Archive for December 7th, 2009
Sherry Stocking Kline
December 7th, 2009
If you asked me what my favorite Christmas song was, I’d have to hem and haw and then answer with about 20 different songs, all favorites, each in their own way.
But “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” has always tugged at my heartstrings. Every time I heard it, I’d tear up even when I still lived at home, even when all my family still lived close and all were still alive.
I grew up hearing Bing Crosby sing it, early version with the beautiful photo slide show is special.
We all want to be home for Christmas…
It seems no matter how old I get or what stage in life I am, this song still makes me teary.
Don’t we all want to be home for Christmas? And maybe at different times in our lives we’d like to really go back home and be a child again, when life was carefree, the worries were someone else’s, and in my case, when my family circle wasn’t missing my father.
When I was in college at K-State, though I loved college and my friends, I so looked forward to going home where my family would be at Christmas time.
Now, with my family grown and my brother’s families grown, there’s always an empty spot where one or another of the children weren’t able to make it home for Christmas, or others in the family went to celebrate with their in-laws.
There are More Empty Places in the family circle…
And in the past few years, there are more and more empty places in the family circle that will never be filled again.
And so, the words of this song “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams” tug at my heartstrings more and more each year.
Sherry Stocking Kline
December 7th, 2009
Christmas Parties? My first thought when I read the challenge was “We didn’t go to Christmas parties when I was a kid.” Then I read Randy Seaver’s Christmas Party Challenge at Genea-Musings and realized, well, maybe we did. (And by the way, Congratulations to Randy for his much deserved “Genea-Speak Award.”
Below, from Thomas MacEntee’s Geneabloggers website is today’s challenge! What did/do you and your family do to celebrate Christmas?
Did your family throw a holiday party each year? Do you remember attending any holiday parties?
We didn’t do parties, we had “Christmas”…
We didn’t do parties, we had “Christmas”. When I was very young, we used to get together with the aunts and uncles who lived close enough to drive home and draw names to exchange gifts. I’m not sure why and when that stopped, but it may have simply been the result of the next generation marrying, moving further away for jobs, and it becoming too difficult to find a date when all could attend.
Later, it was our own family who gathered as my brother’s grew up, married, and had families. We gathered on Christmas Eve to eat supper (we called it supper then) and exchange gifts. And because my oldest nephew was just two and a half years younger than me, and they stair-stepped down at two year intervals till I had five nephews and nieces, I had ‘partners-in-crime’ to shake packages and impatiently try to hurry the adults up!
I can’t for the life of me remember what we ate on those nights! As a child, it wasn’t about the food, it was about the gifts, and it seemed unbelievable that the adults could think about food when there were so many surprises waiting for them (and more importantly for us) in the other room under the tree.
They actually ate dessert before they let us open the packages, and I think maybe they prolonged the dessert eating just to torture us!
Can you imagine?
Finally, they declared we had waited long enough…
Finally, they declared we had waited long enough, and everyone gathered in our tiny little living room and my Dad began to hand out packages to everyone. He didn’t dress up like Santa, but his Christmas spirit is something that I remember today.
Dad was all about giving the gift and watching the recipient while they opened it. Their enjoyment was the gift that gave him the most joy each Christmas.
After Dad passed away when I was just shy of thirteen, there was something important missing from our Christmas gatherings each year and I didn’t even come close to finding it again till my own children were born.