Monday, December 24, 2012

The Spirit of Christmas Past!

Merry Christmas everyone!  Happy Holidays to all!

I started thinking about our past Christmas celebrations.  I decided to browse through a few hundred of the thousands of family photos that we have, in an effort to find some meaningful Christmas related photos…
Here are a few pictures from our past that brought back some great memories.  The oldest photos were taken ca. 1950, and with one exception, the newest photo in this collection is from Christmas 2002. 
I’m in the foreground in this photo that was taken at our family’s home at 1113 First Street in Jackson Michigan.  I was about 8 ½ years old and my brother Bob was about 2 ½.  That’s mom, (Elizabeth or Beth) just behind us…
Yup… It’s me again.  I’m playing with my new train and I’m wearing a new cavalry hat.  I still like trains and Laurie takes photos of trains and railroad depots for me to research and blog about.
This photo is from 1954…Golde’s Department Store in Maplewood Missoui.  Laurie, my future bride, is at the left and her sister Bonnie is sitting on Santa’s knee to the right.  Laurie was just 3 years old and Bonnie was almost 2.  This Santa looks like he had a long day…or else he had gas… He certainly doesn’t look happy!  Were they afraid of Santa?
We think that this photo of Laurie and Bonnie is from 1955 or 1956.  Both girls were sooo excited because for Christmas they got these great ‘stick horses’ to ride about the yard! (Toys have changed just a bit, don’t you think?!)
Oooops…another Santa.  This one looks really mean and the kids don’t seem to be enamored with him either!  This photo was taken in the old J.M. Field’s Department Store in downtown Jackson Michigan. 

Hey!  I needed a job during the Christmas break from Michigan State…I was about 6’ 1” and weighed in at around 225…so with a beard and the suit, I was ‘qualified’ for the job.  Why I wasn’t smiling, I don’t know.  The fact is that these 4 kids are my cousins and they had no clue that I was Santa.  From the left: Margaret/Maggie; Judy; Michael, and; John.  Judy and John just saw this photo for the first time about a year ago…
Moving right along… 1978… Here are David II and Laurie stringing cranberries and popcorn to decorate our tree!  I wasn’t much help except in depleting the available popcorn… This was our first Christmas together!
The ‘destruction’ of our living room!  Do you think that there were enough presents?  Time flies…David II is now an attorney with an executive wife and 2 grandchildren for Laurie and I…
David II and me, when I still had some hair and my chest was still where it belonged!  David II was 9 years old…and now his boys are 9 and 12…
Here’s David II again…age 11+. (Christmas 1979) This photo was taken in our new house in Bridgeton Missouri.  Apparently, he really liked this Lego gift.  Emmett Lee, David II’s 9 year old spent part of this past year being fixated on Legos…and now we know where Emmett gets the crazy expressions he likes to make when he’s excited!
Christmas of 1980…same home in Missouri.  From the left…Laurie, David II and me.  David II was 11 going on 12 in April of 1981.  I just might still have that shirt stored away somewhere…but of course it doesn’t fit.
Yikes!  David II grew up!  Laurie took this photo at our house in Mt. Prospect Illinois.  Our ‘little’ David was 19 already, a student at Michigan State University...and by now he was much taller than his papa.  
Heck…critters celebrate Christmas too!   This is Lhasa, our Himalayan all dressed up for the Holidays… In truth, although she always looked perturbed or disgusted when Laurie put the antlers on her, she was the only cat we’ve ever had that would tolerate them for any length of time.
What goes around comes around!  This photo was taken at David II and Amy’s house in Winfield Illinois.  This little fella is David III at 2 years of age!  He’s riding on an old fashioned wooden rocking horse that we bought for him.  It’s just like the one that Laurie and her sisters shared when they were little. (Their horse was blue) We’d found it in an antique store in Woodstock Illinois.

This is the one new photo that I’d mentioned at the beginning of this blog… This is our hearth here in East Tennessee.  But, since this is all about reminiscing about the past…check out the small stocking with the name on it!  My mom made this stocking for me ca. 1948 or 1949.  Laurie and I bring it out and put it on display every year…
Finally… This handmade card, (in the style of Grandma Moses), was drawn by my mom for Christmas in 1994.  She was in a nursing home and she was bored…just a bit depressed.  Laurie suggested that she make up some Christmas cards for the nursing home to send out to their patient's families.  Mom did just that and for just a bit that old spark shined through!  Her Christmas spirit was revitalized and she had a great Christmas…albeit her last one.

That’s about it for now… I’m sure that all of you have many terrific Christmas/Holiday memories.  Perhaps this little trip down our memory lane will get you thinking about your Christmases past!
Just click on any photo to enlarge it…
Thanks for stopping by… Once again,
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Great photos! And a great family! I just wish our cats would wear the antlers! Here's wishing you, Big Daddy Dave, and yours a very Merry Christmas!

  2. How nice of you to share with us. I sense, Dave, that there is not an ounce of Scrooge in your body. I hope you and Laurie have a wonderful holiday. Hugs and Christmas blessings...Mary

  3. I love to look at pictures from the fun! Merry Christmas to you and family!

  4. Such sweet memories Dave. More hair ...and chest in are so funny! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  5. Great post Dave. Really enjoyed the shots of the young Laurie and Dave. I will make sure Bev sees them also.