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.

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Way-Back Machine Edition

Mom, Grandma Grace, Baby Aunt Joan

A few years ago, I participated in the Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories. You can read my posts here.

This year, I’m going to do something a little different. I recently acquired a bunch of photos from my mom’s childhood and a large percentage of the photos are from around the holidays. I’m going to try and post most of the photos following this year’s advent calendar prompts.

Stay tuned for lots of 1950s holiday action. The fun starts tomorrow!

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.

Holiday Tidings

I will be taking a sabbatical from blogging this December as I tie up several projects and gear up for the holidays. I wish everyone a happy holiday season and I’ll return with new posts after the New Year.

To tide you over, I encourage you to check out this year’s Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories by my fellow genea-bloggers (check out my own trip down holiday memory lane from last year). New posts will be up daily, so you shall have plenty to read until I return.

Happy Hols, everyone!

Christmas Eve

This is post #24 (last one!) in the GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

Christmas Eve traditions have varied over the years in my family, depending on who was hosting, when we were traveling, etc.

One Christmas Eve that stands out in my mind was during my senior year of college. My sister flew to Washington, D.C., from Albuquerque and then we drove down to Norris, Tenn. (it’s near Knoxville), to see our mom. In a snow storm.

Our route took us down I-81 in Virginia — a truck route notorious for its two lanes in each direction through mountains and valleys. As I type this (on 12/19), I-81 is shut down during the current snowstorm due to a traffic accident last night. While it usually offers scenic views, the drive itself isn’t always pretty.

That particular Christmas Eve, the roads were so icy that drivers were taking each bridge one car at a time — there was no telling how your car was going to handle the road conditions. And there were a lot of bridges.

When we made it to Lexington, Va., we stopped for lunch at the Wendy’s there and then continued on our way. Two or three harrowing hours later, after many a dicey ice patch, my sister gasped. She had left her purse at the Wendy’s.

I thought about our options for a minute and said, “Carrie, I love you, but we’re not going back for that purse today.”

When we finally reached Mom’s house, 12 hours after we started the drive (it’s usually seven to eight hours from D.C. to Knoxville), my sister was able to call the Wendy’s. They had found her purse and had it stored behind the counter for when we made the drive back to D.C. a few days later.

Unfortunately, when we did make that drive and stopped by the Wendy’s, the manager with whom we had spoken was not there and the other employees couldn’t find my sister’s purse. Thankfully, she was able to fly back to Albuquerque without its contents (this was pre-2001 and I don’t think IDs were required to fly back then). The Wendy’s manager did mail the purse back to her (after taking the money needed for postage out of her wallet). Everything else seemed to still be there though.

Christmas Sweetheart Memories

This is post #23 in the GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

One relationship-related Christmas memory involves my first eBay purchase. My boyfriend at the time absolutely loved his car. He wanted to find a model kit for his exact make and model, but was having trouble finding one. I started searching eBay and other sites daily to see if I could find it for him for Christmas.

I eventually did find a model kit on eBay. Never having used the site before, I bid on it immediately, only to be outbid by some guy in Hawaii (harumph). I’d bid again and so would he.

I mentioned this to my mom, who was an expert eBayer. She told me to stop bidding for the meantime, I’d only jack up the price. Instead, she said to wait until the last ten minutes and monitor the auction closely. Within the last two minutes, I should make my move.

I followed her advice and won the kit! I was so ecstatic. My boyfriend was thrilled when he opened the gift on Christmas. We parted ways several years ago, but it’s still one of my favorite Christmas gift-score stories.