Saturday, December 22, 2012

Great Christmas Tree Tour: Charlene Raddon & Drawing




Cherished Christmas Memories 

My best Christmas memories and traditions are snugged up tightly to my childhood. We always set up our tree—a Douglas pine, never anything else—on my birthday, nine days before Christmas. The older we kids became, the larger the tree became. The night before, my sister and I were sent to bed early and not allowed out of our bedroom the next morning until we were called. This gave our parents time to put out gifts and set things up, and sleep in a tiny bit on the big day. Under the tree we would find one large gift each, a tricycle, a doll, a bike, a radio, whatever suited our age, along with an item of clothing, a box or basket full of small items like sewing notions or crayons and coloring books, maybe jacks, marbles, or playing cards. 


And then there was the buffet. Oh, how I miss that. Santa literally covered the top of our buffet in the dining room with goodies: cookies, all sorts of candy, tangerines, oranges, nuts, dates, gum. An edible treasure trove. I always meant to carry on that tradition for my children. Unfortunately, little ones never came, but I did spoil my sister’s kids and for the past twenty years Christmas has been about my step-daughter and her family; my grandson who’ll be 21 in March, and my granddaughter, 15 (oh, my gosh, how can that be?) next month. They’re too old to be much fun to shop for—no toys or games. Mostly they just want money. That really limits the fun of Christmas shopping, yet I try to find something fun to wrap the money around.

My sister and I loved to shop together. The day after Christmas we’d go out and raid the sales on tree ornaments. I have boxes and boxes, big boxes, of ornaments, but room only for one tree. On the branches I always hang a glass bird, for luck, you know. There are crocheted ornaments—snowflakes and balls, needlepointed ornaments, and—my pride and joy—two that were carved by my sister. I also have stars made out of ribbon, folded Origami style which I made. One of my favorite ornaments is a carousel that lights up, turns round and round and plays Jingle Bells. It belonged to my sister.

Christmas is and forever will be about family, and I’m blessed to have wonderful memories to bring out and savor each December as my husband and I sit in front of a fire watching the lights on our tree blink and reflect off the ornaments. I really miss the times shared with my parents and sister at Christmas, but I cherish the memories I have of those times and the times I’ve had with those I love.

Reflecting as we sit by the fire is when we think about Jesus and pay homage to his birth.

May each and every one of you have a beautiful Holiday season with family, decorated trees, crackling fires in a fireplace, eggnog, goodies to eat, and plenty of books to read.
Charlene’s Buy Links:
Tender Touch

Charlene is holding a drawing for a $10. amazon gift card today. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT TO BE ENTERED.

20 comments:

  1. Oh, it all sounds like such fun! Your tree is beautiful and so is that cover. There's something about a man with a beard...

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  2. Thanks for sharing your tree and a little bit of your history with us. The tree is beautiful! Merry Christmas!

    lorenzc@huntel.net

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  3. Thank you, ladies. I agree about a man with a beard. Funnily enough, my mother and I used to argue about that when I was young. She'd say "No one likes a man with a beard" and I'd say "Mom, I like men with beards". She'd say "No one likes..." and on and on it would go. Happy holidays.

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  4. What a beautiful tree, I love it. Love the family history also. I have not read your work before but will check it out. I have two sister's and that is all that is left of my family. I go to my sister's house on Christmas to spend Christmas with them and then to hubby's house on Christmas day. I really enjoy the time spent with my sister's.

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    1. I know how you feel, having so few family members left. All I have are nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles I never see. And my husband's family, which are mine too now. But Christmas has never been the same since my sister passed and I still miss her terribly. Glad you're able to enjoy your while you can.

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  5. Sorry forgot email its quiltlady110 AT gmail DOT com

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  6. Charlene, the photo from your childhood is simply beautiful. It certainly must be a treasure along with your memories of your sister and parents. I have a small library table that Santa put goodies on when my mother was a hild. When I was a child he put ribbon candy, candy canes and other goodies on it and he found it again when my boys were little!

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    1. Perhaps the goodie table or buffet wasn't just my family tradition but one popular at the time period. Either way, it is a treasured memory, isn't it? Yes, ribbon candy, candy canes, gum drops, orange sticks (for Dad), cherry cordials, assorted hard candies, peanut clusters (Mom's favorite), so many, too many to remember them all. These days I don't dare have something like that around. Too much sugar.

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  7. What a beautiful post, Charlene. Brings back my own childhood Christmas memories, especially the photo. And I love your tree. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and good surprises in the new year to come.

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. Let's get together in the New Year and do lunch. Wishing you all the best this holiday season and next year as well.

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  8. I loved the picture of you and your sister, Charlene. My sister is due to drop by today on her way to her in-laws for the holidays. Though she'll only be here about an hour I still treasure that time with her.

    When we were young we could get up whenever...but we couldn't go down the stairs until 6:30am. LOL I have fond memories of all five of us sitting on the stairs and daring each other to creep down and see if Santa had arrived.

    Marcy
    bmndshuler(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  9. Thank you for being my guest today, Charlene! Your Christmas memories remind us all of the things we value most.

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  10. I'll post the winner of the giveaway in the morning, here and on Facebook.

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  11. What a beustiful story!! I really enjoyed reading it. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

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  12. Wow, your tree reminds me SO much of ours :) I love that! The poinsettas (I think I see some) are a really nice touch too! I really like that picture of your sister and you, it's such a treasure to you, I imagine. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us :)
    Hannah
    hccelie[at]gmail[dot]com

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  13. The winner of the giveaway is Quiltlady. Congratulations, and Happy Holidays.

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  14. Thanks so much Charlene, I will be waiting for your email. I am doing the happy dance right now.

    quiltlady110 AT gmail DOT com

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