Saturday, December 20, 2008

Back in the day...

Everywhere I go these days I keep hearing the phrase "Back in the day". Now, for me, back in the day would be a day a very, very, very long time ago, like turn of the century or earlier. What I'm slowly figuring out is that back in the day, today, means -- when I was a kid or teenager. Not good, not good...

I've been Christmas shopping and observing my Christmas 'traditions' such as they are. Here are some of my Christmas 'Back in the Dayisms".

Our dining room table with our coffee cup Santa, a handstitched table runner (I think I made it. If not, my mom did).

Back in the day...I'd make my Christmas list and hope my parents and Santa knew about that doll or game or book I wanted. It was always a toss up if I got the items on my list. Santa seemed to be a very independent minded individual back then and I sometimes got what he thought was best vs. what I thought was best.

Today - I have to beg to get a list from Alexa. When I do, it's typewritten, on the computer along with photos and URL's to websites with the specific items and accessories listed.

Back in the day...My dad would get out the card table, his master address list, several boxes of cards and a roll of stamps and write out all the Christmas cards. That was his job. I never recall seeing my mom do them. Maybe because she did all the cooking and cookie baking.

My nutcracker collection.

Today - I do all the Christmas cards. I pick them out or pick a picture and send away for photo cards. I had all the addresses on my computer but I need to re-do the list, so this year I hand addressed them all. But I must confess, I haven't done cards the previous two years so just to let people know we haven't fallen off the face of the earth, I'm sending out cards.

The mantle in the family room. My Santas are along the top and our stockings hang below. All were handmade except the one on the far right. From l-r Normans (by me - felt applique), Alexas (by Eleanor Engelmann - quilted) and mine (by me - the 12 Days of Christmas in cross stitch).

Back in the day... I'd go out with my dad to buy a live tree and my dad was in charge of trimming the bottom and setting the tree in the tree holder and then raising the tree. My mother, in the role of the "Boss" would supervise and direct the operation once the tree was in the house.

This is the living room 'Wegman's Tree', a first this year.

Today - I bring up the trees - plural, from the basement because we haven't done a live tree in several years and we now do four trees - the family room traditional tree, my color coordinated Wegman's tree, Alexa's 4 ft. girly, girl tree and a small 2 1/2 ft. tree that I won in a charity Chinese auction. This does not include the ceramic lighted tree I made for my mom over 35 years ago. My husband, the dad - does nothing, except maybe watch from the sofa. Note: Norm will say I do it all because I'm too picky to let anyone else do it.

Back in the day...My mom was in charge of placing the ornaments on the tree. I was allowed to help, but I had to adhere to mom's master plan.

Today - I decorate all the trees except Alexa's- she's in charge of that one. One reason she has her own tree was because I thought it would be special for her. She thinks that she's entitled to one and my decorations are boring! Her decorations are much more 'with it' or, shiny, lotsa glitter! Norm - he may look up from the couch and nod once in a while.

Alexa's tree...

Back in the day...My dad was in charge of putting up all the outside lights and decorations, buying the wreath for the door. A week or so after Thanksgiving dad, on his own, would pull all the decorations out, check the lights and bulbs and climb the ladder and string the lights. Mom - did nothing, except come out and inspect when all was done.

Today - The lights outside don't get done...unless I do them. Even if Norm thinks to get out the lights, I'm either expected to help or when he can't figure out how to connect them, I get to do them all. If I don't get a chance to get them out before the weather turns, then I get Alexa on my case wondering , "Mom, when are you doing the lights outside?" Either that or my MIL, not to subtly, points out that the neighbors across the street have all their lights out right after Thanksgiving. She saw the neighbors stringing lights early the day after Thanksgiving, in the rain, snow coming down, minus freezing temperatures - and they're even older than we are. That's the way it was done in her know - Back in the day!

Our family room tree, with all our favorite ornaments. Many are handmade including over 20 cross stitch Santas on perforated paper made by myself and my mom. There are also a few crocheted balls made by my grandmother and a couple of crewel ornaments made by me.

Well, I'm always a day late and an ornament short, but here are my trees and decorations and as in back in the day, I'll probably get to put them all away too!
Well, that's it. I want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. DM


Lynn said...

hi Donna - We must be on the same wave length because I'm just about to post some of our holiday decor pics too! Yours are really pretty; thanks for sharing the history and pics! Happy Holidays! (and I'm one of the ones who are NOT sending cards this year but thanks for yours) xo Lynn

Anonymous said...

Yes and back in the day when I was to young to say no, brother Brion would help our Dad get all the decorations out from the attic, because climbing through the attic was my favorite thing to do. Brion also helped Dad with the outside lights. I still remember the tip I learned from Dad. Test the string of lights first, before you hang them up. Make sure the string works, replace the bulbs that are out and tighten the rest....Back in the day.....