Christmas brings back so many memories for me. I grew up very poor. One of five children to a single mom who worked two jobs. I’m grateful to her for her hard work and my sister who became my mom when mom wasn’t there. I also appreciate my three brothers whose antics still bring smiles to my face and who made me tough! In spite of growing up so poor I never remember being without. I have such terrific memories of Christmas. My mom started out the season painting the windows in the front of our house with tempera paints. She painted them solid by dabbing sponges. As I grew older she trusted me to help. I also remember licking my finger days later and clearing a tiny spot of paint away so I could watch for Santa. I remember the wooden cutouts she painted and put in the front yard, they were huge and she played Christmas music outside for all to hear and enjoy in addition to big colored light bulbs strung along the eaves. I fell asleep looking at their glow. I so wish I had pictures. The good news is the pictures in my mind are clear and vivid and colorful. Who remembers hanging tinsel on your Christmas tree and learning you couldn’t rush it but had to hang one individual strand at a time! I remember the toys I got and the goodies in the stocking. The hard candy in the stocking would eventually stick together in a huge wad if you didn’t eat it quickly enough and yes, I got oranges too! On Christmas morning we always had hot chocolate in Santa mugs. I always got new bedroom slippers and pajamas and spent many an hour designing with my Spirograph! So many memories fun to relive so get them saved! My mom probably never even thought about the Christmas traditions influencing many things her kids would do in the future.
I love the ease of keeping memories for my kids and granddkids. Organizing in Historian has made it easy to find what few old pictures I have and keeps the current ones right where I can find them for making the annual Christmas Card. Life is pretty easy now! Artisan lets my creativity escape out of my head everyday and helps me keep the memories close at hand! I can only imagine what I would be looking at if my mom had had something like these to use to help her out!
In honor of traditions I’m listing some fun trivia about Christmas and encouraging you to take pictures of your holiday traditions and make a page for your album.
1. Boris Karloff’s voice had to be mechanically altered to play the Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
2. The world’s largest gingerbread man was baked in Oslo, Norway and weighed 1,435 pounds.
3. Barnum’s animal cracker cookie box was originally designed with a string so it could hang on the Christmas tree.
4.The annual New Years ceremony in Times Square was put on hiatus in 1942/43 due to wartime dim outs.
5. Handel wrote the Messiah (259 pages) in 24 days in 1741 and the Hallelujah Chorus in 3 days.
6. Oregon, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington and California are America’s top Christmas tree growers.
7. In 1983, 3 million Cabbage Patch dolls were sold making it the most successful new doll introduction ever. (I know because my sister could not find one in Monroe, Louisiana for her daughter and my husband and I ran around San Antonio and finally found one.)
8. Alabama was the first state to declare Christmas a legal holiday and Oklahoma the last.
9. Egyptians, Hebrews and the Chinese used evergreens trees, wreaths and garlands as a symbol of eternal life.
10. Super Mario Bros was the best selling video game ever for 20 plus years, before being outsold by Wii Sports in 2009.
11. 1995 – The year Beanie Babies ruled under the Christmas tree.
12. Holly is a symbol of rebirth and has come to stand for peace and joy.
13. The movie Miracle on 34th Street was released in May, and not during Christmas as a marketing strategy to increase sales.
14. Each week Mattel sells over 1.5 million Barbie dolls (two dolls per second).
15. In 1822 Clement C. Moore’s gift to his children was The Night Before Christmas.