Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas-The Early Years

In reading blogs this time of year I find myself thinking back to Christmases when our girls were little. I didn't blog then (hey, there was no Internet people), but I did take a lot of bad pictures that I stuck in non-photo safe albums which would need to be 'unstuck' and scanned sometime in the 21st century.

FYI- scanning was done strictly with your eyes back in 1988.

I use my blog as a journal of sorts so I thought it would be fun to post some of those Christmas memories here.  I will resist overwhelming you with photos.

Well, I'll try.

1988~There's a Baby in the House, and oh my stars what a sweet thing this tiny little girl was.

That's Daughter1 on the right, six months old and giggling as only a baby can, and that's my niece, who is one year older on the left.  I feel the need to point out this is typical of our photos from the 'early years'.  I've lopped off my sister's head and the tippy top of my niece's too, and I've made no attempts to clear the floor.  What can I say-I was a new momma.  I do remember hubs was out in front of the bench making his girl laugh.  He was also trying to make our niece laugh, but she was none too sure about this brand new creature suddenly sharing her spotlight at Mema and Poppie's house.

1989~Rock, Rock

Daughter1 got this little wooden rocking chair for Christmas that year and it was her happy place. When I look at this picture I remember the precious curls at the nape of her neck and pjs with row upon row of ruffles across the bum. Blurry, crooked, sloppy...I'm still glad I have pictures.  Without a photo I might have forgotten the ruffles and the curls.  


I don't know why, but that is always the word that pops into my head when I think of Daughter2's arrival into our family.  She debuted that September and Daughter1 took an instant liking to her.

Daughter2 liked to eat, laugh, charm us with her enormous baby blues, and not sleep.

Every young family should have a picture like this one. We're at my moms, sleeping on a pull out couch. Both girls had port-a-cribs but one does what one must to catch forty winks on Christmas Eve. Hi hubs!

I know they're in their 20s now, but I'm really tempted to put my girls in matching red pjs this Christmas.

Back in 1990 we were living in another little NJ tiny town and that year hubs took his girl, diaper bag and all, into NYC to see The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.  Afterwards they went up to The Rainbow Room for a coke. Hubs wore a suit and Daughter1 wore my favorite Christmas dress ever.  They went by limo which made it all the more special and Daughter1 called me from the phone in the car. I know she was only 2 1/2, but trust me when I say my girls were born talking. You have to remember that in 1990 people weren't making phone calls from their cars because the boom didn't occur until the 90's were underway. In December of 1990 a car phone was still a little bit thrilling. We've come a long way in a quick twenty years, haven't we?

1991~ I can hardly stand the cuteness.  

When we have Christmas at my mom's house that chair you see in the background is my assigned seat. Y'all thought I was kidding, didn't you?  And it wouldn't be my photo without something random in the background. 

Hubs always gets a bottle of real maple syrup in his stocking and maybe it was wrapped in the Stride Rite shoe box?  Or maybe I'd just dressed this little miss in a new pair of shoes?

We'll never know.

1992~The Year of the Coat

Here's another example of my woeful photography from the early years. My niece has on a cute hat, but you'll have to use your imagination as to what the top of it's like.

My girls always had beautiful dresses at Christmastime, courtesy of my mother. She loved to buy gorgeous dresses and coats for her three granddaughters and they loved wearing them. She didn't buy three every year...we were able to pass them down from cousin to cousin to sister.

Just gonna say here that my girls still have a bit of a thang for pretty coats.

1993~The Christmas Card

This photo was our Christmas card in 1993 and it makes me happy. Do you see the little Christmas tree ornament in the middle right of the picture. Little girl hands painted those popsicle sticks in preschool and glued them together, wrapped it with love, and then gave it to her parents the Christmas before.

It still hangs on our tree.

Is there anything sweeter than little girl giggles?  
Or sisters in matching dresses and bows?  

I think not.  

1994~ The Big Apple

We decided this year to take both girls into the city to the Christmas Spectacular. We stayed in a hotel in Times Square which has a glass elevator in the lobby. That might have been their favorite part of the whole weekend...they loved riding that elevator.  

Daughter2 cracked us up every time we left the building by asking if we were going to 'catch a cab'?  It sounds funny coming from a 2-year old.  To this day we all pronounce the word luggage like she did that weekend, lu-GIGE, emphasis on the gige. You may not get it, but I know my girls and hubs are reading this and saying it exactly the way she did at age 2.  

1995-The real are my lovelies looking like their sweet precious selves, holding hands in matching black velveteen at Christmastime, 1995.  

And here's me and the hubs-

Santa must have worked extra hard in 1995.  
Everything about this picture screams Christmas morning.  
I spy with my little eye...

...too much to name! I don't remember the room looking this way when the unwrapping was done, but maybe I blocked it?  I see tangerines from the bottom of a stocking, an American Girl doll napping, cold coffee in Christmas mugs, and of course there's that random bottle of maple syrup.  1995.  It was a very good year.  

1996~Another Tender Tennessee Christmas 

With very few exceptions we've spent every other Christmas in Tennessee. In the early years we rented a big house in the Smokies and all piled in. In more recent years we spread out into two houses. Everyone has a stocking covered in sequins. Some more than others, which never goes unmentioned. teehee.  

Christmas in the Smoky Mountains would not be complete without an afternoon in Cades Cove. Its tradition to drive the loop, count the deer, and sometimes see how close you can get before they run.  

Pretty close.

We should be trekking to Tennessee this Christmas, but guess what?  Little girls eventually do grow up and live in far away cities and have pesky jobs where their employer expects them to actually come to work the week before and after Christmas. 

Truthfully the job isn't pesky, it's a huge blessing that just happens to put a bit of a damper on Christmas travel. Logistics are impossibly complicated so we'll be celebrating in NJ this year instead, where Daughter1 has easy access to the train and can eke out as much time as possible at home with us.  

Where little girls belong at Christmas.  


  1. they are adorable now and were then too!

  2. aw, I enjoyed your beautiful photos of your little girls. Yes, I have memories of my own as well (and funky photos) of my 3 sons growing up at Christmas.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Ahhh so sweet. I love love love the pictures of past! It's funny but I always look at the surroundings and not just the subjects. Sometimes, it's the best part of the photo!

  4. What wonderful memories and pictures. Your kids are about the same age as ours - and I agree, bosses should understand that they need time off for holidays. :) We have taken Christmas and Thanksgiving on the road several times because our son was on call at work and couldn't leave town.

    Hope you have many more years of wonderful Christmas memories.

  5. Fun memories. We have that toy in the first picture. The little activity center thing from Discovery toys, I believe. And yes, we still have it.
    I love to watch our home movies of Christmases over the years. We still call mashed potatoes, "Mashed Tatatoes" like our daughter did when she was 2 1/2. :)

  6. We have that exact same rocking chair given as a gift to my daughter when she was two. Now it holds two teddy bears.

  7. I loved traveling through your years. Doesn't time fly! Merry Christmas.

  8. Too sweet...they look the same as when they were little! I love the fancy dresses and coats!

  9. I love your old pictures! Mine are among my most valuable treasures, and I love looking at them and remembering :) Thanks for sharing your fun memories. By the way, I think everyone's living room looks exactly the same way on Christmas morning, I know ours always did.

  10. Joyce, the pictures are so cute. My pictures are all packed up in boxes and take up two large cabinets in the kitchen. I do need to sort through them and get them scanned. I believe our blogs are for future generations to enjoy. Great job!

  11. Aw! What a wonderful journey through your Christmases!

  12. I don't believe your girls have ever had an awkward stage. Cute from the get go.

    Can I just say that I MISS that kind of photography? You were concerned about capturing the moment and didn't worry about this, that and the other thing involved in the process. Precious memories