Wednesday, December 21, 2011

memories of Christmas past...

I like to dwell in the past just a wee bit at this time of year!

The red sled gets propped up for old times sake.
It belonged to hubby when he was a kid.
Now it belongs to me.

The wee red stockings were knit with love by my mom-in-law many decades ago...
and hang on the old Singer that my grandmother sewed with.

And the vintage tree ornaments handed down from a family collection...
are pulled from their original box every December.

And this year...
we will also enjoy a candy that I recall showing up in my childhood home every December.
They were called 'rock-a-va-shaky' I recall.
A Russian candy...
with a lobster on the wrapper.
I found some in a European deli...
and had to pick up a handful for old time's sake.
Truth be told...
they don't taste any better now than they did then!

We took in a wonderful community Christmas concert last night...
with orchestras, choirs, drama.

It told the story of Christmas celebrations through the ages...
particularly among the German speaking Mennonites of the Ukraine.
No matter how bleak their situation...
they always had a reason to sing.
And sing they did...beautifully.

Though the decorations and the customs may change...
the message of Christmas remains always the same.
God with us.
born a King.

And that is why we sing!


  1. There are only certain of those wrapped Russian candies that Katie likes. I don't think we've ever had the ones with the lobster on them. It is an amazing thing that God is with us. So thankful....

  2. We celebrate an amazing God and marvel at blessings large and small...

  3. I think singing is a wonderful part of our Mennonite heritage. I remember singing grace at my grandparents' home - so beautiful, with my aunts harmonizing.

    Immanuel, God with us. The very best part of Christmas.

  4. Christmas is a wonderful time for memories, isn't it Judy? Your vintage ornaments and Nativity set are all beautiful!

    As Christmas approaches I am thinking about those who were dear to us who not with us this year, a friend who is ill and might be celebrating her last Christmas, and my family who are far away. I am sending up prayers to the Baby Jesus who was born on Christmas to bring us love, hope and salvation. Hallelujah!

  5. A very good reason to sing!
    I love those Russian candies, I won't even try to spell the word like you did but that's what we called them too.
    I have a treadle sewing machine, I love the idea of books resting there..I'm nabbing that idea:)

  6. There certainly is no greater reason to sing at Christmas or any time. Our God is so great! I would have enjoyed their music.

    I wish you a very special Christmas holiday with your family!

  7. Thanks for the tour of your forgot to mention the beautiful smells of cooking and baking that sift through the air.
    Blessings to you this Christmas Season.

  8. The "rock-a-va-shakies" and Halvah tasted better than some of the other candies that were around at Christmastime, but nothing sounded better than Christmas music in four-part-harmony from a joyfilled heart... with or without accompaniment. I miss that! but there is no greater reason to celebrate than that Christmas means God is with us!

  9. Can you imagine a Christmas without music and singing ? I can't .. its such a beautiful, emotion/stirring part of our celebrating.
    I love the memories of Christmases past .. and the 'old' things are the best!

  10. Your house must be lovely with its Christmas raiment, old and new.
    Christmas music never gets 'old' for me - every year I look forward to singing my favorites, remembering the reason for all the celebrations.

  11. Judy - your pictures are beautiful! I love how the Christmas concert told the story of your heritage and I can imagine how beautiful the four part singing was. My heritage is of the Amish kind - my ancestors settled in Ontario in the mid 1800's and came directly from the Alsace-Lorraine area of Europe. Someday I wish to go to that area and explore my roots. It would be so cool to find things like your candy that is familiar from childhood or grandparents!
    Have a wonderful Christmas and thanks for sharing your stories.


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson