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Saturday, December 21, 2013

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS . . .



Standing is James, my father. 
His baby brother sits in the highchair. 


. . . and all through the house. 

With James in his knickers and I in my chair
we stood and we sat with greatest of care.
When out on the lawn we heard some prancing
It so moved James that he quickly started dancing.



I'm attempting to move myself into the Christmas mood today by sorting through some of my old Christmas photos while making up the above silly little ditty for this post. The 1916 photo above is of my father, James, when he was about four. The family had just moved to Detroit so his father (my grandfather) could begin working at Henry Ford's manufacturing plant.

This photo was taken about 100 years ago. As I look at it I smile at the small pine tree lacking the traditional electric lights -- a sheet acting as a tree skirt wrapping its base -- the tree's tinsel chain winding past a few large glittery ornaments, and the calendar hanging on the wall along with my great-grandfather's picture. A lone children's book sits under the tree. I wonder if the book was a gift my father received for Christmas? 

I am especially thinking of my father today. He gave me the greatest of gifts  --  kindness and love.

Happy Holidays to all.



27 comments:

  1. There's a lot of history in that precious old photograph. James' short pants and his belted coat tell us about styles for little boys; maybe he was dressed to go to church? Or to greet guests for Christmas? How nice that you have this photo after 100 years.

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    1. June -- I do feel fortunate that it remained intact as it came down through the family. My great-grandfather's photo on the wall also came down to me. It was fun to really examine the Christmas photo's content. Best to you in 2014. -- barbara

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  2. Hold tight to the good times...

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    1. Birdman -- And the same to you and the best to you in 2014, -- barbara

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  3. Merry Christmas, Barbara! It is a pleasure to be able to look back on photos from long ago.

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    1. Florence -- For many some of the fondest Christmas memories are when they were children. Then for others it's when they were older. And for folks like me I have a mix of both. Best to you in 2014. -- barbara

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  4. Barbara, what a treasure, that photo & the memory of your kind & loving father. I just love the simplicity of the tree. What have they done to the simple Christmas tree, they of the shopping business? Your father's clothes, how styles have changed. It must be nice for you to be going through your photos. I like your "ditty"!! Merry Christmas, Rita

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    1. Rita -- thanks for the warm words about my photo. I guess today we have fake trees and tons of ornaments all gathered by corporate America so they can make money on this holiday, A holiday that seems to no longer reflect what it is all about. Personally, I like a simple celebration. A splendid holiday wish for you -- barbara

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  5. Strange to think how simple most people's lives were in the material sense in those days. That photo is so strange. A little sad, isn't it.

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    1. No I really feel that it is wonderful that this young Irish family (my grandparents) had five children (my father being one of them) that they could celebrate the holidays with. All of my father's four siblings were warm and delightful -- and loved to play Irish tunes at special events.This was a lively family as I remember them. thanks -- barbara

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  6. Happy holidays to you as well, Barbara. Our father were about the same age. I wish I had a similar photo...;)

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    1. troutbirder -- I wish you had a photo too. This photo landed in my hands when a sibling of my father's passed -- it was then discovered in her things and given to me. This happened about twenty years ago. Good things happen when you least expect it. Do have a great holiday -- barbara

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  7. What a treasure this photo is! As is the embroidered piece in your previous post.
    Merry and Happy to you -- I look forward to following your adventures in the coming year!

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    1. Vicki -- Old family photos have so many memories wrapped within a small square of paper -- amazing to me . thanks and good holidays -- barbara

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  8. How wonderful to have a family photo that is 100 years old. That is really something. Wishing you a blessed Christmas.

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    1. Joyful -- thanks for stopping by and all the best to you in the new year -- barbara

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  9. Oh, I just love the picture. How lucky you are to have it. Merry Christmas!

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    1. Janet -- Love old family photos. I cringe when I see them in antique shops discards from some family that couldn't identify them. Happy Holidays -- barbara -- barbara

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  10. A very touching Christmas post - we belong to the same generation.
    A Merry Christmas to you too, Barbara!

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    1. What a great generation to be from! The best to you in the coming New Year RuneE -- barbara

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  11. What a wonderful photo. Merry Christmas, Barbara!

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    1. Melissa -- Thanks -- Rather beat up photo but it still is important to me -- barbara

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  12. Dear Barbara, Coming back to wish you a most creative year, full of discoveries & wonder. AND, to tell you how this post affected me: After reading it & seeing the photo I took down most of the decorations on my tree, many of which were these baubles I had bought last year in some kind of frenzy whipped up by external messages. I took most of them to Goodwill. The tree looked so much lovelier without them, I could see it & even smell that balsam better & there was more room for Spirit. Many thanks for the reminder about simplicity. So often "Less is more"...

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    1. Rita -- Like what you said -- " there was more room for the spirit" I have lovely huge tall conifers outside my apartment window where I have set up my little office. I didn't need a Christmas tree as these trees were laden with hanging earthy brown pine-cones and many visits from birds large and small. Reading what you mentioned about spirit I look at these trees differently now.

      Christmas is what you make it -- thanks -- barbara

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  13. Barbara, what a wonderful post. The vintage quality of the photo and your little ditty were just what I needed. I apologize for not having visited for a awhile, I haven't been as active as usual. I'm glad I started with this post.

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    1. Raining Iguanas -- Nice to hear from you. The holidays can be such busy times. Hope you made it through in fine condition. 2014 will be a good year for everyone. -- thanks for the kind words -- barbara

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