Dec 24, 2019

Merry Christmas Eve: My Childhood Christmas Memories

All this week I've shared some wonderful memories from friends of the blog.  They've touched a lot of people including myself.  Sharing some of mine today.

This post wasn't to be a memory post it was to be simply a Merry Christmas Eve post!  I sat down while drinking coffee, you know today is a very busy day.  I was killing time and started thinking of my childhood Christmas memories. So today I share some of them with you.

This little probably dime store (I'm not sure) star hung on our family tree for more years than I can count while growing up.  It has lost its many accents, more garland, tinsel a bulb, and case, but still in my eyes is absolutely beautiful!  

Mama's Old Christmas Star
Merry Christmas Eve!  

Christmas Eve, can you believe it?  I am always, amazed when it rolls around like it doesn't come every year at the same time.  Remembering the days as a child playing in the yard while mama was in the kitchen cooking, and daddy was trying to work in his body shop. (yeah with 5 kids in tow). We'd say, "Daddy can you hook up this old car hood so we can be pulled around the yard on it?  Snow or no snow, that was a fun thing to do.

Mama and Daddy standing in front of his old body shop

People who know me, know that I have a gap between my front teeth anyway.  It wasn't until I learned that some people (aka Michael Jackson & others) actually had one made that I learned to appreciate mine!  Anyway, this is the look on my face on Christmas Eves as well!  Pure excitement!

I do believe I was 6 in this school picture
Goodness I must have been excited to be at school that day
Every missing tooth is showing!

The excitement was almost more than we could bear!  The brothers were of course up to mischief, especially Chippy!  Stevie was behind quietly trying to not be as bad but still up to mischief!  We girls were constantly running from them!  I, being the oldest would say, "Now, y'all better be good cause Santa Claus comes tonight!"...Did they listen of course not, until I would say the famous last words they accused me of, "Alright!, I'm telling on you!"....I was after all the oldest and had to take care of them.  Yeah right! (lol).  There was no keeping any of them in line.

We'd all go in at night after walking around caroling, yes, 5 could carry some sounds.  So much so that Grandma or Uncle Cecil next door whoever lived there at the time probably wished we would stop! (just kidding).  We'd look at the Christmas lights around and into the big picture window, we would look at our Christmas tree!  Oh, how pretty those big bulbs would shine!  We'd walk to the road to see how good we could see the tree!  Yep, it was in plain view, and just beautiful!

Then, all of a sudden the firecrackers, bottle rockets, and fireworks would go off!  Oh, those boys, and Gwen the tomboy would shoot a bottle rocket at me every year!  She was blind as a bat...Shirley was always up to some devilment, her normal personality, picking at one or some of us.  It was fun!

Inside we would go because grandma, granddaddy, and Fannie would arrive for Christmas Eve supper and the all-important opening of presents.  Fannie, my Aunt would say, "The paper is gonna be flying in a minute!"..She is missed by all and a joy to all. Fannie had as a child had an illness the doctors later said like Encephalitis, but they weren't sure. Anyway, she had some mental handicap issues after this. Well, that is the Fannie we've always known a permanent 4-year-old, fun-loving, and just an all-around pleasure to be around! That's how old she'd tell you she was too.  She loved watches and clocks and could tell time, but if you showed her a number she would not know what it was. She was in a way like 'Rain Man'.  Later on, a doctor said I think she is around a 4 or 5-year-old level. She, however, was an adult to us and she could do many adult things as well.  Everyone that knew her loved her dearly!  She was more like a sister than an aunt.  What fun we all had.

They would leave, only to come back on Christmas Day to see just what Santa had bought all of us. Unless we were going to their house on the occasions that they weren't able to visit us.  Then we'd head out to the far country!  Grandma Cora would be cooking in her apron of course. Granddaddy would be chopping wood and Fannie would be helping bring it in.  You know we had to have the at least 100 degrees 'Heater Room', which was their living room!  Whew, talk about wanting to faint from the heat!  The food would be delicious!  We kids would go into the cold pantry off of the kitchen and look at the boxes of oranges, apples, nuts, and the famous box of Christmas candy!  They would say, " You can only have one piece of the candy, you don't want to spoil your dinner!" We would then settle down into the desert aka heater room and open the most simple and memorable presents of all read here about one of mine. Grandpa and Chocolate Covered Cherries!

We would have to visit our other grandparents because granddaddy Julius was sickly and couldn't get around as much.  These are the grandparents that lived in the beautiful white farmhouse with wrap around porch.  Her house had beautiful, fancy furniture and we loved going there on Christmas.  She was a great cook you can see her here.  We would look, but not touch the beautiful ornaments, were warned before going. Beautiful memories of her home, decorations, and great food.

We had a family Bible and we would each take turns looking at the pictures and reading the Christmas story.  It was fun to see the big beautiful pictures of the nativity and baby Jesus.  I have that Bible Storybook now. It is in pieces but one of my most treasured items from childhood. You can see it here.

We also had a book Twas The Night Before Christmas that we all looked at until each page is loose.  I have that book as well. You can see it here.

We would all go to bed early on Christmas Eve, had to Santa was coming!  I declare I could hear him in the living room putting toys together!  This was especially loud the Christmases we got bikes, or the boys got go carts!  Yes in the living room go-carts! Hey, we live in a family of race cars, automobiles, and sometimes parts of motors that would land in the house!  The boys would get junk cars from a friend of daddy's Turner's...did a story on the family in Pat's memories of Christmas.  They would drive the floor less, seat less cars around the yard and sometimes get on the road until an officer friend of daddy's would say, "Carl those boys are on the road with the junk racers, you might better tell em not to get on the main highway out there!"  Yes, those were the days!

I would be so excited, Mama would say, "Dolly what do you want this year a doll or a stuffed animal?" I'd most always say a doll because to this day I like doll collecting.  You see we didn't get a house full of toys, (although it looked like it with 5 kids).  Simple, thoughtful, loving times and being together that was most important.  I know that is what made most of us be truly thankful for all we have and get.  It makes one think about people, and important happenings more than things. We would be so excited and happy!

Having grown and having children of my own I have many more memories watching them grow, and even today as they come over for our traditional Christmas Eve gathering! I see more memories in the making with them and the little grands!

The older I get the more I see things as my grandparents and parents did.  When asked what do you want for Christmas, I have to say, I want for nothing.  I don't need things to be happy.  Your family and friends are all that is needed. Knowing that you are happy and healthy is truly what is most important!

I've got to get up from here and get busy lots of cooking and I'm never finished decorating so out I go the sun is out and it's a beautiful day!

Merry Christmas and God Bless You All!

Remember Luke 2:  11-14

“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”” -


  1. Dolly, your post speaks volumes of the beautiful person you are! The love that aboundeds from your story, your family family, and especially at Christmas! Yes, as we get older we need nothing, but our family, to have them safe and share and the joy of the Season.! Merry Christmas Friend!

    1. Oh my now you have me in tears!  I love you girl and know your heart too. Merry Christmas!

  2. I loved this post. It brought back a lot of childhood memories for me too. Thought back then, everyone seem to work harder and were a lot poorer but more happy than kids now days. Your mom and dad look precious.
    Happy Memories.

    1. Hey Lisa!
      Awe you are so kind hearted! You're right you know, people did work harder and in our area of the country seemed at least to be poorer, but you know what?  I remember my grandparents talking about the depression and how the rest of the country stood in line for coupons, for sugar or flour while they had all of that on their farms.  So in a way we here in the South did have it better,  We kids were happier I do believe like you.  We just were!  Oh thank you they were two precious people and I miss them daily.
      Love you girl!