Frannie's Blog

My photo
Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Canada
I look for beauty and truth in everything. It's not always there of course but I try to find it or make it happen. I love people who make me laugh.

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Christmas Message (hem-hem-hem!)

I just heard it on the radio (so it must be true): THEY say it's now o.k. to say "Merry Christmas" again. Apparently the p.c. 'Season's Greetings' has been deemed too wishy-washy by the Retail Council of North America because it has realized that 90% of its shoppers are Christmas oriented. H-m-m-m...

Personally I don't adhere to any organized religion but what I do believe is that we can always learn more about the origins of other faiths. It's a great history lesson. 

In this part of the world right now the winter solstice is near, the days are short, it's cold outside and we all crave light and warmth and connecting with others. So whether it's Christmas or Chanuka or any other belief-system you're observing I hope you will light your lights, bring on the tinsel, food and gifts and celebrate whichever way you can.  

This is my Mom, Phyllis, at age 17. What I like about this photo is the sense of mystery created by the light and shadows in the room. Indoor photography was tricky in those days but shots like this have a certain charm and quality lacking in today's digital pictures. And Mom looks happy here.

While I decidedly do not look at all thrilled to be sitting on Santa's knee (although the little girl on the right looks ecstatic). I can still remember clearly how tired I felt at that point when we were all encouraged to swarm the BIG MAN. I knew he wasn't the REAL Santa anyway but at that age I still believed in God and Santa. I used to wonder if God and Santa knew each other. Santa, I knew, had a workshop and made toys for children. And I figured God must have a workshop too, where he made children. Therefor they must know each other and keep each other up to date on the numbers.

For me Christmas was all about dolls. Here is my sister Lynne with her new walking-doll and me with my 'newborn baby' doll. She/he was actually quite ugly and I still have her (she ended up female) today, thanks to Mom who kept her well-preserved over the years. I don't recall what name I gave her originally but my niece called her Charlotte and that's now her official name.

Now Lynne and I are older and less enthused about Christmas morning. I think our parents had to wake US up at this point in our lives. This photo belongs in the category of Christmas Horrors and I hesitated to post it but I find it so truthful in its starkness.

And history repeats itself; my sons, Jon and Andrew don't seem too keen on the paper hat scene as they are relegated to the 'kids' section' in their grandparents' dining room while I try to cheer them on.

Meanwhile, at the 'adults' table a little more enthusiasm is evident. I think my sister and my husband George are trying to make music with their wine glasses while Lynne's husband Frank just wants to drink from his.

When George and I lived on Vancouver Island I made us an 'alternative' tree out of grapevines. It seemed everyone was into 'alternative' living from therapy to clothing so why not a tree? I was quite proud of this effort and it didn't shed needles. If you look closely you can see the statue of Michelangelo's David standing near the base. (It's small)

So that's my Christmas post for this year. (Glad I can say that word again! ) And I wish you all a jolly, merry, healthy and positive time, whatever your choice of celebration. 

Or in the wonderful words of John Lennon, "Haddy Grimble!"


Odie Langley said...

Thanks Frannie for the stroll down memory lane. It was a good story and great pictures. I hope you have a safe and merry Christmas as well.

frannie said...

Have yourself a merry little Christmas yourself, Odie!

Knatolee said...

I LOVE these pics and I'm glad you included the one of you and Lynne looking groggy on Christmas morning. It's a classic!

Happy everything, Fran!

Ronna said...

Merry Christmas to you and George!

Evlyn said...

How wonderfully Dickensian, with the ghosts of Christmas past in all your photos. I have always viewed Christmas as a being somewhat like a time capsule, when the traditions we observe waft us back to our childhoods. Have a lovely, warm and peaceful one, Fran.

Elisabeth said...

Great post.
Made me remember all those Christmas past!
Happy New Year to you!

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

For a while there I thought those were my memories and family. The walking doll was identical to mine. My sister who was a year older got the blonde version. My mom was always giving us the same thing in different colors. I got the primary colors and she got the pastels.

I laughed at the lack of enthusiasm of the later older girls by the tree. I can just hear your mom making you sit by the tree for the photo whether you wanted to or not.

The hat one reminds me of my boys wearing there turkey hats for thanksgiving with about the same enthusiasm!

Thanks for taking me down memory lane I may have to get out my photos now!

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