I think it would be fair to describe the type of Christmas that I grew up with as fairly meagre.
My parents tried, but money was tight, presents were few, and I have indelible memories of faded tissue paper bells, paper chains, pages cut from the Reader’s Digest and framed, and the rattiest, saddest tinsel in the history of the world.
You’d think I wouldn’t want to be reminded of those days, but truthfully, some of my favourite decos date from the time of my earliest Christmas memories, and I guess the truth of the matter is that, had my folks been even moderately affluent, these things would’ve been tossed decades ago and I wouldn’t still have them to enjoy and share.
This tri-fold Christmas card printed with Clement C. Moore’s classic “A Visit From Santa” [ otherwise known as “The Night Before Christmas ” ] was sent to me the month I was born, and Mum taped it up in my bedroom every year that I can remember.
When I got married I took it with me, read it aloud to the kids every Christmas Eve when they were little, and when it finally started falling apart from all those decades of sticky tape, I had it laminated. Over the years that last statement has given more than one avid collector of ephemera the screaming meemies, but it was a choice: fold it carefully away from the light of day or keep on displaying and loving and enjoying it.
Last year when I mentioned to my 90 year old Godmother [ she who had signed it on behalf of her then 18 month-old son ] that I still had it, she was utterly gobsmacked.She shouldn’t have been really. My mother kept anything with a sentimental attachment, and I am very much her daughter.
Witness this next treasure:
You may have already spotted it on the shelf of Nativity sets in an earlier post but it deserves closer attention.
Again we’re looking at those wonderful soft 50s graphics.
It says so right there on the back – 1950 – in my mother’s distinctive hand.
I would be willing to bet that if you’d told the English company that produced it, that one would still survive … in use … in Australia … more than 60 years later, they wouldn’t have believed you. The same could probably be said of whoever designed my Night-Before-Christmas card too.
and Mum’s habit of dating things again:
My oldest Father Christmas. Unmarked. Possibly Japanese. Probably bought at Coles.
He was just always around at Christmas, and as long as I can remember having Santa, I’ve also had these three
As Senior Citizens, they now spend most of the year cocooned in cotton quilt batting, but for 6 weeks or so a year, they hang out in the kitchen keeping company with all those snowmen from yesterday’s installment.
Who has similar treasures to share?
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