My family and I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas. We hope that all your wishes come true today and throughout the new year..
Today will fly by. Before you know it, presents will be opened, second helpings of food served and leftovers distributed. Later, grab that last piece of pie, or Bailey’s on ice, sit back and file today’s memories with those of past Christmases.
Remember, back in the day, when your Dad and uncles would go to some store’s “side lot” for a real tree. Once it was up, you had to water it and as long as you were watering it, as my grandmother would say, why not fill the radiators. Okay, how many of you remember that one?
Mom would supervise how the tinsel was hung - no clumps, one piece at a time - and little by little wrapped presents would show up. A turquoise Smith-Corona typewriter (manual) and one of the very first transistor radios were two of my favorites. Sisters got Barbie dolls, Chatty Cathie dolls, Thumbelina and, the best of all, a rocking horse.
Muzzie, my great-grandmother, always sent fruitcake, yes fruitcake. With a cup of tea it’s excellent, trust me. Grandma Quayle sent homemade strawberry jam and Nanny (upstairs grandmother) gave each of us a box of Queen Anne chocolate covered cherries, an orange and walnuts - traditions we have kept going, too. The jam and fruitcake may not be homemade, but there's always a chance next year.
Sometime during the holiday season, we would catch a bus on Euclid Avenue and be dropped off at the Goldblatt's store. Their elevator fascinated me.
I remember The Salvation Army bell ringers, but not Santa. But most of all, I remember the store basement, walking down the stairs and being greeted with the aroma of freshly baked bread. The Goldblatt's deli had everything, from sausage, ham and beef to roasted cashews.
I don't remember the name of the dining room, do you? But there was always Cam Lams.
Some front porches were decorated, not as much as today, though. The library on Grand Boulevard always looked "Christmassy" and, of course, Inland Steel always had a giant tree in front of the office to admire.
While some Christmas movies may have been filmed in color, they were all black and white on our TV.. "Holiday Inn," "A Christmas Carol," "White Christmas," "Frosty the Snowman," "Suzie Snowflake," "Hardrock-Coco and Joe" all spoke Christmas to us. Good old Bozo, Ray, Ned and Frazier celebrated the season, too. You know who I mean.
As Ebenezer discovered, Christmas Past is filled with memories, Christmas Present is set, yet with faith Christmases to come will be even better.
God bless you and your family and Happy New Year!