Christmas Memories — and the Winner is…!

As our long-time followers know, Cindy and I grew up on a dairy farm in western New York in the 1960’s and 70’s. The farm has been in our family since the 1800’s. There are four sisters in our family. Cindy and I are the two in the middle.

Our mother is a big fan of Christmas and every year when we were little she would decorate the house with a tree dripping with silver tinsel and lots of ornaments along with a cardboard fireplace to set the Santa home invasion scene (the “modern” house was built without a fireplace). The decorative fireplace was replete with a fan/tissue paper/fake log/orange nightlight contraption the simulated a roaring fire –don’t judge– it was the new “modern” age!. Dad hated that fireplace! I remember lying in front of the “fire” taking turns reading out loud from a copy of Clement Moore’s “The Night Before Christmas” book that was always propped up next to the fake hearth. We practiced memorizing that poem for hours on end (my parents do not drink –which is almost impossible to believe with 4 little ones reciting this poem out loud over and over and over for weeks)! I remember the book was extra-long and narrow and the cover picture of Santa was highlighted with red velveteen fabric.

Mom always made us cocoa when we got home from school while the winds and the snows roared outside. She served it in ceramic Santa mugs that were hand-painted for us by one of her sisters, Aunt Lil, while we waited for dinner to be ready. I still love my mug after more than 50 years of use.


Authenticity fact: this is not my mug from Aunt Lil!

After we finished milking the cows in the dark days of December, Mom would light the tree so we could play around the tree skirt, dreaming of the goodies that Santa would surely bring – that darned Santa was pretty good about remembering to bring flannel nightgowns and socks along with a few toys for each of us and a game or two to share.


Christmas circa 1964.

So many memories of those more innocent days!

And the Winner IS

It’s time for a final reveal of our winner from the Virtual Cookie exchange. A total of 54 people commented on our post and we promised that a random winner would receive a jar of our favorite cinnamon from the Spice House. Today is my son’s birthday, so we asked him to select a number between and including 1 and 54. He chose #7 — congratulations Janet Murphy-Gloss!


It was much more fun taking pictures of him when he was little!

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