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Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Monday, 16 December 2019

No Place Like Home - A Child's Christmas

There's mistletoe; there's holly;

And whispering, and smiles;
There are parcels needing wrapping,
To be sent across the miles.

There are snowflakes lightly falling;
The Christmas season's here--
I hear Santa loudly calling
To his spirited reindeer.

There are candles to be lighted;
I hear sleigh bells from afar;
Then there comes to mind a wee Babe,
And a brilliant, guiding star.

Let our hearts be filled with gladness,
And our spirits lifted high;
Let us breathe a prayer of joy and peace
As Christmas Day draws nigh. ~ Lucile Naylor

Greetings all my Christmas loving friends and welcome to my last No Place Like Home for the season! Thank you to Mrs. T for sharing the poem above in one of her posts. I thought it was perfect for my posting today.

This is a long post so please pour yourself a warm beverage and join me, won't you?

I have written this post in memory of my parents.

Is there any other season that tugs at your heartstrings more than Christmas? Those days of yore when the family gathered around the Christmas tree all a-twinkle with coloured lights and those vintage ornaments lending their charm to each evergreen branch. There was just something special about those days. 

I wonder if I may transport you back to my Christmases as a little girl? 

As a child, we didn't have any more than the average family. After we moved to the Island, I grew up in rented houses and apartments. But when Christmas rolled around, I felt like we were as wealthy as the royals. The weeks leading up to Christmas were always busy ones with Christmas concerts and church festivities, my mother baking, and lots of secrets. My parents worked very hard to make Christmas as special and magical as possible.

My little brother and I would have been mistaken for angels those weeks leading up to the big day!

Mom and Daddy would trim the house before bringing in the big spruce tree. I can still remember the smell of fresh boughs hung over doorways and windows, sparkling with silver glass balls and icicles. Then there was the tree itself. Never was there a more beautiful tree! My mother had a gift for decorating and I always thought our tree was the most beautiful in the neighbourhood.

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, which Daddy built and my mother painted, took his place of honour in the front window and when he was plugged in, his nose glowed red and all along the base were many coloured lights. To us kids, Rudolph was quite magical!
This little china deer was a gift from my mother many years ago. He comes out every Christmas and spends time on the window sill reminding me of the Rudolph in our window so many years ago.

A couple of weeks before Christmas Day arrived, we always got a call from Santa. We could hear his bells ringing in the background as Santa asked my brother and me what we wanted for Christmas. We didn't know it until much later, but Santa was really a family friend, a policeman, who made a hundred calls every year to talk to the children of his friends and relatives. When I grew up and had my own little boys, Santa called them too. The dear man carried on that tradition until he left this earth. Bless his heart! He had been one of my father's best friends ever since we moved to the Island. Lloyd made hundreds of little ones very happy while he was here.

On Christmas Eve, the stockings were hung and the next morning my brother and I would get up to find them bulging with candy canes, fudge, nuts, barley toys, and hard candy of every kind imaginable, including the beautiful ribbon candy that was such a delight to the eyes. In the toe was the biggest and juiciest orange and the biggest Delicious apple we had ever seen.


Did You Know?

The Victorian rule of thumb for filling a Christmas stocking was "Something to eat, something to read, something to play with, and something they need." - from "Christmas Teas of Comfort and Joy" by Emilie Barnes

We always had the best presents because Daddy worked as an accountant at a home and auto shop which had a toy store on the second level.

These little tykes build a snowman every Christmas on my window sill above the kitchen sink.

Did You Know?

It was Queen Victoria's influence that allowed children to play more and work less. The queen held parties at Christmastime especially for children, encouraging them to take part in the festivity of the season. - from "Christmas Teas of Comfort and Joy" by Emilie Barnes

One magical Christmas when I was about six  years old, my brother and I found the most adorable puppy next to the Christmas tree in his brand new dog house which Daddy had built. He was a cocker spaniel and he was the sweetest thing! He had big brown eyes and a sprinkle of freckles on his nose.


That was the best Christmas ever! We called the puppy, Jingles.

This ceramic spaniel puppy was made by my son in High School which he gave to me. The pup reminds me of our puppy, Jingles.


After the gifts were opened we always had a big dinner. The turkey took center stage and all the fixings were spread out around the turkey on the festive tablecloth my mother would use that time of year. Of course everything was homemade in those days. The dressing, rich with onions and summer savoury, sweet and tart cranberry sauce, home made pickles and relish, and the wonderful savoury gravy. What a feast! Dessert was always mincemeat pie with whipped cream or plum pudding. My brother and I always enjoyed both!




In those days, Walt Disney had an afternoon special to watch on TV every Christmas Day. That is when my father would get down on the floor with my brother and me and watch the cartoons with us. He laughed and enjoyed them as much as we did. Lady and the Tramp, Chip and Dale, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, etc. Walt Disney was the icing on the cake so to speak because we knew Daddy was going to enjoy the cartoons as much as we did. If the truth was known, he was just a big kid himself at Christmastime. 
Sometimes Daddy would take us ice skating on a pond or for a drive in the neighbour's horse and wagon. He always made the holidays extra special. Such warm memories of family times! 

My parents.are both gone now and Christmas will be somewhat bittersweet because this will be our first Christmas without both of my parents. Daddy had passed many years ago and this will be our first Christmas without my mother.
But my love for Christmas burns bright because of the legacy my parents left me. 

Christmastime is so very special because of the extraordinary Gift that was given to us over two thousand years ago. 
"....for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger." ~
Luke 2: 11-12


So enjoy the music, the food, the decorations and the presents. Greet one another with kindness and extend good will to all men. And remember to thank Him for it all. For without Christ, there would be no Christmas!

The greatest Christmas gift of all
Was never placed beneath a tree,
But lay within a manger
Beneath a star, for all to see. - Unknown

Thank you for joining me today. If you have something to share, simply let me know in a comment and I will add your blog to the list of participants below. I will be happy to come and visit you.
  
Please share any of the following: Cooking and baking, recipes, antiquing, artwork, ceramics, crafts, crocheting/knitting, quilting/sewing, collections, floral arranging, home decor, homemaking tips, hospitality, refinishing furniture, tea time, tablescapes, thrift shopping etc....Maybe there's a new baby in the family or you have a new fur baby you would like to introduce us to. They are welcome too! Anything and everything which makes your HOME more enjoyable to come HOME to, for your family, your friends, and yourself

Merry Christmas, dear friends, and God bless you!

Party Participants:
Tea in the Valley
This Beautiful Life
Across My Kitchen Table
Kitty's Kozy Kitchen
Open Doors, Open Windows
Just a Little Southern Hospitality
Karen's Cottage and Castle



Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

17 comments :

  1. What a lovely post, Sandi! Your childhood Christmases sound magical---just as mine were. Getting that puppy had to make that one of the best Christmases ever! What a sweet surprise.

    How sweet and precious of your dad's friend to take on the Santa role.

    Yes, this will be a bit of a melancholy Christmas for you this year, so soon after the loss of your mother. This is our second Christmas without Gary's mom, and let me tell you, addressing a package to just my father-in-law was heartbreaking. I know Mom is with the Lord now, but, still, I miss her so much, and at Christmas, I miss her even more. So, I know this will be a hard one for you.

    I've written about my growing-up Christmases. Here is the link.

    https://pattiamg.blogspot.com/2019/12/christmas-when-i-was-ten-years-old.html

    Blessings,
    Patti

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  2. Sandi, what a wonderfully heartwarming post! It was so much fun to read of the various ways in which your parents made Christmas so special for you children. My childhood Christmases were the same. My parents made gifts and my mother did loads of baking. Our tree was always cut nearby and was so pretty once decorated.

    I'm sharing today about a big part of Christmas in my childhood -- Christmas at my grandmother's big white farmhouse in New England. Here is the link:

    http://acrossmytable.blogspot.com/2019/12/christmas-on-farm.html

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  3. What wonderful and treasured memories you have, dearest Sandi, and all because of your loving parents! I loved reading about the Rudolph that your Daddy made, the calls from Lloyd, and your pet Jingles! Yes, Christmas was a more quiet time, back in our day, and more respectful, remembering Our Lord's birth.
    I'd be happy if you shared my post today. Thank you for hosting for us. I hope you have a beautiful week!

    http://www.kittyskozykitchen.com/2019/12/microwave-peanut-brittle.html

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  4. Thank you for sharing these sweet memories of your childhood Christmas traditions. The Santa calls were especially heartwarming.

    Thank you for hosting!

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  5. P.S. I think you inherited your mom's decorating skills.

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  6. OH, I love your Christmas memories, Sandi. So very precious and sweet. You had parents much like mine, who made Christmas extra special because they enjoyed it so much. Yes, my parents are both gone now too, and we try to carry on our own family traditions with our grown children. It is always a special time. Thank you for sharing this with us. I feel like I was right there with you!! Merry Christmas to you and yours. Here is a link to an updated version of a previous post I wrote about my Christmas memories. https://pamelasopenwindow.blogspot.com/2014/12/advent-day-five-behold-i-will-do-new.html

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  7. What a sweet and comforting post! I love Christmas so much. It feeds my spirit all year long. Have a very Merry Christmas!

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  8. What a lovely Christmas post! May you and yours have a wonderful Christmas week/day. ~ FlowerLady

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  9. You always share beautiful thoughts and memories. I love your mincemeat tarts and you have shared so many pretty pieces but especially that darling teapot!

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  10. So sorry about the loss of your Mom. Keeping traditions is a special way to honor those who have gone on before us.

    Please post my blog.
    https://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com/2019/12/welcome.html

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  11. Hi Sandi,
    Your Christmas tribute was so lovely. I am finding that I am reminiscing more about my parents and past Christmases as I age. It will be a difficult Christmas without your mother but try to think of the happy times and wonderful memories! Have a Very Merry Christmas! Blessings! Karen Please post my blog: http://karenscottageandcastle.blogspot.ca Thank you.

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  12. Merry Christmas, Sandi!
    Reading your "No Place Like Home" series has been a blessing. So many of the experiences you wrote about are similar to mine. Recalling my Christmases from long ago fills me with overflowing pleasure, whether it's placing a treasured ornament on the tree, finding the perfect spot for a childhood decoration,or pulling out an old recipe...May you and your family have a lovely Christmas.
    Linda

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Linda. I'm glad you enjoyed it and that your memories are precious too. Merry Christmas!

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I am delighted to have you visit me and I read every comment. Please forgive me for not being able to visit you all as there are so many of you lovely bloggy friends now. I will visit as much as possible. I wish you a day filled with JOY!

Also, due to the amount of spam I've been getting, I have had to set Comment Moderation. ~ Sandi