Blair Books in Action by Debbie Hampton

The mantel at my grandparents’ house in Charlotte /Christmas 1961

The mantel at my grandparents’ house in Charlotte /
Christmas 1961

Recently, my teenage daughter went on a Friday-evening “date” with her dad. It was a rarity that I had an evening to myself—me, my glass of wine, and my remote control. No sooner had my derriere hit the sofa that I noticed the Christmas tree staring at me from across the room. Yes, it was February 15, and my tree was still up. And I was reminded that this was not due to procrastination but infatuation instilled in me through family traditions that celebrate our strong faith-based belief.

Christmas 1958 with my grandfather Long and my cousins

Christmas 1958 with my grandfather Long and my cousins

Moving forward from my favorite time of year is never easy for me. I plan the month of December all year long. And those who know me will vouch for it. Shopping starts in January (yes, it does), I make gifts all year, but mostly I anticipate new memories made and reuniting with my family during gatherings that cannot be matched.

AmericanChristmasesThat is why I love Blair’s American Christmases: Firsthand Accounts of Holiday Happenings from Early Days to Modern Times by Joanne Martell. The entries range from how the Christmas tree has evolved through history, to how Santa got too close to the candles in 1890, to how firecrackers were once a cherished and much-anticipated stocking stuffer, to the invention of the ornament hook, to tales of soldiers singing “Silent Night” far from home, to Pete the Christmas goose, who laid an egg and was renamed Petrice in time to be wreathed in parsley on a platter. The stories, both heart-wrenching and heartwarming, allow one to reflect on personal memories and long to relive them.

So, in closing, here’s one of my own Christmas happenings, hailed as my family’s all-time favorite, retold every year and partially captured by the new camera I got from Santa. In the meantime, 247 days to go, sigh . . .

Christmas morning, 1972 / My grandmother Fisher proudly modeling her new boots in front of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree that my brother found for her—at her request--in the woods behind her house. This was only moments before she literally slid off the living-room sofa onto her knees after way too many glasses of Christmas Morning Sherry--all in the presence of a special guest, her old-maid china-doll-like Sunday-school teacher, whom she had invited to join us because she had no other living family. The sherry-induced slide to the floor is a priceless visual memory and an account I could add to my own volume of Christmas happenings.

Christmas morning, 1972 / My grandmother Fisher proudly modeling her new boots in front of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree that my brother found for her—at her request–in the woods behind her house. This was only moments before she literally slid off the living-room sofa onto her knees after way too many glasses of Christmas Morning Sherry—all in the presence of a special guest, her old-maid china-doll-like Sunday-school teacher, whom she had invited to join us because she had no other living family. The sherry-induced slide to the floor is a priceless visual memory and an account I could add to my own volume of Christmas happenings.

Advertisements

One thought on “Blair Books in Action by Debbie Hampton

  1. Pingback: 5 Ways to Liven Up Your Holiday Break with Blair Books | John F. Blair, Publisher

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s