Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Past by Diane Ogden

Black and White alright and check out that tinsel.  My brother and I wanted to "THROW" it onto that green tree but let me tell you that was not any where near acceptable. Each tiny strand of glistening silver had to be expertly hung on only the farthest extended branches as to lay properly without any kinks.  Wouldn't life be grand without any kinks?   Believe me we had the kinks in our family..... In this black and white sit my brother and I and Step-Nana and Grandad.  They had the bucks and I got cheap perms as you can see here.  Dad would cut down a tree from the REAL WOODS out back of our house, then saw the base, drill holes in the trunk of the tree and insert extra branches where necessary for fullness.  Every heard of that now days? Nope!  Now its off to the corner for the perfect-est tree which costs minimum of $50 plus, vs free and sprayed with chemicals and green paint to "keep" it fresh longer, not!  Mother would pop the popcorn and bring in the huge bowl of little red berries to be strung on heavy string for the tree.  My brother and I got to use a needle and thread for this treat.  We cut out colored paper strips and glued the circles one to the next for more tree foo foo.  Ooh how could I forget the ham squigglies.  In the olden days canned Ham came with a "key" to open it.  You hooked the key onto the tiny aluminum tab and twisted backwards all the way around the can.  If you miscalculated your screw and slipped, well, misperfection wasn't so cool in our household.  A n y w a y...after the can is opened you hold the key and pull down the section you wound up to create a long spiral shiny ornament!  They were rather sharp so we had to be very careful. After all it was aluminum.  There was always a bowl of "ribbon candy" sitting on the coffee table.  And some of the tiny sugar candies, peppermints, green mints, yellow ones.  They would crunch quickly between your teeth because they were so little.  Mother would bake home-made yeast breads filled with cinnamon and all sorts of other fancy cookies.  Dad would go out back of the house on Christmas Eve and change into his Santa suit in the chicken coup, then we would suddenly hear bells and know Santa was outside.  He would come to the door and Mother would let him in so he could sit in the big chair and talk to us. We would tell him what we wanted for Christmas and he would do the Ho-Ho-Ho then he would leave, but only after asking us to leave him some cookies and milk and his reindeer some carrots. My God we really bought it!!  To this day I swear I saw him ride out of site in his sleigh with eight tiny reindeer far into the night with a full moon for me to view him ahead of the huge night clouds far above the rooftops.  Indeed Christmas was always a fun time with good memories for me.  Even though the fam had/has "kinks."
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