great memories!

Crafty Gal Linda said...

omgosh...you are from my neck of the woods! Well not far anyway..I live outside of Lansdale. Do you still live in the area? Thanks for sharing your memories!

Shabby Cottage Boutique said...

Happy New Year Denise Massachusetts

audrey h. said...

Such a beautiful and thoughtful post. Thanks for sharing all on your blog and for you kind comments that you leave. Wishing you a happy new year and that it is filled with love, laughter and creativity :o)

MaryEllen said...

What wonderful memories!
I love that your mom baked a birthday cake for Jesus. Thanks for reminding me of the real meaning of Christmas.

Bless you and Happy New Year!

Aimeslee said...

You are so cute in that photo! And love the memories, thanks for sharing!