Do You Remember?...Simpler Holidays

Maybe today, as the holiday season winds down, it's time for you to take a break from the crowds and busyness, reflect on this year and plan next year to only choose the activities that really mean the most to you.  
Not surprisingly, many women do way more than their families and friends even care about, holding themselves to an exhausting standard as providers of “holiday memories”.   
Why don’t you ask your family what rituals, foods, decorations, etc., really matter to them, believe them, and try to cut down and enjoy the holiday next year.  If your kids really think something is essential - certain cookies, a special pie, elaborate decorations - maybe it's time they took responsibility for it.   
Less stuff, less expense, less worries – more time to enjoy those times spent with your loved ones – what’s not to like.  
Looking at old photos of Myrna’s and my family, and my own family’s Christmases past, I am always surprised at how simple they looked compared to the glossy magazine and perfect "lifestyle" website versions of Christmas today.  I know we thought we had the best Christmases ever – because we were together.

In the top photo - left to right: Myrna, our Mom, me on my Dad's lap, our older sister Kay - it was cold, but I think Myrna and Kay were showing off the new Christmas dresses from Grandma for this photo to be sent home from California, where we lived during the war. Bottom photo - Our son Dave with a hat and mittens knitted by Aunt Myrna in the 1970's.


  1. Your right, we sometimes get so caught up in the cooking, and making sure everything is just right, we miss out. Have a wonderful day.

  2. I remember simpler holidays; it was when I lived at home and my mom did all the work. For the past thirty years I've been the Mom and do all the work. I'm truly grateful that I haven't had to do double duty earning a living as well as keeping house. The best part of Christmas now is all our children coming home!

    1. Our mom didn't let us get away without putting us to work too, but our holidays were still simpler!

  3. Time I thought about Christmases of the 1950s when I was a child: our decorations were Christmas cards on the mantel, and a vase of Regal Lilies which bloom here in December, their scent powerfully evokes "Christmas" for us in NZ.
    It was an innovation when my parents bought a couple of lengths of red and green paper "festoon" decorations to be draped along the window pelmets, and a paper wreath for the front door.
    My grandparents had no decorations except a few cards, and Madonna lilies which are even finer-scented than the Regals; a couple of years when we stayed there we brought in a small branch of pine and set it upright in a bucket of stones, with pillow-cases full of presents beneath.
    My aunt and uncle's living-room was decorated with bunches of balloons, and lots of Christmas cards on strings across the room, and a couple of those paper honeycomb decorations that fold out to reveal 3-D bells etc. Very festive!
    Nobody seemed to get stressed or flustered; mothers, aunts and grandmothers all did something towards the feast and the men had provided the main course (goose or lamb, killed and dressed or butchered) and helped set up furniture, tents, paddling-pools, and kept an eye on the children who were encouraged to feed the hens, pod the peas, set the table, mind their manners and not be silly, and then to run around and play outdoors.
    Simple, happy.
    Thanks for evoking all these memories!

  4. I have enjoyed all your hard work. I am glad you will keep it up for conversations and reference.


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