Friday, December 24, 2010

The Ghost of Christmas Eve Past



Another Christmas Eve is here, which means another visit from the ghost of Christmas Eve Past.
He comes every year, and brings me back to the Christmas Eve's of my youth.
Back to the late 60's and early 70's, when Christmas looked alot like this...


(now this could easily be my mom or one of my aunt's, but it isn't...it's a photo from google)



It was always at our house, on Grant Street, and everyone came- cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, second cousins and great aunts and uncles- the house seemed it would burst at it's seams! The tradional Italian Christmas feast would take place but I can never seem to remember what the main dish was. There were too many sweets around to be tempted by, penuchi fudge, Mom's mincemeat squares, Aunt Emma pizzelles, always dusted with powdered sugar...






I only remember filling up on Nana's brightly frosted sugar cookies- it was the one night of the year you could get away with such a meal!

But the most memorable and meaningful part of the night was what took place after the feast- we all got bundled up and paraded up and down the street visiting each neighbor's front lawn to sing Christmas Carols.
No matter the weather (and this was New England so there was usually snow) we went carolling every Christmas Eve. Off we'd go, this large group of young and old, with mittens and song sheets in hand, door to door and house to house.





I remember it all...we sang at the Brennan's, the Hjerpes, the Dion's, the Tinkham's and we never missed Mrs. McCrettons, where she'd always invite us inside for hot chocolate and another song around her piano! I remember it all as if it was yesterday, and remeber it with great joy. It's a lost custom today and I only wish that I could travel back there with my children and share this vision with them, I know they'd love it!

As I take this trip down memory lane today, it makes me thankful and sets the mood for the day. To be ever grateful for the memories the holidays season makes, memories with family and friends- because no matter what is, or what isn't- 'under the tree', what means the most and will stay with us forever is what's 'around' the tree- our families.

Wishing you all a safe and warm Christmas with the ones you love!

15 comments:

Blondie's Journal said...

Oh...you have had some sweet traditions in your life! Isn't that what Christmas is all about, the memories? And making new ones!

Happy Holidays, Paula!

XO,
Jane

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

What a great memory, Paula! Of course you triggered one of my own. When I was a kid in Brooklyn a girlfriend on the block and I went Christmas Caroling and neighbors gave us money! We had Caroling books from our school, St. Therese, {who was probably very disapproving of the money we so gleefully collected}! But, hey, we were 9 or 10 and we didn't twist any arms!

Sassy Marsha said...

Ah, yes, memories of Christmas past. I'm having those too, I do every year especially thinking of those that are no longer with us.

I hope you and yours have a very blessed Christmas!

xxoo
Marsha

Claudia said...

You know I was just thinking about that the other day. We used to carol around the neighborhood. It was such a lovely way to reach out and share the spirit of Christmas. No one does it anymore. It makes me sad.

Merry Christmas, Paula, to you and your family.

xo
Claudia

Char said...

I loved strolling through time with you!!! Merry Christmas to you and yours, Char

Suzann said...

Merry Christmas!!

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®☼₥... said...

Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane - it was all very familiar to me. :)

Merry Christmas, Paula, to you and your wonderful family. xo

Sandy Michelle said...

I agree that Christmas is about the memories of Christmas past- which is why I try to make it magical for my kids every year. I have the same memory of the pizzelle! My mom makes them every year. I hope Santa was good to you! Sandy xox

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I am grateful for my wonderful memories, too! Merry Christmas!!! ♥♥♥

Lisa said...

What great memories, and I bet all those neighbors looked forward to your carrolling every year! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
My best to you,
Lisa

A Cottage Muse said...

Hi Paula...hope you had a wonderful day! That beauty 'roun the Christmas Tree reminds me of my Mom or aunts! Thanks for the memory!

CosmoGirl Carla said...

Merry Christmas, Paula . . . albeit a day late . . . well, maybe not really. We are now in the true 12 days of Christmas, right?! I so enjoyed reading about your childhood memory. Thanks for sharing that with us. It sounds exactly how Christmas Eve should be.

I'm sure you had a wonderful few days with your family. It's been a treat getting to know you through blogging this past year. We should try to arrange a meeting sometime living in the same small state. ;o)

Hugs,
Carla

Elyse said...

{an angel just got her wings ...}

what a fun post! i love the photo of your aunt or mom -- must be circa "beach blanket bingo" because the hairstyle is so annette funicello!

hope you are enjoying the season! thanks so much for your comment today.

xo
elyse

Jenny said...

Even though I'm a few days late I really loved this little journey into Christmases past with you.

Such lovely memories.

Thanks for sharing this post with us. It just made me smile.

Tutti Chic said...

Paula-I can just imagine what your feast looked like & how you all went caroling down grant street! I know some of those families & certaily know grant street. what wonderful childhood memories! hope your christmas was wonderful~:) chris