My first memory is of Christmastime. I remember looking out the window of our home in Cashmere, Wash. I saw snow and a winter wonderland.
My later memories are of our Christmas Eve celebrations. We had dinner then opened our presents.
My mom didn’t teach us to believe in Santa Clause. She was embarrassed to find out about Santa when she was about 10 years old.
My sister Myrna, who was two years older, and I had rubber dolls that we played with for years. My mom made a wooden bed for the dolls, and she made blankets. We played for hours with them.
When we were about 7 and 9, we went up to the grocery store in Orondo. A Santa was there, asking kids what they wanted. It was part of a radio program. My sister and I asked for a doll buggy.
We were surprised to get one. I think it may have been a second-hand buggy, but we loved it.
We grew up on apple ranches during the 1950s and 60s. We didn’t have a lot of money. Presents were often practical. My parents, my two sisters, and I drew names.
On Christmas Day, we went to my Aunt Mable Kenyon’s home in Cashmere. By then, we’d moved up the Columbia River to Orondo.
Aunt Mable was my dad’s aunt. She was the matriarch of his family. His mom, Lillian Slingsby, died in her 50s as did his father, Peter Slingsby.
My dad’s brothers and sisters and their families gathered for the Christmas Day celebration at Aunt Mable’s house. The food was wonderful: golden-brown turkey, steaming mashed potatoes, and smooth as silk gravy. We also had mince meat pies and English pudding.
After that era, I had some family Christmas celebrations at my home in Olympia. My parents would come over on the Greyhound bus from Wenatchee. We’d usually give them a ride back home.
My oldest sister Marlene, who lived in Seattle, would bring her three daughters, Debra, Linda, and Susan, to join the festivities.
My house was packed and the preparations were exhausting. However, I loved having company and seeing the joy the children received from being with their cousins at Christmastime.
When my kids left home and my parents grew older, I often went to Wenatchee to celebrate with my mom and dad. I enjoyed cooking the traditional Christmas dinner for them.
Now that my parents have passed away, I join my daughter for Christmas celebrations. She does the Christmas planning, and I help her.
The twins are almost 6 years old. They’re in kindergarten and learning to read. They’re active kids and full of love and joy.
My Christmas memories have changed over the years. But I’ve been fortunate to get a lot of joy during the Christmas season being with my family and friends.
Let me know your favorite Christmas memories.
Copyright 2009, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist