Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Childhood Christmas Memories

They say that music soothes the savage beast, but sometimes I believe that music can do so much more. It can move you to tears, it can take you back to someplace in your past where you can instantly remember that song and the memory it is tied to. Memories are like that. Perhaps that is why memory related illnesses are the most difficult to bear as well as the loss when a loved one moves from this life to their eternal home.

It's those memories we take with us.

We treasure them and keep them tucked away in our hearts when a song can bring them back to life and give us a brief look back in time. 

I am constantly looking for songs to add to my Pandora play list for Christmas. There are songs I love and ones that make me cringe. Ones I have to instantly delete, thumbs down (which means they won't come back as a song choice) or unlike them.

For me, my music taste is always evolving.

Constantly changing.

And the older I get, the more I find myself listening to songs my parents did. They take me back to my childhood and a time when I can spend a little time looking back at my past with fondness and love.

Johnny Mathis does it every time.

Perhaps it was my mom's favorite, but to this day, I can't listen to one of his Christmas songs and not go back to my old childhood home and remember Christmas with my brother Mike. Listening to the songs, decorating our house and tree for my mom who worked two jobs. Taking out our Hot Wheels and playing for days while the music played in the background.It was back before the invention of cassettes, DVD's and streaming music. Back when you listened to records. Old 33's that offering the crackle as the needle found its way along the groove on my mom's stereo console.

Those were the days when tinsel, the real stuff, was hung on the trees like glistening icicles.There was a proper way of putting those on and you had to do it one at a time. This made it look amazing if you did it right and gave the illusion of real icicles on the tree.

I remember growing impatient with that tedious process and would throw handfuls in a glob on the tree. I didn't realize that my mom could see them and had to go back and restring those.

I remember Bubble Lights. We never had enough to decorate the tree so there was this strand my mom would bring out and add to the tree. It was like a misfit, but we never seems to notice. We just loved watching the bubbling liquid inside.

I remember all my mom's old vintage blown glass ornaments. The ones we would be oh so careful in removing them from their cardboard box to make sure we didn't break them. I loved looking at the beautiful colors, the glitter that got all over your hands, and finding just the perfect place for these odd-shaped but colorful beauties. In love them so much now, my family is always looking for them in antique stores to take me back to my childhood by finding them on my own tree.

I remember thick strands of colored garland that we would drape in huge swags around the tree. We had blue, green, red and gold.

I remember my brother and I, secretly decorating this giant wood beam that ran the length of our living room and entry way in these giant swags and then adding just the right colored glass bulb to complete the look. I also remember how many of them broke when the swag fell off the nail we thought we secured in that beam. I don't think Mom ever noticed how some never found there way back into the box.

By far, my all time favorite memory were the old fashioned glass bulb lights that went on the outside of our home. We couldn't wait to get to work, untangling them *think Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation* and then stapling them to the eaves under the roof. Then painstakingly screwing in the glass bulbs one by one, ensuring that you NEVER put the same color side by side. Unfortunately by the time you got through a handful of the bulb boxes, you always ran out of the ones you needed and it messed up your color design.

See I was a bit OCD even back then.

You had to wait til it got dark to see which ones didn't work, and then had to go through the process of screwing and re-screwing new bulbs in. This was before the invention of the light sets that when one bulb burned out the rest stay lit.

In fact is is hard to find those anymore. I love it when I see old decorated homes that still use these. If I could find them, these babies would be back up on my house again.

It never failed too, when we found ones that were burned out, we couldn't wait to take them out into the street, throw them high up in the air and wait for them to explode when they landed. Silly, I know but we loved to listen to that sound.

One of my all time favorites was Ribbon Candy. I am thrilled to see that it is making a comeback now that vintage is coming back again. I loved seeing these in all kinds of shapes, colors and flavors. It was a rare find it you had one that wasn't broken. I found some like it and gave it to my kids last year.

Oh music and memories!!!

What are some of your childhood favorites? What takes you back to your childhood Christmas? I'd love to hear and thanks for stopping by and sharing mine.


Anonymous said...

OMG it was a blast from the past lol. I remember the xmas decos and how my mom and grandma would decorate like that for. A lot of the pictures you showed I remember us having lol :-)

LV said...

Enjoyed so much your memories of by gone Christmas. Some of mine were like yours, but I go way back. The one thing that has stood out the most, was the night I found our gifts and that there was no real Santa. You are very good with writing.