Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your Most Vivid Memories of Christmas Time

With Christmas Eve and Christmas Day both falling on the weekend, This week’s and next week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun will be Monday Morning Genealogy Fun!

Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings has issued one more holiday challenge: Your Most Vivid Memories of Christmas Time.

1) What are your most vivid memories of Christmas times past?  People, Church, Presents, Santa Claus, Shopping, whatever.

My first memory of Christmas is visiting Santa Claus in the local store in Passaic. There is no one visit I remember, just being invited to sit on Santa’s knee and tell him  my Christmas wishes. I think Santa is such a powerful image for little children – at least he was back when I was little – that he became a strong, vivid memory.

Next, are memories of decorating the Christmas tree. I remember excitedly going with Dad to downtown Passaic to choose the absolutely most perfect Christmas tree, which was about 7 feet tall. The tree was always a bit taller than Dad and he was 6 feet. It smelled wonderful!

Decorating the tree with family members my parents, brother and Nana, who lived with us, the lights turned down low to enjoy the effect of the ornaments and tinsel – yes, lots of tinsel – are probably the first memory I’d mention if asked, followed by the spectacular tree on Christmas morning with all the presents underneath.

Oddly, I don’t really have many memories of Christmas dinner itself – it was always turkey – but I definitely remember smelling the turkey cooking and being very hungry just before we sat down to eat.

Our family routine didn’t really change after we moved from Passaic to Wayne or even after I was married and lived in California.

Here is our tree in 1960, which is typical of our family trees.

What I especially love about this photo is the big ornament seen just to the left of the TV. I have several old family ornaments and this one is definitely one that has survived the years.

If you look carefully at the other tree ornaments, most are round and were, at the time, newer ornaments. the football shaped ornament wasn’t new even back in 1960 and it still hangs on our tree every year.

I believe that ornament is probably older than me and my parents or Nana bought it in the post WWII years, which means it’s probably about 75 years old!

I hope everyone enjoyed Christmas Day with family and friends. Thanks, Randy, for this week’s challenge even though my post is a bit late!



One thought on “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your Most Vivid Memories of Christmas Time”

  1. It’s cool that you still have an ornament from your grandmother. The oldest ornaments I have are those I bought for my first tree, so they are about 50 years old.

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