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Remembrances > Holidays At My House
Holidays At My House
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135 posts
Jan 10, 2011
9:13 PM
I know the holidays are past but I wrote this for my family and thought you all might like to read it too...

Thanksgiving had always been right after Christmas in order of importance as a family holiday. Mom would start leaving the ends and extra pieces of bread to dry out for the dressing. We always bought a pretty big turkey so there would be leftovers for later. Mom would get up way early in the morning and stuff the turkey with sage dressing and put it in the oven. When I finally got up later the smell of roasting turkey would be in the air. While we kids watched the Macy's parade Mom always made the cranberry salad- she got the receipe when I was little from the Ruth Lyons show and we had it every year. She never followed the receipe exactly so every year it tasted slightly different from the year before. There was no Cool Whip back then so we made Dream Whip from an envelope to put on top.

We used Mom's good china dishes with the gold rim. They were a gift from the mother of a young man whose life Dad saved in the prison camp in World War II. We would have tons of homemade mashed potatoes and gravy and rolls that more often than not got too brown on the bottom, but we ate them anyway. For dessert pumpkin and mincemeat pies.

After we ate Mom would insist on doing the dishes right away, the kitchen was so small we had to anyway. Then we would all get out the board games, Dad would go to sleep on the couch. When my grandmother was there for the holiday we would get into theological discussions sometimes and argue the Bible with each other. Later we would eat turkey sandwiches and leftovers for supper and Mom would get every last piece of meat from the turkey for creamed turkey later in the week. The turkey had been setting out for about 5 hours by then but of course we never got sick. I don't know why things like that didn't make us sick like they do now.

Christmas always started with picking out the tree. We got a live one from the place across the street from Woody's. We always got a balsam tree with short needles and a wonderful pine scent. We brought it home, cut off the end and Dad would put it in the stand. Then he had to put the lights on. After that Mom took over the decorating. I especially remember the bell ornaments that had clappers and the oblong ones with tinsel inside. Mom always had to put the aluminum icicles on individually from top to bottom.
We made homemade cookies with the tin cookie cutters, sugar cookies, gingerbread and round balls of shortbread with powdered sugar on them and pralines with brown sugar and pecans. We made a lot of them and gave them to the neighbors for gifts.
We rode the bus downtown to see Rike's window and Santa and Ruldolph in the Home Store. Dad drove us to different neighborhoods to see the decorated houses.
Santa came while we were asleep on Christmas eve, ate the cookies we left and fed the carrots to the reindeer. When we got up we found my dad's army socks that we pinned to the overstuffed chair were full, always with an orange in the bottom.
We visited both sets of grandparents in the afternoon. My dad's parents had a tree with bubble lights on it, we loved those.
In later years we have tried to do holidays like that but they never worked the same. We have grown up and moved apart, Mom and Dad are both gone and even though we do the same things it is not the same. There is an undefinable something that can't be captured But we keep trying. And that is good news for my grandson.
17 posts
Jan 12, 2011
10:09 AM
I loved reading your story!My memories are almost the same and I would imagine we are not alone in that aspect.
The world was so much different then.We were very lucky to grow up in those days!
4 posts
Feb 25, 2011
6:58 AM
Loved those times I still think of going downtown to Rikes an Santa Land
9 posts
Apr 08, 2011
10:43 PM
i too remember this. i grew up in centerville,yet dayton (downtown)was a big deal. patent leather shoes AND white gloves. wow...i went to ny for a matinee play and no one was dressed. whats happenend? i realize things have changed, but can't we keep some protocal? going to "downtown" was almost like easter. remember getting new shoes and a hat??? i feel really old right now.....sigh :-)
33 posts
Apr 12, 2011
9:52 AM
Gosh, we really are family aren't we? My memories are much like these, except instead of going downtown, we went to Ludlow Falls to see the lights. Santa still delivers an orange to my now grown childrens' stockings- kind of a tribute to their grandparents and a reminder that the worth of a gift and its value are not the same thing.
2 posts
Jul 05, 2011
6:49 PM
What a sweet story, reminds me of Christmas in the good ol days, when Dayton was something good :)
We did similar things, and always went to Rikes downtown. It was so exciting, as a kid. Holidays were fun, not too crowded, loud, and material as they are today. I try to keep some of the old traditions alive, but it's rough.
After the Christmas Holiday, we would go to Kentucky to visit Grandma on dad's side of the family. She lived in the hills of Kentucky, and what a beautiful place. It's great to read all the memories you all have about the Holidays in Dayton :)
425 posts
Nov 20, 2012
7:02 AM
For some reason, Rikes was never on my parents list of things to do. Not sure why maybe because we lived in Fairborn when I was young then in Memphis from 2nd -8th grade. I do have fond memories of the 'Dime Store" in downtown Fairborn and the Santa guy. I'm back with a great gal that I dated for a few years after High School. We remember going to Ludlow Falls a couple of times back then.
If you want a STRANGE Christmas (Max will understand this) spend one in S FL.
You do your shopping in shorts and have the A/C on. Lots of people decorate BUT it involves wrapping the trunks of the palm trees in lights and out the long fronds. Really pretty actually. If we get lucky, we might get a cool front down into the 40's and rarely the 30's. Poinsettias (sp?) are blooming but in peoples yards and they get BIG. Right now several of my bananas have large clusters of fruit. Mango tree is getting ready to bloom and we STILL have to cut the grass but only every 2 weeks but NO leaves to rake. Once inside the Malls it seems like the same Christmas with all the decorations BUT no one has coats on. Just a totally different experience.
One thing I miss is the seasons. Everything looks the same all year long. No corn fields to watch grow, no bare trees, no snow of course. I COULD do without 6 weeks of nothing but Christmas music on the car radio though. But the old memories are always still there.
87 Buick GN

Last Edited by on Nov 20, 2012 7:04 AM
277 posts
Nov 09, 2014
3:34 PM
I wrote this in Jan 2011. There are new people on the site and maybe it will bring back memories for them too. Hope I am not seeming vain to post it to the top again.
46 posts
Nov 09, 2014
6:03 PM
Yes, Keugene48 you brought back wonderful memories, lots of them. We did much the same as your family, except my dad was Romanian so some of our foods were different, but Santa was there and ate cookies at our house too. Growing up in the 50's was, looking back, a wonderful time. Rikes was one of our stops too, I always seemed to be the one kid who came in out of the snow covered sidewalks into Rikes and slipped around a while with wet boots, while my teeth were on edge..WOW, it was really cold, standing on the corner waiting for the light to change so we could get in out of the cold. We had a big family, lots of aunts and uncles and cousins, what a good time, we just didn't know how good it was! thanks for the memories..
85 posts
Nov 12, 2014
1:03 PM
Reading your holiday memories I started wondering which one of my brothers you were and then I read that you got your Christmas tree across from Woody's market. Suddenly I realized that we weren't related.
So many of my holiday memories parallel yours and thank you for bringing them back.
We've tried to maintain holiday traditions but, with advancing age, we (my wife and I), have had to curtail a lot of what we really looked forward to over the holidays. With parents deceased, others spread to the winds and even in the nursing home we celebrate quietly without the visitors and gifts or the elaborate meals.
Times marches on. We adapt and continue to move forward. But it's nice to be able to look back.
luv my dayton
738 posts
Nov 18, 2014
3:38 PM
What you are probably missing as with many of us over fifty is the magic of childhood. Summer picnics, fireworks,parades, trick or treating and santa. Not sure if much of the magic is still there as children began to grow up way to quickly and became way too mature. Our grandchildren are what kept the magic in it for us then as time marched on and parents and grandparents gone and people grew up and away we had to draw upon what we remembered. There's so few of us now its hard to have a thanksgiving get together. Did love the stories you shared with us and sounds a lot like many of us on here. Things have really changed in family life it seems like somewhere in the 80s.

Last Edited by luv my dayton on Nov 18, 2014 3:43 PM

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