Way-Back Advent Calendar: Holiday Travel

I don’t really know much about this photo except that my mom and Aunt Joan are the two girls on the right. I don’t think that this is at my grandparent’s house. The tree is uncharacteristically huge compared to trees in other Christmas photos and the tinsel is missing. Maybe by posting this photo here, the mystery girl and location will be identified.

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Picnic for Twelve — A Family Memoir

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I am happy to report that one of my clients has published Picnic for Twelve, a book about his parents and their growing family as they navigated The Great Depression and other events over the last century. If you are interested in the life of Irish-Americans during the 1900s, have Boston-area ancestors, or are just looking to read a cleverly written yarn, I highly recommend that you download the book for your Kindle or purchase a print copy.

I provided genealogical research support on the Driscoll and Sheehan families. This was a fun and challenging project to work on, as various members of the family moved around a lot, originating in or living in locations including New York City, Southern California, here in Maryland, and of course, Massachusetts and Ireland. Along the way, vital records unlocked most of the clues needed to solve a few family mysteries. As part of the project, I read an early version of the manuscript. The author is a former editor of the Boston Globe and a great storyteller — I highly recommend this book!

Way-Back Advent Calendar: Christmas Gifts

As with most first-time parents, I think Christmases after my mom was born were all about presents for her (and then her and her siblings), as far as my grandparents were concerned.

Here’s mom at Christmas in 1950, grabbing one of the first presents she saw:

Here’s Mom modeling the robe she received for Chrismas (it’s hanging off the stair rail in the previous photo):

Later, it was all about us grandkids. Here’s a couple photos from the 1980s for a change:

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The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history 24 different ways during 24 days in December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.

Way-Back Advent Calendar: Mom’s 1st Xmas

My mom was the oldest of four and, true to form, my grandparents took TONS of photos of her at any opportunity to do so. Thus, we have a plethora of pics to peruse from her first Christmas:

Mom and Grandma Grace, Christmas 1949

You have to admit, my mom was a cute baby.

I love this photo of my mom transfixed by one of her toys.

 

Mom just can’t believe how she cleaned up this Christmas. Look at all those toys!

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history 24 different ways during 24 days in December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.

Way-Back Advent Calendar: Holiday Parties

Ah, the holidays. The perfect time to break out your velvety dress and pointy party hat:

That’s my grandma on the left.

… and play party games, whilst wearing your pointy party hat:

That’s my grandpa in the blue hat at top right.

… and don’t forget to demonstrate your fancy dance moves:

My grandpa is on the right. Not sure who the gent with the smooth moves is.

Bonus pointy party hat pic (with apologies to my aunts):

Not sure of the occasion, but I believe this was taken aboard the SS United States.

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history 24 different ways during 24 days in December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.

Way-Back Advent Calendar: Santa Claus

Below may be the strangest Santa Claus photo I’ve ever seen:

My mom’s posture screams “Help me.”

Granted, my mom isn’t screaming or crying in this photo, but she doesn’t look particularly happy to be seated on his lap either. Her posture is really stiff and her expression is a bit vacant. I think she’s in her happy place.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) the above experience didn’t phase her a few year’s later:

What’s in the paper sack, Santa?

In this photo, my mom is very excited to tell Santa what she wants for Christmas. My Aunt Joan is on the right, I guess patiently waiting her turn. I’m a little worried about Santa though. He seems to be losing one of his eyebrows and I can’t quite figure out what’s going on with his shoes. And what’s in that paper sack next to him?

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history 24 different ways during 24 days in December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.

Way-Back Advent Calendar: Christmas Cards

While going through photos and documents my aunt received after my grandma passed away, we came across this Christmas card that my mom must have given her and my grandfather either in nursery school or kindergarten. I think she had a little bit of help making it. The card is a triptych, with the opening down the middle of the front. Opening the card reveals a photo of her in a toy car:

The front of the card, adorned with bells made out of foil.

The photo on the inside:

Nothing is written on the card or on the back of the photo, unfortunately. Props to the teacher for using photo corners instead of glue/paste to attach the photo to the card.

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history 24 different ways during 24 days in December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.

Way-Back Advent Calendar: Holiday Foods

This recipe of my grandma’s for Cocktail Meat Balls can be used any time of year, but I associate them with winter-time parties, especially around Christmas, New Year’s and the Superbowl. I need to figure out a way to make them without eggs (due to an allergy), because I love these things. She claims this recipe makes 65 servings. That’s not 65 Missy-size servings, I can tell you. Thanks to my Aunt Dorrie for letting me scan this.

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history 24 different ways during 24 days in December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.

Way-Back Advent Calendar: The Christmas Tree

My mom was born in 1949 and along with learning to care for their first child, my grandparents also were acquiring camera skills. Therefore, you’ll have to forgive the blurriness of the following photo:

My Mom’s First Christmas, 1949

By the following year, their technique had improved somewhat (you have to admit, my mom was a moving target):

Mom’s 2nd Christmas, 1950

This is a really nice one:

Mom and Grandma Grace, 1950

By 1959, both cameras and skills had improved quite a bit:

Aunt Joan, Aunt Dorrie, Mom and Aunt Teri, 1959

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history 24 different ways during 24 days in December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.