Before Martha - there was mom at Christmas

Martha Stewart, Colin Cowie, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Norman Rockwell, Traditional Home and other publications aren't the only source for our holiday inspirations. Much of how we decorate, cook, bake and create our holiday home comes from our memories of Christmas past. Not always literally - but through the spirit and essence of the tradition, we may try in our own way to keep the memories alive...


Before there was Martha - there was mom.

To me, this one picture speaks a thousands memories....
Mom setting the dessert table after dinner and I'd be off watching the Yule log on Channel 11. My moms keepsake - the centerpiece her grandmother had made, and those were here tea cups for the coffee too. Mom baked the orange rum bunt cake and TONS on delicious Christmas cookies. She'd also set a display on the buffet (background - in front of curtain panels she also made) from fresh cut pine 'branches' (ha!) and placed more of my great grandmothers crafted people around the ceramic tree my moms parents gave her. My dad also helped with decorating the house: he decorated the chandy, the bar downstairs and all the lights (along with a second tree) outside. In this pic but not for Christmas, he also had made the faux brick pony-wall with spindles and faux fern planter box you see in the background.

The decorations and the celebrations of the day and the evening may have changed through the years, but the memories of Christmas past will always remain in my heart...


I think this was my FIRST Christmas....

Mom all fashionable in the upcoming trend color: pink =)




Me and my dad at my Aunt Mary's in Leonia, NJ...
(Simple mantel display)


Dad sayin, "Focus Lynda... focus!!"


My pop-pop raising me up to ring the hanging Christmas bell...



I think I've seen that table while thrifting...
Oh look! Santa brought a Martha or mom inspired doll with an ironing board... hmmm



Me and my dad on the bar he built.
Mom did the decoupage bottle behind him and
my aunt Pat painted the Hawaiian scene in the background.



Pin-curls and polyester....



Unwrap The Tragic
Yup... that's me lookin' like a boy.
Mom got tired of the pin curls and chopped off my hair lol.
My dad's Spanish influences are ever so strong in this shot - gold & velvet flocked wall paper, Spanish head/bust on floating shelves (he made) and my fave: that RED VELVET lamp shade next to the GOLD VELVET couch... Not showing: the RED SHAG RUG running through out the house.... lol
Gotta love the 70's!!


Happy to have gotten my Weebles...
Here's the gold velvet couch - set in from of the paneled was, and a gold framed flamingo dancer above... The stylish lady dressed in black sitting on the sofa with me is my Godmother - my Aunt Lily - who spoiled me with Lord & Taylor dresses for Christmas and day trips into the City (NYC!!) all year long...



This was another little red dress my Godmother had gotten me... One of my faves was a long red tartan plaid skirt and vest with a long sleeve white satin blouse with a bow- (not pictured - but you can image =) 



Can't forget Santa riding into the neighborhood on a big red fire truck...



LODI - NEW JERSEY baby!!! =)


Shift south to Florida...
Even as a young adult (in the 80's), Christmas was still special when dad was around...


He lovvvvved his food and drinks....



Dad especially loved the Traditional Noche Buena meal...
Pork, black beans & rice, platanos, yuca and FLAN for dessert.
Check out the steam coming from the pork.... yummm.....
I think this was his last Christmas before he passed away...



Christmas for the Millenium -
My real tree in my old apartment in Bay Harbor...


Mom & me Millennium Christmas

SOOO much has changed from the Christmases I remember. Some years, I've tried to be like mom was and bake up a storm. While we were up north, she would be baking what seemed like EVERY day in December - especially all those COOKIES!! I've tried to cook that big Noche Buena dinner, but not everyone enjoys Spanish food.  And I've tried to fill the house with decorations and people, in spite of the lack of appreciation for it. I learned a lot about Christmas through the years. Not everyone has the same kind of memories and it's wasn't about the gifts you give... Christmas is more about the joy of GIVING - yourself, your time, your creations, and your love - to those who matter most in your life. Kind of like the little drummer boy - no gift to bring - but he used what he had to make the best of it - and gave selflessly of himself to another...

You could wish for a million dollars... but you probably already have
everything you could wish for - It's A Wonderful Life.

Wherever you are in the world, I hope you are surrounded with peace, love, and joy this Christmas. I do wish for all good things to come your way - a stress free, safe, healthy and happy new year. And I THANK YOU with all my heart for your kind support, comments and following this year and the year to come...

Cheers!
Merry Merry Christmas!
 y
Feliz Navidad!!
xoxo



4 comments:

  1. Great post! This sure brings back some memories!
    :)
    Beth

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such a lovely and beautiful post of your memories of Christmas past. I hope this year fills all of your dreams and Blesses you with a wonderful Christmas. Hugs, Marty

    ReplyDelete
  3. HEY LYNDA!
    GREAT PIX FROM THE 70's! MAKES ME KINDA' WISH THAT I WAS RIGHT BACK THERE WITH YA'. OOPS! I FORGOT! ( 0ld age? ) YUP! I WAS THERE WITH YOU, MOM & DAD IN LODI AFTER CHRISTMAS AT YOUR MOM & DAD'S WILD & CRAZY NEW YEARS PARTIES THAT STRETCHED ALL THE WAY INTO THE NEXT MORNING FOR BREAKFAST & DUNKIN DONUTS! REMEMBER YOUR DAD IN THE BLACK ROBE WITH THE HUGE EARS--HERE COME DA' JUDGE, HERE COME DA' JUDGE, WHAT??I CAN'T HEEERRREEE YOOOOU! DAD KEPT US ROCKIN'&DANCIN' ALLL NITE LOOOONG! GOOD TIMES! LUV FROM JERSEY, GAIL&OSCAR

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lynda, I just ran into this lovely post about your C'mas past and it has brought so many memories from my mom looking like yours, lol.. She also took care of everything come C'mas time and so did my dad, buying the tree, etc. Although I was a teeny bopper in the 60's, I remember it so much, I am older than you.
    Hope this C'mas 2014 is a wonderful one for you too.
    FABBY

    ReplyDelete

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