Christmas Memories and Believing

I have my favorite seasons and time of year, however December  is just … well it’s just something extra special.  December  is magical.  No matter how old I get, I can’t help but feel my inner child come out this time of year.  The lights, the decorations, the music, the hustle and bustle of this season, it all takes me back to being a kid.  Christmas always reminds me of my grandparents.  The trips to downtown San Francisco {Union Square} to see the window displays.  They don’t do windows like they used to. They were amazing, beautiful and just mesmerizing.

Vintage window

Department Store Window Display

The holiday parties my grandparents hosted were something out of a movie.  The friends, the music, the food, the hors devours, the cocktails, the men and their cigars, the nice suits, the women and their mink coats, nice dresses and beautiful jewels.  The baby grand piano, the drum set, the horn, the accordion.  Yes, they had it all.  The house would be filled with life and laughter.  My grandfather and his friends playing all these instruments.  Everyone would sit or stand around and dance or sing along.  Being a young girl, I thought we were living in some magical snow globe of some kind.  How many kids grew up with all this?  My grandmother would spend the entire day making all the food, grandpa would set up the bar and the life size Santa Claus was placed in the front window.  He was plugged in and moved in a turning motion from side to side, with his hand up waving.  The flood light that grandpa placed on the floor next to him, had him lit up so anyone driving or walking by would be sure NOT to miss him.  He was amazing.  The red velvet coat and pants, the black boots, the white beard and his face with the rosy cheeks.  I remember him like it was yesterday.  Vintage for sure and nothing like it made again, no doubt.

Some favorite Christmas past times …

vintage christmas

Vintage Ornaments

Bing Crosby
Miracle on 34th Street {the original}
White Christmas
Vintage Ornaments
Egg Nog
The Nut Cracker
Advent Calendar
It’s A Wonderful Life

Growing up in Lake Tahoe made for a wonderful Christmas season.  The  huge amounts of snow would make for some awesome igloo building.  We would build in the front of the house, big enough to fit both my sister and a few friends.  We always placed blankets on the ground and drank hot cocoa while having snacks.  There were snowball fights with the kids on the block.  Ice skating right on the lake.  Going out to the forest and cutting down a tree.  The Christmas trees we would decorate with our mom each year were always different and very practical.  Brown paper ornaments were made and we used string to tie them to the tree.  Popcorn and cranberries were the garland.  Christmas was simple at home with mom.  No fancy parties or live music, but we would cozy up to the fireplace and watch the holiday specials on t.v.


My sister and I loved sneaking into our mother’s closet to carefully open the packages to take a peek.  We did this so often, that we had it down to a science.  One of us kept watch at the door so mom would not catch us.  We slowly opened each one while being careful to not rip the paper or ruin the tape {yes we were sneaky and clever} after we would close them back up making sure to place the tape back in its position.

The countdown to Christmas day was done by opening a window on the Advent calendar and finding a piece of chocolate inside, just brilliant.  There used to be  Carolers going around the neighborhood.  I always loved hearing them outside, you knew they were coming and I couldn’t wait to get to the door and open it.   {Kind of like hearing the ice cream truck in the summer}.

Being a young kid and having your own set of skis and living just minutes away from the resort was a very special treat.  Each winter was filled with many ski days for both my sister and I.  Hours and hours we spent at the ski slope and we could not get enough.  Rosy red cheeks, hot cocoa and being bundled up in our powder pants and warm wear.  It was awesome.

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a visit to see Santa.  Whether we would cry or laugh.  Visiting Santa was magical.  He was real and right there.  Telling him what we wanted for Christmas was so exciting.  Going to bed on Christmas Eve always had us too excited to sleep.  Watching out the bedroom window, we always thought we saw Santa and his sleigh.


Miracle On 34th Street

My memories of Christmas warm my heart.  Christmas seen through a child’s eye is the most magical.
Seeing Christmas through my eyes as an adult is still magic.
Just BELIEVE Believe

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  1. Well this is a heart-warming post. I’ve always wanted to relive one of those dressy and fabulous Roaring 20s parties that you see in the movies, which was quite a bit before your grandparents’ time, but nonetheless. I LOVE all things about Christmas, yet I’ve never even seen snow on Christmas Day having grown up in Florida. White Christmas, eggnog, gift wrapping, it’s all magic to me too. 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
    Ashley @ A Lady Goes West recently posted…Friday Favorites: Flowers, music and moreMy Profile

  2. What lovely memories!
    Michelle recently posted…3 Signs That Anxiety Is About To Kick My AssMy Profile

  3. I love the holiday season! <3 It always makes me super happy. :]! Christmas decorations are definitely one of my favorite things to look at, and that description of your grandparents' parties sound like so much fun!

    I would completely be okay with snow if it fell like that outside my window and I didn't have to go outside. *-*
    Farrah recently posted…Foodie Friday: Ginger Almond Milk TeaMy Profile

  4. What a wonderful memory. Some times I wish i had a time machine to go back and relive moments in time just so i can relive the feelings.
    becca recently posted…Friday Confessionals 12-12-14My Profile

  5. Those are some beautiful memories-very sweet. My sis and I used to do the same thing! I hope my kids have lots of great childhood memories too. Have a great weekend!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Drinking My Veggies with Alive JuicesMy Profile

  6. Beautiful post! I grew up in Indianapolis and it was a big deal to go downtown to the circle and see all the window displays, it does bring back beautiful memories! We also dressed up and went to the big department store and had breakfast with Santa 🙂 those were the days………….
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…Getting Organized for 2015My Profile

  7. I loved this post. I could really feel your fondness for the season. Your grandparent’s festive parties sound like a grand affair.

  8. I remember looking at the Christmas lights on Thanksgiving night after we would eat dinner. I dont think I ever got to visit santa though.
    tara pittman recently posted…AzureNaturals Ultimate Argan 100% Virgin Argan Oil Is Great For Hair And SkinMy Profile

  9. This was such a lovely post and made me think of my childhood Christmases. Mine were in NY and now as I live in Houston, TX I can’t help but feel like Christmas is just not the same. I do what I can to keep certain traditions (food and music) alive, but to me, Christmas in NY will always be where my heart goes to. Every year my mom and I would watch The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and get excited to see the Rockettes and wait for Santa, as everyone knows the REAL Santa works at Macy’s 😉
    Once we saw the big guy the season in our home began, full of great Christmas songs from crooners like Bing Crosby and great dance along songs from the Ronnettes. I think if we were lucky enough to have family around us to make the holidays special, our childhood Christmas memories were all magical. I only hope that one day when I have children they’ll believe in the magic too.

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