Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 The last night of Hanukkah and other holiday traditions .....

As I get ready to light the candles on my menorah for the last night of Hanukkah, I am sitting here thinking about past holiday seasons. This year I have given much thought to the past. I suppose because of many factors. It was a tough year personally for my family with the loss of my dad and illness of my mom. The economy has affected us all in different ways. And mostly for the first holiday season that I can recall, I have not had any plans to spend the special days with family and friends due to geographical and other issues. My one daughter and her family were with me for a couple of days and we did celebrate the lighting of the Hanukkah candles, eating a big meal together and the cooking of the traditional potato latkas....yummy.

727 Morton Avenue, Franklin Square, New York ( Nassau County on Long Island)

This is the house that I lived in from the time I was 4 years old until I moved out at age 18. My parents never did celebrate any of the holidays and no holiday traditions were ever established here. I think this is the reason that when I left home and had the opportunity to establish my own family traditions I happily did so. I always loved decorating, cooking, planning and having family and friends around me.

This season I did not put up my main /largest holiday tree, or several others that I typically get out. It gives me the opportunity to take out all my stuff that I have collected through the years and enjoy. I had my doubts as to how I would feel about this. I did however decorate my home in several areas, my chandelier, my mantle, lighted reindeer and wreaths outside at the entrance to my home and a small counter tree decorated with my kitchen theme. When I first found some little tea cup ornaments about 15 years ago, I found myself going back to purchase them after the holidays when they were on sale. And thus I created a kitchen tree to display them on in following years.

Here is my kitchen tree this year on the breakfast bar with my Santa music box.

This close up will show the types of ornaments that are displayed on this tree.

Look closely and you will even find the traditional Christmas fruit cake! I do not know anyone who actually likes to eat fruit cake however.


As I recall this is the second tree that I had. The first couple of years I had real trees, but could not find a clear photo of it. I remember in December of 1965 when Denise was just a couple of months old, closing on my first home in Holbrook, New York and pulling up to our new home with the real christmas tree on the roof of the car. This flocked tree was cool to me back then. Today I look at it and say uggh, what was I thinking. Those are some ugly window treatments, arn't they?

A couple of years later we still proudly displayed the flocked tree. I wonder if those are balloons in the back ground. They could be exercise balls but I don't know if they were around way back then. I made the outfits that myself and Denise were wearing.

Here we went to a larger tree, I think this again was a real one and Carrie is here with Denise. Back then I always saw that they got lots of things to open even if it was "under wear" and other necessary items. I was giving my girls what I never did have growing up. Several years I worked for a company that was a toy manufacturer. Those years there were lots of good surprises like the 2XL talking-walking robots.
This photo may be out of order because there is that hand-me-down yellow fake leather sofa that we had again.

Me and my girls, under one of my really tall and real trees. Some of them were so tall that it would take 2 pictures, one of the bottom and one of the top to get the whole thing. I can remember going to the tree lot as soon as the trees were delivered. All the trees were the same price, you picked one but since they were really cheap, and this was a "no-service tree lot", you never got them unwrapped or standing until you got them home. Some years, we did get some trees that were tall with fat trunks but not so nice when they were stood up. Sometimes we had the train set set up around them but always lots and lots of presents. Oh by the way we always lit the Hanukkah menorah and got stuff then also.

Looks like Carrie and Denise had some happy times, fond memories in the making and the start of their own family traditions.

One year I sewed and sold holiday stockings at arts & craft festivals to make some extra money. This huge stocking was custom made for someone. But before I turned it over to him we all took turns getting into it. That was a good time. This was in our home in Holbrook New York.

Some smiling faces.......this is what the holidays are all about.

Carrie, Samantha-our first standard poodle, my mom, Denise and Pogo. My girls were never deprived of pets. We always had a menagerie and I guess I still do as an adult.

Several years later when we moved to Atlanta, Georgia. This was our first apartment there.

Another holiday season in Atlanta, I can honestly say I don't know who the first girl is, maybe one of my girls will remember. Look at the hairdo on Denise. I think that was our phase when we had the "big & curly" look...yup me too.
Here I am with my curls. I did always love my rockers, I don't know what ever happened to that one.
My 2nd standard poodle, also named Samantha. This was in our first home in Central Florida. Boy that dog just loved the holidays. I still remember that when the stockings got hung up she would be right there. From year to year Samantha always looked forward to her holiday surprises. Samantha you were a girl after my own heart, I will never forget you.

If you stuck with me with my reminiscing, I hope you found some enjoyment. Perhaps this will help you remember some of your holiday moments from the past. I sure do.


fitncrafty said...

Wow alot to look back on!!! I loved that huge stocking...
I remember that asian style coat. I thought I was SO cool...

I have two memories that stick out on christmas, once when Aunt Carol, Uncle Stu and Geoff and Jason were here, You all MADE us go to bed and then low and behold Santa showed up... it was the year of the micronauts and 2 xl also my first (of many) wonder woman dolls and cher!! Plus Charlies Angels! Yikes..
The other one is the one when Jason got his first parakeets!

thanks for sharing all those nice memories!
Love you mom!

Natacha said...

I loved looking at these photos of your girls! It made me think of my own childhood and the 70's decor my mom had! It's nice to remember these things :)

The Cooking Lady said...

I love looking at old/vintage photos. So many memories.

Loved looking at yours!!