Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Dickens Christmas

Holidays come and go. Years go by. People move away or die. Memories are what bring them all back to us. I treasure my memories of Christmases past and the people who were a part of them. I also wish I could have spent a Christmas with some family members who I never knew. I had a very nice Christmas this year, surrounded by family and friends and together we made more memories. I can't help but wonder what Christmas will be like in the future. Come along with me as the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future take us visiting...

First, the Ghost of Christmas Past takes us back to a Christmas before I was born. That would be the Christmas of 1952...
This photo was taken in the parlor at my grandparent's house in Detroit. By Christmas 1952 my grandparents, Wincenty and Sophia, had been living here in the U.S. for 40 and 39 years respectively. Walerja (Wincenty's sister) and Waclaw (Walerja's son) had just immigrated to the U.S. They were DPs (Displaced Persons from Poland) sponsored by my grandfather. This was their first Christmas in America and they were living with my grandparents at the time. The photographs on top of the television are of my mom and her sister Helen. Those pictures were taken in the early 1940s. I never met my grandfather. He died 6 days before I was born. I never met my Grand Aunt Walerja either. She died in 1966 but my family had lost touch with her by then.

I have a few precious memories of my grandparent's house in Detroit. My grandmother died when I was 14 but she sold the house and moved out of Detroit two years prior to that. This parlor room was in the front of the house just off the dining room. In later years, this room wasn't used as a parlor. The dining room was used as the parlor/living room once my grandmother stopped entertaining (she went blind).

"I have always thought of Christmas time as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time." - Charles Dickens

And next the Ghost of Christmas Present comes for a visit and takes us to the dining room of my current home for Christmas 2011...
Those of you who were following my blog back in 2008 will notice that I've redecorated since then! Here is my dinner table on Christmas Eve just a few hours before everyone arrived. The guests at our Christmas dinner table this year included my son and his girlfriend of 3 years, my daughter and her boyfriend of 8 years, my brother and sister-in-law, my best friend (who moved to Alpena, Michigan just a month before Christmas), my husband and myself. We had a wonderful evening, lots of good company and good food followed by Mass at a local church. I do believe that Christmas Eve is my favorite evening of the year!

I was blessed to be together with my family and friends on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was celebrated with my husband's family at his younger brother's house. It was also a lovely day but with 5 nieces and nephews aged 10 and under it was a bit more boisterous. OK, maybe it was more than just a bit more boisterous... how about down right raucous, lol!

"I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year." - Charles Dickens (A sign with this quote on it hangs on the wall to the right of the Christmas tree in the photo above.)

So that leaves us with a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future... as we look at Christmas 10 years from now here's the picture I'd like to see...

My husband and I are living in a condo having moved from our current home. Joining us for Christmas Eve dinner will be our two children and their spouses, 4 grandchildren, my brother and sister-in-law, and my best friend. We will celebrate Christmas Day with my husband's younger brother and his family and his sister and her family. There will also be a Grand Niece in attendance. Kaj, Vladi, and Josie will be a part of our holiday celebrations too. Everyone will be healthy and leading happy lives. It will be a white Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The U.S. will not be at war. The economy will be fully recovered and unemployment rates will be very low. Solar energy will be the main source of power for our homes, businesses, and automobiles. We'll all be using the Internet2 at broadband speeds 10 times what they are now. And the entire country will have free WIFI coverage for our computers and cell phones. Oh what the heck, as long as I'm dreaming this scenario up lets say the politicians in Congress have learned to get along and play nice and have adopted a spirit of cooperation too!

"And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless us, every one!" - Charles Dickens

[Written for the 113th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, "A Dickens Christmas"]