Posted tagged ‘Christmas’

Christmas 2021

December 25, 2021

maui ornamentWe are just home from our daughter’s house where we got to open gifts with our grandkids.  They are all teenagers now but on Christmas mornings they are like little kids.  I love that … and a million other things … about them.   Since I was a child (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth), it has been a tradition in our family that Santa brings a few new ornaments every Christmas Eve.   Once I reached 20 and no longer believed in Santa Clause, we continued the tradition, adding a few ornaments to the tree each year.  By now we have more ornaments that we could possibly put on one tree, so mostly we use what we call Santa’s ornaments, although we still use some of the dime store ornaments from our first few trees.  There is a box of glass bells we bought when we were first married that I use every year.  This year, my daughter’s family surprised us with an ornament from Maui that they bought went we all went there this summer.  Thus, another memory is added to the tree.

A few years ago, I made this video of some of our ornaments set to the tune of the Beach Boy’s Little Saint Nick.  It fits the bill as the more upbeat Christmas song I promised in yesterday’s post, Christmas Eve Again.

Merry Christmas, everyone !

Christmas Eve Again

December 24, 2021

wreathLast weekend, we had dinner at our neighbor’s house.    They had Sirius XM on playing traditional Christmas music and it was just what I needed to get me in the mood for Christmas.   Oh, yes, I had put up our tree and the lighted wreath on the front door,  And ordered (on Amazon) gifts for the grandkids.  In my family we all buy stocking stuffers for each other now that we know Santa doesn’t do it and I’m done with that (almost).  But until I start playing my Christmas soundtrack in the car as I’m driving or or on earbuds as I’m working out, I can’t really find the Christmas spirit. (more…)

Mom’s Favorite Ornament

December 23, 2020

This is our second Christmas living in Utah.   Last year, we moved into our new house on December 19, so we didn’t put up a tree.  It was the first time in 76 years, I didn’t have a tree.  That was fine because we spent the holiday with our grandkids and their tree.   But this year, I was anxious to have a tree again.   This year.   In a year like no other, our tree, too, would be different.  In years past, I would  spend days carefully  placing the several hundred ornaments we’d accumulated over the years and reserving a spot in front of my favorite ornament to shine.   This year we have a new family member, a lovable but somewhat mischievous Tuxedo cat named Tyson that we rescued last year.  The first day I put up the tree (sans ornaments) I found Tyson IN the tree, a third of the way up.  A shout, a clap and a squirt from the water bottle seems to have taught him that this tree is not for climbing.  Still, I only decorated the top two-thirds of the tree, placing my favorite ornament higher than usual. Compromising with a cat comes easier at 76 than it would have at 50.


Christmas Eve with Dad

December 23, 2020

For the few days left before Christmas, I’m going to repost several of my favorites about childhood Christmas’ with my family.  This one is perhaps my favorite memory of my Dad.

When I search the dusty back shelves of my memories under Childhood with Dad, Christmas Eve is the fondest.   I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I started going out with Dad on Christmas Eve to pick up presents from our other relatives in the area, but I know it was after I stopped believing in Santa Claus.   My mother used to say that I believed in Santa Claus for so long that she was embarrassed to take me to Malley’s Department Store to see him, so I was probably older than you’d think.  (more…)

Happy. Merry. Utah.

December 26, 2019


I know many people worry about how we greet one another during this holiday season. Christians insist on Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays. Some Jews are offended if someone wishes them Merry Christmas instead of Happy Chanukah. I don’t know anyone who celebrates Kwanzaa or Festivus (for the rest of us) but given human nature, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of them were offended by the incorrect holiday greeting. Personally, I am not offended by any greeting I receive at this time of year. I will take all the good wishes offered me, no questions asked.


A Christmas Eve Past

December 24, 2018


At ten years old, had someone asked me what I liked better, Christmas or Christmas Eve, I wouldn’t even had to think. Christmas, of course. A mere six years later, Christmas was still the favorite, but Christmas Eve had gained a lot of ground. By sixteen, I’d learned to appreciate anticipation of Christmas Eve, my Mom’s happy Christmas mood, the smell of pies9 cooking in the oven and carols on the radio. And, of course, going out with my Dad to pick up gifts from our relatives homes was one of my favorite things of the year. And here I sit at seventy four, looking back nostalgically and I find that many of my favorite memories are of Christmas Eve. And in particular of one about 40 years ago.


Santa’s Ornaments

December 22, 2018

the ornament

For as far back as I can remember (a lot of years, he said, still wondering where they went), every Christmas Santa’s Ornaments would appear on the family Christmas tree, waiting to be discovered by the kids in the morning. As I grew older and realized the several new ornaments each year were purchased by Mom or Dad, I still looked for the ornaments in the morning as if they were Santa’s. The two or three ornaments we’d find every Christmas were always special, never of the dozen balls-in-a-box variety … maybe crystal bells or a hand-blown Santa, and over the years they became family treasures.


Christmas Mornings

December 25, 2017

wreathThis is my 73rd Christmas Morning.   My oldest memory comes from a picture I have, me sitting on the floor with a train set I got for Christmas in my parents first aparment in New Haven, Connecticut, and I remember getting a red Columbia bicycle our last year thereelectric-train before we moved to the little house in East Haven that would be home until I got married.  My wife had her first Christmas tree in our apartment in Rhode Island the year we got married (she was jewish) but we returned to my parents house for Christmas morning until we moved to California in 1971, going from White Christmases to Warm Christmases.   And from family Christmases to best friend Christmases with our friends Don and Jackie and their kids.  Once we adopted our two kids, Aaron and Amy, those were some of the best Christmases ever.   As our kids grew into adults, as often happens, Christmas Mornings lost some of the magic.   There is nothing like seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child. (more…)

The Tree

December 10, 2017

bahAs I get older, I find it harder to get myself into the Christmas spirit.   Yes, that is partly because my Inner Curmudgeon is a distant relative of Ebeneezer Scrooge.    Bah, humbug, he says as my neighbors literally cover their front lawn with every inflatable garish Christmas decoration they can find.   Bah, humbug, he says as car company commercials co-opt the holiday season, renaming it The Season of Audi or Happy Honda Days, and air commercials with adults drooling like toddlers over a car in their driveway.   I work hard to keep my Curmudgeon Inner, but it’s hard to do when the parking lot at Costco is like a demolition derby and in order to shop at the Brea Mall, I have to park on the outskirts of Lithuania.   Shopping for gifts for those I love used to be a way to lift my spirits, but these days, my daughter posts all the gifts her family wants on Amazon and both Muri and I have reached a point in our lives where the things we want can’t be bought.  Shopping becomes work.


The Holidays

December 7, 2016

happy-holidaysHalloween is long gone and our Thanksgiving cruise with the grandkids is behind us.    The lights are up in retail centers and neighborhoods, a reminder to watch out for crazy drivers looking for to scoop up the day’s bargains. Sirius XM has already switched the Love station to Holly and the annoying automobile commercials have commenced … Santa driving a Mercedes instead of a sleigh and a Lexus with a bow in the driveway on Christmas morning. Television is turning Santa into a shill for every product known to man … its a wonder any kids believe anymore. Perhaps they just pretend to humor their parents. And as sure as Kohl’s in-store music will include the most annoying versions of Christmas carols imaginable, the posts on Facebook have appeared to remind me that I should say Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays. (more…)