I just finished listening to a CD I have of The Polar Express. Listening to it always brings tears to my eyes and a renewed determination to Believe. I remember how exciting Christmas was when I was young. The house would be filled with the smells of cookies and fudge. The excitement of waiting for Christmas morning to arrive, putting out the cookies for Santa, as my brothers and I got older we would put out one of a kind cookies to make sure Santa ate them and they didn’t get back into the tin of cookies. It was after we moved to Mtn Home in 1955 during first grade I started to have doubts, some of the kids told me there wasn’t a Santa Clause. I think it was 2nd grade I finally asked my mother about it, and she confessed, I was so upset, but she told me I could be one of Santa’s helpers for my younger brothers.
I would always get up earlier than anyone else in the family to look at the tree and the presents underneath it. (I still do) My parents didn’t usually wrap the big presents that came from Santa. They would be left under the tree in full sight; I would peek around the tree looking at all the presents Santa had left. The tree was always so beautiful, I loved the bubble lights, the new ones they sell don’t seem to be as nice. One year my father decided we needed a change and we decorated the tree with doves that had gold wings. My husband talks about having to straighten the tinsel every year. They would sit around and straighten it so it could be put back onto the tree for another year.
We didn’t have a fireplace; I don’t think there were many in Mtn. Home? One year my dad brought home one of those cardboard fireplaces that we had for several years. But most years we tacked our ordinary stockings to the wall. In the morning there would be oranges and nuts and candy (it was quite a few years, even after I stopped believing in Santa that I realized they just took nuts from the nut bowl, and candy from the candy dish, the ribbon candy and the little pillows that were popular for Christmas back then, to fill those stockings, LOL And of course the candy not being individually wrapped would come out with fuzzies on them from the socks). Eventually, my crafty mother found a pattern for special stockings, cowboy boots for the boys and high button shoes for the girls and made them for my brothers and me and all my cousins. At least one of my cousins and I still use our stockings today.
My mom loved Lee’s candy from Boise, (I still order it for her and us every year). My husband laughs at me because both my brothers and I still remember going to get a piece of candy from the box only to discover my mother had poked a hole in the bottom of it to find out what kind it was and if it wasn’t something she liked she put it back into the box.
We usually had Christmas dinner with my father’s family, my grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. We would have turkey and all the trimmings, pumpkin pie and mincemeat pie from mincemeat my grandmother had canned, cake and my grandmother’s special holiday salad, that my aunt Carolyn says I cannot give the recipe to anyone outside the family. I tried to make it one year for my family and they wouldn’t eat it. LOL
If you have pictures of Christmas when you were young in Mtn Home, send them to me and I will post them to the website. I believe the picture on the home page was taken at the Bon in Boise.
Susan, great photo of you and Santa Claus. What a cutie! I love the curls. Thanks for the Christmas memories, they are a lot like mine, as I'm sure they are for a lot of people who grew up in the 50's USA. I sure liked those bubble lights too..I was delighted when they came out with some new ones a few years ago, bought a bunch, then was disappointed when half of them didn't work.
Good point about fireplaces. It never occurred to me before but I'm sure we didn't have a fireplace in our house either. I don't think fireplaces were big in the 50's and early 60's. By the time we started building houses in the 70's fireplaces were a necessity.
I remember in about '54 our family was the first on our block to get, believe it or not!, a STEREO from Santa. It came with a 78 rpm record of trains going by blowing their whistle. Dad would invite all the neighbors over to listen and everyone would be moving their heads from right to left, listening to the train go by and going "Ooooooo!" and "Ahhhhhh!"
Christmas in Mtn Home....
Getting a "Christmas tree permit" and spending the entire day in the mountains trying to find a tree to cut down that my Mother approved of!
We would all pack up in the pickup (with camper) and spend the day with hot chocolate tramping through the snow. Of course, when we go home and realized the beautiful tree we picked was way to tall for the house. (We were comparing it to 200 ft. trees!)
We lived on the base in "brick" (a two story housing that used to be fourplexes and turned into duplexes) Downstairs we had a livingroom and directly upstairs was "the den". We used to try to talk Mom into cutting the tree in half and putting the top upstairs, so it would look like it grew through the ceiling. (She never agreed)
Mom was way before her time. When we got home with the tree if there was any spots that looked bald, she would make Dad cut a limb, drill a hole in the trunk and wire a limb on! (Just like the artificial trees now days!)
Then we moved South....Live trees cost a fortune, were 3/4 dead and looked like the ones we laughed at in the mountains! I really think that was the hardest part of moving to Oklahoma and then to Texas (Christmas without snow or ice skating!)
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERONE!!!
I've posted a couple of pictures of trees from the past. Notice the doll house and those stockings hung on the wall. They sure do look like Charlie Brown trees.
I can't quite figure out what Bob and Mike are putting together. They sure did grow up though.
I had forgotten those "Stereo" records that came with the system back then, intended to show you how it worked. Having one speaker on one side of the room with the other speaker on another side of the room, and how the sound seemed to move. Was your stereo a piece of furniture? My parents got a stereo that my mom still has it is two large pieces of furniture, one with the turn table and a speaker and the other just a speaker. Kind of like when they came out with the TVs that were pieces of furniture.
That old stereo is long gone but I don't remember it being a piece of furniture particularly. But what I do have is our old Zenith wooden console radio from the 40's that is a real snazzy piece of furniture. The Moose helped my find a guy to repair it and put in new tubes. Believe it or not, there are a few people around who carry a dwindling supply of old vacuum tubes. Once they're gone, they're gone forever. The radio has great sound, AM only, that was long before FM.
My grandmother had one of those old radios, I'm not sure who ended up with it. She listened to until she died in 1998. They sure are cool. My grandmother also had one of the old tredle sewing machines, that many of the grandaughters wanted,my grandmother taught all of us to sew on it. One of my aunts got that. My brother and his wife have an extensive collection of tredle machines and they get invited to museums to display them and put on a demonstration. One of my cousin's husband bought her a tredle machine for her birthday a few years ago. One exactly like my grandmother's.
I was trying to remember what they called those old TVs and stereos put into pieces of furniture. Didn't they call them console TVs and that is probably what they called the stereos also.
I have my grandparents old radio. It doesn't work anymore. Dad gave it to them during WWII. The first record player we had was a hi-fi. I remember listening to Tennessee Ernie Ford sing religous songs and my first album with the Beach Boys. We finally got a stereo and it was in a console. We had it until I was out of college. Hadn't thought about that in years.
In that color photo on the front page of Mike and I you'll see a speaker on the wall. It was part of this big homemade stereo system that Dad made, a pretty big piece of mahogany furniture. I'll never forget some of the LP albums my parents had -- Chubby Checkers (the Twist), Ray Charles, Brook Benton (The Boweavel song), and I had a Beach Boys live in concert album along with The Monkees very first album. :-) That old stereo lasted well into the 1990's before giving up the ghost.