Friday, December 03, 2010
Flashback Friday: Decorating for Christmas
This week Lid asks, "When you were growing up, when did your family put up and decorate the Christmas tree? Was it real or artificial? Who usually decorated it? Were there special decorations? What was on the top? White lights or colored, blinking or steady? How much did your family decorate for the holiday other than the tree (wreaths, dishes, snowglobes, miniature villages, etc.)? Did y'all do outdoor lights? White or colored, blinking or not? Are there special memories associated with decorating for Christmas?"
Here I am, Christmas, 1964, at my little piano which my grandmother gave me. You can see the silver tree in the background; we had that tree for most of my growing up years. My favorite part of Christmas decorating was the wheel of color that turned and shone onto the reflective tree. I would lie on the floor, listen to the whir of the wheel and watch the colors fall over the tree, onto the ceiling and down the wall, over and over. It was magical. Of course, back in those days, we didn't have sensory overload like we do now. I can't imagine anyone but maybe a cat doing that today. Even toddlers are bored by holograms and time travel.
Here I am with my youngest of three brothers, Donnie. He is 56 now. I love him dearly. I don't have many memories of actually decorating except feeling like I couldn't really do it to please my mom. She wasn't as into "hominess" as "prettiness." I get that now. She had to look at it for a month.
My daughter gave me grief this year because I didn't use any of my kids' homemade ornaments, and everything is color-coordinated. Actually, I couldn't FIND their ornaments even if I had desperately wanted to use only those.
And here I am at 13, with our sophisticated fake green tree. I thought it was the bomb-diggity. I loved that orchid sweater, too, my favorite color. I can tell by the hair that I was in 7th grade here, and madly in love with a red-headed 8th grade boy at my school. He lives in Philadelphia now.
Check out that gold crushed-velvet chair. Note the lack of lights. I'm not sure we had them on when I was young. I do remember some large ones outside around our picture window. That was about the extent of our decorating; Mom did not go overboard in baking or decorating for holidays. But I loved my Christmases and have very fond memories of footed pajamas, my bothers and their wives coming "home," and Elvis's Blue Christmas on our large console stereo, not my choice of music, but that's what I remember. I wonder how my kids will answer this question someday? ("She wasn't 'into' our ornaments ....")