Your childhood Christmases were significantly different from those of your kids and grandkids.
So, make time to search your memory for specifics so your words and scenes invite readers into your story with you.
Did you spend hours looking through the Sears Roebuck Christmas catalog?
Did you ask Santa for a cap gun? Or a transistor radio? Or a poodle skirt?
I remember asking Santa for a walking doll. (Do you remember walking dolls?) And my little brother asked for, and received, a Howdy Doody puppet-doll. He treasured it for years.
If someone in your family got sick on Christmas, did the doctor make a house call?
Did you have a real Christmas tree or one of those new-fangled aluminum ones?
What unique Christmas traditions did your family carry out?
What were your favorite Christmas movies?
If you had a TV, did you watch Christmas specials? Andy Williams, Perry Como, and Pat Boone come to mind. To change TV channels, did you have to get out of your chair and walk over and turn a dial? Did you have a rabbit-ear antenna on top of your TV?
And don’t miss this blast from the past: Click on Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby’s 1957 TV Christmas special
What were your favorite Christmas songs? Did you play 45s on an old record player? (Just curious: Do you remember Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer?) Because I grew up surrounded by large numbers of Scandinavians, I have fond memories of one of them, TV personality Stan Boreson, and his classic performance of Vinter Undervare. Don’t miss this video clip!
Did you and your family dress up in fancy clothes and go to church on Christmas Eve? Did your mother sew you a new Christmas dress each year?
Or, if you’re a man, did your parents make you wear a tie to the Christmas Eve church service? And did you use Butch Wax to keep your flat-top hair in place?
Did Santa leave a pack of Black Jack chewing gum in your stocking? Or candy cigarettes?
Did you usually stay home for Christmas, or did you join someone else—grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins, or . . . ?
What was likely on your Christmas Day dinner menu? What did your mother or grandmother do with leftovers? If plastic wrap had not yet been invented, what did you use instead? And before plastic garbage bags were invented, what did you use?
When I was a kid, no one had a dishwasher. Do you remember helping mom, grandma, aunts, and cousins wash and dry dishes for hours after Christmas dinner?
Did your family take photos with a camera that used flashbulbs—or maybe flashcubes—the kind that left you with a glaring blind spot for half a minute or so? Were the photos black and white?
Because your childhood was so different from that of your kids and grandkids, such details will invite readers to join you in a rich experience of your Christmases past.
Have fun! And be sure to include old photos!
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