If you had a happy childhood growing up and now are old, then you know how meaningful good memories are and when it comes to Christmas those memories are pure joy! Part of my happy childhood included a big Christmas.
My Dad’s large family brought us together twice in December for potluck suppers, Christmas carols, a visit from Santa with presents for the kids and adults drew names and exchanged gifts. The grandparents were divorced so they each held a big fun Christmas party with over 40 people in attendance. On Christmas Eve, we enjoyed Grandma Anderson’s homemade beef and noodles. Much of my time was spent playing carols on the old-time player piano.
After enjoying Christmas on Dad’s side, Christmas day always included my Grandma Lovelace from Mom’s side of the family and Uncle Carl. We always opened several gifts, taking turns and really drawing it out for hours. The best part of all of this was who you had beside you not all the gifts. It is time to celebrate in a new way now that I’m older and many of these people are no longer around to spend Christmas with us. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, are all gone. It is a good thing my husband and I had four children, right? Except that they don’t seem to want to make it a priority to get together on Christmas. Some travel out of state to be with the spouse’s family.
My husband, younger daughter and I, have found ourselves alone for the last four years on Christmas Eve and Christmas without the family. We have decided to plan a trip and be gone on Christmas weekend. Since I reflected on those wonderful potluck Christmas family parties, I have decided to have a Christmas tree decorating party at the beginning of December where we are hoping all our children and grandchildren will attend to get to make memories with cousins, aunts, and uncles.
I really feel it is important for families to have some happy memories of getting together. During the Christmas season seems like one of the best times to do it. We will play Christmas carols while we decorate sugar cookies, the Christmas tree, and read the Christmas story from the Bible. I will be glad that all the adult children and grandchildren are together. There will be only 14 of us now. I know why my Grandma made the beef and noodles every Christmas Eve and had that potluck. It was her Christmas present to herself, to be with all her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren all at one time, in one place, even for only a short time to remember happily who you have beside you.
My Cousin Kay always brought my Aunt Ruth to Ohio for the family Christmas party and I opened my home for her to have a place to stay. Kay said thanks each year by sending me a beautiful Christmas ornament from the White House Historical Association starting in 2013.
In 2013, Woodrow Wilson is represented as the 28th President of the United States. Each one of the ornaments come with a lot of history in a booklet included with the ornament on a president from the past. It highlights the way the president and his family celebrated Christmas each year while being in the White House.
Two granddaughters were born while President Wilson was in office. They displayed a Christmas tree in the second-floor library and tied gifts on the tree for the girls. Another tradition included giving 125 turkeys to the White House staff and police force every year
So that is how my ornament collection started and I love them so much I continue to get one each year and wanted to show you my Christmas tree. This year I am planning to have a Merry Christmas while Living Life in the Second Act. I hope you do too. The White House Historical Association is a nonprofit educational association founded in 1961.