Dad would take us to get a tree. It was always a HUGE tree. It stood in the corner of the living room. We all helped to decorate it. The needles always stung me when I tried to put on the pretty things. We had bulb lights, and bubble lights. We had glass balls in many colors, and one usually got broken. We had stars and tinsle and garlands and whatever we had made in school and anything else they could find to put on it. It seemed to me that once we were done, you could not even see the green from the tree any more. The tree topper was a star with a picture of Jesus in it.
Aunt Nonny made our big flannel stockings with our names on them. We hung them on the mantle. They stayed emptied until Christmas morning. Then we found them filled with candy, oranges, and nuts. Sometimes we would find pencils, erasers, a hankie, etc. in them too.
Bud made candles that we used to decorate the room and placed some on the mantle. He also made a sign that stood on the porch roof that glistened in the wind and said MERRY CHRISTMAS.
Glenda painted a winter scene on the picture window on the porch. She did one every year. Then she had to scrape it off after the holidays.
Mother put up the many-pieced Nativity. It took up the whole table. Sheep, cattle, horses, many people, The Holy Family, a stable, fences, shepherds, wise men, camels, and angels. I loved to look at the scene when she was done.
On Christmas Eve Mother would make hot chocolate, light a fire, and tell the Christmas Story from the bible. We would watch the fire sparkle as she told us about the birth of the Savior. Later we went to church, as a most families did back then. The older kids took part in the presentation with hymns and speaking parts. I was an angel and had to stand very still. I looked so cute with my shiny halo and wings.
We we got home we went to bed. Then the older kids would awaken my brother and I very early in the morning. We would sneak into our parents bedroom. One of the older kids would count to 3, then my brother and I Jumped on the bed and we all yelled " Merry Christmas".
We headed down the stairs and I remember the first look of the lit tree as I rounded the landing. The tree was stuffed with presents under it. We gathered around the tree and the presents were handed out and then began the frenzy of wrapping papper flying and ohs and ahs being heard.
We ate stuff from our stocking and played with our new toys until the grandparents and aunts, uncles, and cousins came. We had a huge meal for lunch. Boy, it was great. We had skits and games,etc.
The tree was the finishing touch. After it was bare, it was chopped up and we burned it in the fireplace. The house smelled so nice. It gave it's life so we could have a nice holiday. Kinda like the Savior...giving His life so I could have such a nice one. Thank you and Happy Birthday!