Many stories herein are subject to the faulty, and sometimes creative, memory of the blog owner and should not be taken as factual, although the names and events are real! Kind of.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Past

Grab a cup of coffee and a Christmas cookie and get ready for a long chat. Now that school's out for the semester, I have time to do some stuff I want to do! I finally finished 2 of that elusive Christmas Craft and plan on doing 2 more, well three cause I don't have one! I'll post pictures of it in a couple of days. I hope you love it as much as I do. I hope the recipients love it as much as I do! Some of you saw one of these mysterious and amazing craft items last Sunday night at Church when I forced everyone to look and agree with me that they were absolutely fabulous. Whether they wanted to or not! Do you remember that now?

Tonight I made Pfeffernusse. We were visiting friends last night and they had some and even had the recipe from the "Famous Church Cookbook, don't you have one?" Any time anything divine is served at church and I ask for the recipe, the answer is, "It's in the Church Cookbook. Don't you have one?" Well, no. I didn't go to church there when it was published and no one thought to save me one! I'm gonna steal someone's one of these days and scan it and sell it for a profit (to go to missions of course :P) because it really does have terrific recipes. I pried if from Ed's hands and looked through it. And no, I don't have one! And yes, I'd love to have one!

But as usual, I digress! Back to Pfeffernusse. It's a hard, nut shaped and sized cookie that is spicy and peppery. Hence the name Pfeffernusse (peppernut). It has Molasses, Ginger, Cinnamon, Cloves and Black Pepper in it and is delicious! The dough is cut or shaped into small pieces and then baked till the pieces are pretty hard. The smell of the spices and molasses was wonderful. It is hand mixed and then refrigerated overnight so I haven't eaten the finished product yet, but the dough was really good. I tasted it several times to make sure! teehee!

And now a selection of pictures of me as an adorable child in the 60s and 70s at Christmas. You will note the BEAUTIFUL Rust/Burnt Orange whatever you want to call it couch. It always is featured prominently in Christmas pictures because we had no Chimney by which to hang our stockings with care. We put our stockings on the couch. Since we lived in the country and never locked our door, it was a very simple thing for Saint Nick to slip in the front door and fill them up! No Chimney Needed!

Tableau #1: The picture says March '68 so of course this was Christmas 1967. My little sister was born in October of that year but she is missing from this first one! But hey--she was just three months old so I'm sure she wasn't a very interesting photographic subject! And certainly not interested in presents yet! Back in the olden days, people used a roll or two of film a year except for vacation time. They they put the film along with some money in an envelope and sent it off to Fox photo to be developed. A few weeks later, your pictures came back and you could see what you had snapped months ago and forgotten all about!

As you can see, Santa brought me 3 dolls, a baking set, a Raggedy Ann Game and a Doctor bag. See the "Tip and Rock" chair on the floor? I remember getting it the night before at my great-grandparents house. I was the first girl in three generations that lived nearby and the first grandchild and the first Great-grandchild. Let's say I was very loved (i.e. spoiled)! We had that chair for a very long time and I loved it. Actually the Raggedy Ann Doll might not have been a Christmas gift but I can't remember EVERYTHING! I still have Ann and I still have Mrs. Beasley. Poor Mrs. Beasley can no longer see because her glasses are missing and she lost a hand in a farm accident. She's also dressed in a flannel nightgown that my mom made for another doll because an irresponsible little girl misplaced all her clothes. My mom bought me a new Mrs. Beasley doll a few years ago. Not a literally new one, but one with both hands and her clothes. Sadly, the new Mrs. B. is also missing her glasses. And her voice. Her talkbox doesn't work. Do you remember, or have you ever seen the series "Family Affair?" Mrs. Beasley was the doll on that show--best friend of Buffy!

Tableau #2: Christmas 1970. I was in First Grade, my sister was three and my brother was 10 months. Paula and I are dressed in our new Christmas Pajamas. Every Christmas Eve was spent at Great-Grandma Jones house where we received new pajamas--always matching but in different colors! Oh and look--It's a new couch but in the same burnty, orangey color! Paula has clippies in her hair--If you wanted pretty hair, you had to sleep in curlers or pincurls. Not so much fun! I always pulled mine out before morning and then I had weird, sticky-uppy hair instead of lovely curly hair.

Not only do Paula and I have matching PJs but all our presents seem to match too! We both got a talking red telephone, and the AMAZING Chrissy Dolls. She was a pre-teen shaped doll with GROWING Hair! You pressed her belly button and pulled at her hair and it grew clear down to her knees! Then to make it short, there was a knob in her back to twist and wind it up inside her head again! Chrissy came dressed in a beautiful Aqua satin dress and shoes and came with some other clothes. But MY MOM made Chrissy even better by making her a dress that matched my sister's and my Christmas dresses! Royal blue with white trim around the bottom and pearl buttons to decorate up the neck! All four of us MATCHED! And Lucky Paula got to wear that dress for years! Please notice that Paula's stocking had a Santa face on it. Mine was just plain. A plain old red stocking with a white cuff. Nothing special about it. Just plain. So Mom (cause we had to match you know) made a Santa face out of felt and glued it on my stocking! That good looking young guy in the Levis is my dad. The other young guy in the footie pajamas is my brother. It appears that he received a busy box and a ball and ride on car.

Tableau #3: A few years later--The Jones kids all dressed up for church! This was a year or two before my littlest sister appeared. How cute is my brother adjusting his tie! He probably was wanting to take it off and stomp on it! The dresses my sister and I are wearing are NOT our Christmas dresses. How do I know? Cause they don't match, silly! I remember my skirt with much fondness. It was the beginning of my love affair with plaids. It was a mock wrap skirt (I think) with a big brass pin that looked like a giant diaper pin to hold the wrapped part shut. I still love wool, plaid, wrap skirts and those big old brass pins.

This was our first artificial Christmas Tree. Note the Bottle Brush Branches! And as I look at this picture I realize I look like an Amazon beside my brother and sister. Must have been a farm girl growth spurt!

Hey--If you're lucky, I'll dig out Chrissy, Raggedy Ann and Mrs. Beasley and the Other Mrs. Beasley and show them off--let you know how they stood the test of time and attics!

And I'll tell ya later how the Pfeffernusse turns out!


Andi said...

You were tall compared to them! Hey, at least you couldn't be called "Andre the Giant." I earned that nickname in 6th grade, and didn't lose it until my sophomore year. Good times. Enjoyed the post!

Dawn said...

I was never tall in school--just at home!

Eileen said...

These are my favorite kinds of things.. old pictures and storied to go along with them. :-) I think i'm about 5 years older than you.. so of course I remember everything in your pictures as if it happened yesterday. We have very few snapshots though, becuase my dad had a 35 mm camera and everything is on movies.
I would love to see your old beloved toys now. :-)

Becky said...

I can't believe that you still have your dolls. I still give my mother grief for not keeping Barbie, Chatty Cathy, and Tressy (she must have been an older version of Chrissy since her hair did those amazing same things). I, too, would like one of those cookbooks - if you find a hidden stash, I'll help with the "heist" :)

Hilary said...

Wow, you have a great memory. Isn't it fun to have old pictures and the things that actually go with them-like the dolls. Makes me want to go dig out old Christmas pics from when I was little.

Anonymous said...

the Raggedy Ann was also from Great Grandma Jones. Grandpa Marvin was upset because she gave you that old rag doll. Little did he know!!!! I'm glad that you have these pictures. Mom

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