November's 10 on the 10th... on the 15th!

 When Marsha posted this month's 10 on the 10th prompt: Share 10 Memories of the Holiday Season.. I drew a complete blank!


I could not think of anything specific about any holiday and I thought that was just crazy.  I mean, I know I have a pretty bad memory for this kind of stuff and while I have vague recollections of holidays spent at my great aunt's house I honestly can not remember what occasion we were there for! 

 But after reading Marsha's post I did think of a few fun things and snippets that I thought would be fun to share.  They are in random order as I just typed them as they came to me.

My parents got divorced when I was really little so every holiday has always meant multiple celebrations for me and my sister so it's not always easy to keep everything straight.  Then when I married my husband his family was the same way which often meant squeezing in 4 family celebrations throughout most of the holiday season(s). 

1.  I'm pretty sure when  I was growing up Thanksgiving was almost always spent with my father's side of the family. I definitely remember eating in my grandmother's dining room sitting at the kid's table with my sister and our 2 male cousins (that were close in age with us).  I also remember a few holidays where we met up with my grandmother's brother and his whole family at a restaurant somewhere 1/2 way between our two families and we were a huge gathering.. this meant loooong dinners sitting at a table and I pretty much hated Thanksgiving at the restaurants.  This may have been the holiday I can remember spending at my Aunt Betty's House (my grandmother's sister in law).  I'm wondering if they switched off years where my grandmother hosted one year, Aunt Betty another, and a restaurant in between? Aunt Betty's house was always lots of fun and all us kids would hang out in the basement with the pool table.  Aunt Betty's kids were much older and always seemed to cool and fun to me.   

2.  Growing up my mother always got us kids to take a photo in front of the Christmas tree in our holiday outfits.  We rarely matched or even coordinated but that wasn't important; it's a tradition we've tried to get started a time or two with the grandkids... but we weren't very successful at that. 

My brother, me, and my older sister holding my youngest sister

All of us in 2012 with my youngest sister expecting her first baby

Mine, my older sister, and my brother's kids! 

Our last group photo taken together in 2017; by the next Christmas my older sister and her family had moved to North Carolina

3. As newlyweds without kids, I mostly remember Christmas as being exhausting!  Since 3 of our 4 sets of parents all lived in the same town we were pretty much expected to see them all.  We'd get up early to head to my moms first thing in the morning in our Pj's to open gifts (since I still had younger siblings living at home).  Then we'd go home, change, quickly open our gifts to one another and then head back to my mom's around lunch for a big Christmas dinner. After eating we headed to my mother in law's to open gifts with her and then eat supper of ham &/or turkey sandwiches with my husband's step brothers and their wives/fiancées, etc. I'm pretty sure we stopped in at my husband's father's too.. but maybe we saw him still on Christmas eve at my husband's grandmothers.  

Pretty sure this holiday photo is from high school (I know it was taken in my great grandmother's apartment)

4. Growing up my mom always had us "painting" sugar cookies. Sometime in that month of December leading up to Christmas we'd spend a day where she would roll out sugar cookie dough and let us pick what cookie cutters we wanted and we'd each get a try of cookies to decorate.  She made "paint" using evaporated milk mixed with food coloring and that is also a tradition I kept up with my boys.  Of course we always ended up eating several right out of the oven!


5. Our first year living in our new home we but down a tree like always that weekend after Thanksgiving... and by December you could hear pine needles raining down (literally making a shushing sound like water!)... and our tree was completely bare by Christmas night when we started taking ornaments off it (knowing it would not last even one more day).  The next day I bought our first fake tree and we've never looked back.  Between our wall of windows/sun and our heating system our house is just so hot and dry that real trees do not do well in it.  


6. One year when the kids were really little we planned a Disney trip for February and I decided to wrap up a box with a computer printed paper that read "We Are Going To" with a photo of the Magic Kingdom and Mickey Mouse on it.  Alec read it and all three kids started screaming and yelling and jumping around-- that was the best!  (and we had an amazing time on that trip too!)

Pretty sure this was taken during that February trip to Disney; the 5 of us with my mother in law

7. 2015 I can remember wearing a maxi skirt and flip flops to my mom's house on Christmas eve because it was so unbelievably warm.  I always thought I'd hate living somewhere where it wasn't snow or cold for Christmas thinking it wouldn't really feel like Christmas but I loved that warm weather. 


8. Growing up my father in law would go out and pick out our tree while mom held down the fort with us kids.  We almost always ended up with a sad, pathetic looking Charlie Brown tree because my step father fully admitted he felt bad for them!  But one thing we all learned was that putting enough ornaments, garland, tinsel, etc. on any tree could make it look just beautiful.

9. The year I was pregnant with Ian, my sister was due just a few weeks prior to me and when my mom asked us for gift ideas we both suggested baby items but since we were both only 5 or 6 months pregnant she told us that she didn't want to buy any baby gifts until we were both much further along... so you can imagine our surprise when we both got these fun pregnancy ornaments along with a small gift for the babies.  My mom sheepishly admitted she just couldn't resist buying a little something. 


10. Piggybacking on the last favorite; my mother and step-father started a tradition of buying ornaments for each of us as far back as I can remember.  I have so many ornaments that I love because of them-- the one above, my Santa on the Eiffel Tower, and a beautiful wedding/photo ornament (just to name a few).



Linking up with: Spread the Kindness,  Talent Share Tuesdays, 









Comments

  1. Aw, fun to look at all the pictures and read about your various traditions growing up and when your boys were younger. You were troopers going to all those houses for celebrations but I guess you didn't really have a choice ;). I like you had carried over the cookie painting tradition from your childhood to your boys'.

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    1. Thank you! We carried over a few traditions for our boys; we buy them ornaments each year too.

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  2. Loved reading about these traditions- you are very blessed!

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  3. It sounds like Christmas is a busy time for you. I love seeing photos from peoples holiday celebrations. What wonderful memories. x

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    1. It used to be much, much busier but as more and more family members either move away or pass away we seem to be relaxing into the season more.

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  4. I didn't do this one either but I could probably come up with a list of holiday memories like you did. I just wouldn't have many pictures available!

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    1. LOL! I "stole" many of the older family photos from various family member's Facebook photos from when they shared old memories!

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  5. Such great family photos and lots of wonderful memories! We had a Christmas tree losing most of its needles too one year and ended up buying another one just a few days before Christmas.

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    1. Oh wow; that must have been a lot of work to switch everything over... I never would have thought of that!

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  6. Those personal ornaments are so lovely such good memories.

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  7. Oh, I loved reading these memories Joanne. My parents divorced when I was young, so I can relate to some of the back and forth,
    XOXO
    Jodie

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    1. Thank you! It was a lot of fun to think about and to write.

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  8. It’s funny how you don’t think you have any memories, and then, once you start thinking about it, you remember lots! I think we went to artificial trees pretty early, too, because I hated sweeping up pine needles in May!

    https://marshainthemiddle.com/

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    1. Yes! I was just telling someone this past week that I distinctly remembered sweeping up needles all the way into the summer that year and just knowing I wanted nothing to do with real trees again!

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  9. Thanks for sharing your memories. Lovely ornaments :)

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  10. Aww, I loved seeing your brother and sisters. You all look so much alike. 💕

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  11. So many precious Christmas memories! I have such fond memories of the holidays growing up. It's been a challenge since getting married since we almost always have to travel to see family (thanks Army!) But I love creating fun little traditions with the kids!

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    1. Oh yes, I do love that our family was close by so that we didn't have to travel far and got to sleep in our beds each night.

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  12. What a fun post. You and your siblings favor one another. We purchased an artificial tree about 4 years ago and I haven't looked back either.

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    1. It was so funny hearing my boys debate real versus fake trees with their friend while out hiking.. especially since my boys have never had a real tree in the house (though they have seen other real trees at various family members houses).

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  13. Beautiful memories and ones to be cherished. I love Christmas and making memories with my grandsons. We have little traditions which we share and one is that I buy them a special ornament each for their tree. Hopefully this will remind them of their 'Nan' when they are older. #WWandP

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    1. Oh I am sure it will! My boys grandmother does this for them as well and they have a wonderful collection of ornaments for when they're ready and able to move out of the house.

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  14. Beautiful photos and lovely memories, Joanne! Santa on the Eiffel Tower is certainly a favourite.

    -Soma

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    1. Aw, thank you! I've always loved anything having to do with the Eiffel Tower.

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  15. Hi Joanne - lovely to see some photos of your family and of your younger days. Christmas is always about family time - but I remember all the running around that went into trying to see everyone on the day. We spread our Christmas out these days so that our kids don't feel stressed or obligated about fitting too much in on the day. Your summer Christmas photo made me laugh because it's always a hot summery day for Christmas in Australia.

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    1. We're usually hoping we don't get a blizzard and get snowed in! LOL.

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  16. I loved reading this and seeing the many traditions from over the years. When we lived in Sydney, and had out grandkids nearby, this time of year was about coming to our house to decorate the tree, and the house. I began a tradition of collections of Christmas decorations for each child as they were born, and those decorations grew and were placed on the tree at our house..so many memories are flooding back. When we knew we were leaving, each grandchild got their box of decorations to keep and use as they chose. Thank you for linking up for Wednesday’s Words and Pics on my blog. Always good to see and read one of your posts. Hope you return next Wednesday too. Denyse.

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    1. Thank you! I bet your grandchildren love helping to decorate; we used to take our boys over to my mother in law's house and help her decorate her tree.

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  17. What wonderful family traditions and memories you have! It was fun to read all about them. The pictures were great too. Hope you have another wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas this year!

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  18. Great post! I really enjoyed seeing the pictures of you and your family over the years, especially with the new generation coming along. Thank you for sharing this post in the Talent-Sharing Tuesdays Link-Up 42.
    Carol
    www.scribblingboomer.com

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  19. I cannot get over how much you and your sister look alike in that first throwback picture!!

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