Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmases Past at Our House

Dear George,

Since our son J was growing up in a half Jewish, half vaguely Protestant household, we celebrated both Channukah and Christmas. December was just one non-stop party. Channukah always came first. We burned a candle on the kitchen windowsill and opened a present every evening for seven days, each gift getting bigger and grander.

Channukah was fun in itself, but it also served as an appetizer for Christmas. Katja is a very a generous gift giver, and she took to the holiday shopping season with fervor. We’d bring J to Johnny’s Toy Store to monitor his reactions to various items. He would respond excitedly for the first ten minutes but ultimately dissolve into tears because of the overwhelmingness of it all. I had fun picking out toys, Katja enjoyed paying the bill, and J always received a bonanza from Santa Claus as a result.

J – who, in this picture, is exactly the same age as his own kids, V and L, are right now – loved his sturdy airplane. He and our black poodle, Jacques, grew up together for their first several years. Katja gave Jacques some Christmas presents as well.

Vicki and George sent this hand crafted wooden toy train from Toronto in 1971. It was a big hit.

We moved into our Ludlow Ave. house in the mid-70s, and we made a big snowman each year. Or sometimes it would be a snow-rabbit. The bigger that J got, the bigger we’d make the snowman, and it became a holiday attraction in the neighborhood.

Here’s J in his top of the line cowboy outfit. He reports buying the same outfit for V and L this year. We’d make homemade decorations for the tree, using cookie dough, paper mache, styrofoam balls, and painted cardboard cutouts. After New Years people would put the trees out on the curb, and J and I would go around the neighborhood after dark and collect them. One year we had 21 trees in our rear patio area.

Our pets in the early 70’s were our rabbit Thumper and our Bedlington Terrier Winston. Katja loved them both with all her heart. From this photo it looks like she loved Thumper the most.

I liked Christmas because it was a chance to be a kid again. As J got older, there were more and more games we could play together. Sometimes I think I was more of a playmate than a parent.

Katja’s looking very lovely, J’s a dapper young man, and Winston in his holiday garb thinks he’s king of the household. I brought home a bare-branched tree from behind the Digby tennis courts and decorated it with cookie-dough faces so we would have a Christmas tree all year round.

Actually by the time that Christmas Eve rolled around, we usually had driven to Philadelphia to visit Katja’s parents, Buck and Helen, then on to New York to be with her sister Ami and brother-in-law Bruce. Here are Helen and Buck in an unguarded celebratory moment at their house on Sherwood Road. That’s a festive image to wind up our holiday tour with.

Merry Christmas to All!


G-Mail Comments

-Donna D (12-25): david, must be sweet memories...sure looks like it. Merry christmas! donna

-Jennifer M (12-25): merry christmas! i love the pictures!

-Gayle C-L (12-25): She s Beautiful;_)))Enjoy;))))). Merry Xmas Please give my love...Miss u all …Miss the family...Holiday time you know;;;)))). G

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