On Eagle's Wings

On Eagle's Wings
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31


Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday Memories - Christmas

Monday Memories is all about our Christmas memories. How is it possible to condense a lifetime of Christmas memories in one telling? You will have fun recalling those times and joining Retired Not Retired right here.

Christmas! That long-awaited time of year that couldn't come quickly enough for us as children, but now arrives faster than the speed of lightning and seems to follow the month of May!

A hodgepodge of Christmas memories from the past:

My sister and I huddled together by the Christmas tree looking at a big book with lots of pictures. I don't remember the book, maybe the Night Before Christmas? ... Being an angel for the play at church saying the memorized verse, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy!" ... Loving the little brown bears with checkered coveralls that Mama made for us.

Hearing the story of Jesus as a babe in the manger, receiving the brown paper sack filled with hard candy, assorted nuts, an apple, and an orange. We were as thrilled with that bag of goodies as though it contained precious treasure.

Looking longingly throughout the Christmas season at the dolls on display each year at the local grocery store, hoping they would appear under our tree. Unwrapping presents early on Christmas morning to find a beautiful bride doll dressed in her white satin gown and wearing pearl earrings.

Christmas at Granny's house - a stick horse, jewelry set from aunt and uncle, little red and white hats from my great aunt. I'm sorry to confess that I sat in the car for a little while pouting - wishing she had given a toy instead of a hat.

Wearing the hats and holding one of my Christmas dolls.
Unfortunately for the doll in this pic, 
I took the scissors to her hair
and lopped it all off!)
Standing in the freezing cold with knees knocking together as we watched the downtown parade - marching bands, baton twirlers, drill teams, and all the red and green lights and banners strung across town streets.

Singing The First Noel - "born is the King of Is-ri-el" with my Brownie troop and drinking hot cocoa - caroling in the neighborhood - dolls with cradles, quilted robes, petticoats and poodle skirts, Nancy Drew books, roller skates. My Dad and uncle taking my sister and I to the school so we could skate on the sidewalks there.

The year of the roller skates was also the year our whole family went together to the local hardware store to purchase our first ever record player! I remember how exciting that was. The store gave us two LPs, one was a Christmas album of bells and organ music, and a Roy Acuff album, We played those records over and over and never tired of them.

Decorating the tree with all the familiar ornaments, tinsel, and placing icicles one by one on the tree, until finally just throwing a handful on to be finished. It took soooooo long!

Fudge, cookies, big family gatherings and dinner. Six of us loaded in our car to drive to Arkansas in the snow and ice, slipping and sliding around the curves and hills.

Christmas with a few of Mama's family

Visits to Grandpa and Grandma's house with everybody gathered in the living room around the iron wood stove blazing heat from its belly. Feeling the warmth and cheer listening to grown-ups talk and reminisce. Staying overnight with cousins on Christmas Eve night and all the excitement the next morning.
Cousins with Grandma and Grandpa McCoy
high in the hills of Arkansas

Sunday School Christmas parties and gift exchanges, decorated cookies, programs at school, making paper chains with construction paper, popcorn chains, hearing White Christmas for the first time, watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on TV. Fun songs like All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth!

Seeing my little brother dressed in a robe with a towel on his head, staff in hand, baby doll in the magazine rack wrapped in swaddling clothes. He was the little shepherd boy who faithfully stood guard over Baby Jesus each evening.

My sister longed for a Barbie Doll so Mama bought the affordable imitation Barbie and sewed a complete wardrobe of clothes for her. Wherever did she find the time and patience to stitch all those tiny clothes? I DID NOT inherit either the gift of sewing or patience the way my Mama had it. My sister treasured the gift and played with that doll for many years.

Singing in Glee Club, memorizing lengthy cantatas for all the parents who would come see our performance. The annual hope and disappointment that the pair of roller rink shoe skates never appeared under our tree.

The year Mama and Daddy had a little extra money to give us to buy gifts. $10 to spend (we were rich!!) and the trip to the local dime store to purchase them. The extravagance of spending $5 for a cuckoo clock for Mom and Dad, a gift for each grandparent - little bottles of eau de cologne (stinky stuff), dusting bath powder with fluffy puffs, chocolate covered cherries.

Helping in the kitchen, smells of dressing and other goodies baking; the anticipation of company coming ... addressing Christmas cards for Mama.

The year my best friend (who had a REAL job in a department store) bought me the treasured pair of rink skates. I will never forget that she understood my desire for those skates and how much it meant to me.

My first Christmas married and setting up traditions. Never tiring of singing the tender songs such as Away in a Manger, Silent Night, O Little Town of Bethlehem, hearing the truth of O Holy Night, and the thrill of Joy to the World, Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, and the one that still sends chills up and down, The Hallelujah Chorus!

The Christmas my husband lost his job.
The Christmas my brother broke the news to us that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma.
The Christmas we didn't think my Mama would make it through.
The first Christmas as a widow.
The last one with Mama.
The first one with my Dear Heart and the joy of finding love again.
The last one with Daddy.

A ski trip Christmas

The joy of Christmas with grand kids.

I love the spirit of Christmas - of peace and love 
and that it didn't end that night Christ was born.

P.S. I don't care what they say about Christmas sweaters. I still love my poinsettia sweater.


  1. Nonnie, Once again you have made a memory post and I love it. I know that heart break of wanting a certain doll and not getting it. I never wanted my children to be as poor as I was, but I wanted them to know that they had it better. They still did not get everything. But they had dolls and I made clothes for them. We had food and clothing. Some Christmases were tough but we made it. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

  2. You have done a marvelous job of condensing a lifetime of Christmas memories into one post! I loved reading every word, too :)

  3. What a great post of memories. I can remember pouting when I got a pair of red suspender pants (which I tried to throw in the burning stove at age 4)..lol Love all the memories here....but some of them are hard ones- losing a spouse and beloved parents. I miss my only brother so much this time of year- less than 2 years and it is still so fresh.

    Now THAT is NOT a bad Christmas sweater!;>) xo Diana

  4. Nice Christmas sweater...and thanks for sharing all those nice memories. I have to think about those to see what I have in my file cabinets (brain).

  5. Some of your thoughts could be used in my post as well. It seems we had similar times at Christmas except for some of the losses.

  6. The black and white pictures are beautiful.

  7. Love the pictures and the memories. You brought back a few that I forgot to include in my post. LOL I still love my Christmas shirts and sweaters too. I always will!

  8. Oh, you have so many precious memories!! How fortunate to have those black & white photos to help you remember!! The happy and the sad all make us stronger and more appreciative of what we have today! Thanks for sharing your memories!

  9. I enjoyed reading your Christmas memories full of joy and love. I love the song, 'O Holy Night', too!

  10. I resent that Christmas sweaters have become a joke. I still wear mine and Christmas t-shirts, and ornament earrings. Christmas is my holiday.

  11. Love this post....I love Christmas. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories with me. Enjoyed the pictures too!

  12. so many great memories!! I can't believe I forgot about Christmas fudge! oh my goodness, my aunt made this white fudge - I think it's called Divinity? and one year she crushed candy cane on the top and us kids could not stop eating it! Cutting down Christmas trees, skating in the backyard rink, ice pond hockey, sleigh rides, hot apple cider on the wood stove, there always being a clementine at the toe of my stocking.... the first Christmas without grandpa. and then, grandma. and then a favourite uncle who showed me what a real man was in the absence of a father: all the love that you had though - it never really goes away.

  13. What a treasure of great memories [even if some times you pouted wanting a toy instead of a hat!]

    This list was filled with love of life...truly. Not just for Christmas itself, but the joy of family and good times with books, choirs, plays and memorizing lines to recite. All things good rolled into one grand post.