Advent Calendar: It’s Almost Winter Break!

(Day 16 of the Advent Calendar of Christimas Memories: Christmas at School) The month of December was always a special time in elementary school. There were so many things going on. It really made the month special. We began making presents for our parents right after Thanksgiving. In kindergarten, it was a handprint plaque. In […]

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Advent Calendar: Making Someone Else’s Holiday Cheery

[Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories:  Day 12…Volunteer Work) I’ll say it.  I love the holiday season.  I love the paper snowflakes, getting Christmas cards in my mailbox, finding presents for me under the tree.  But, Christmas is a time for thinking about others.  While we receive, we should always try to do something for those […]

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Advent Calendar: Give the Fruit Cake to Grandma

(Day 14 of Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories:  Fruit Cake, Friend or Foe?) My family was born and raised on chocolate.  Chocolate cake, chocolate candy, chocolate ice cream.  So on the rare occasion someone made the faux pas of sending us a, there was only response:  Gross!  Wrap it up for Grandma! None of liked […]

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Advent Calendar: The Lost Pajamas

(Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories Day 10: Gifts) As I wrote about my doll, Tippy Toes, for the Smile for the Camera Edition #19, I thought I’d bring back my story about Grandma’s pajamas.  Though the pajamas weren’t necessarily my favorite gifts to receive (what five year old dreams of pajamas?), but they do bring […]

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Advent Calendar: Snowflakes in the Bay Area

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(Day 9 of the Advent Calender of Christmas Memories:  Grab Bag) At my first job with the County Library system, I worked with a elderly woman.  She was all business, no play–very serious.  She was a former member of the military who took everything seriously. You can imagine my surprise when I learned a week […]

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Those are Some Really Flat Gingerbread Men!

(Day 8 of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories…Christmas Cookies) I’ve always enjoyed baking, though I rarely do it anymore.  My arthritis makes it difficult to get around the kitchen. My speciality is chocolate stuffed peanut butter balls.  They are small peanut butter balls with a couple of melted chocolate chips inside.  I do the […]

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Who’d Invite Us to a Holiday Party?

(Day 7 of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Holiday Parties) We were a large family for the standards of the 1960s and 1970s.  5 kids all born within 7 years of each other.  When the Lassalle’s came to visit, people had to bring out card tables and extra chairs.  We were rambunctious and loud.  […]

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The Year Our Outdoor Decorations Almost Downed Airplanes

(This is day 5 of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Outdoor Decorations…In Memory of my Dad) When I was growing up in the late 1960s and early 1970s, almost everyone in our neighborhood put up Christmas lights.  Each house had one strand of big colored light bulbs and that was that. We had two […]

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Advent Calendar: Christmas Cards

(This is day 4 in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories) I remember sitting down and watching my Mom write out Christmas cards.  They went to family and friends, some we hadn’t seen all year, but they were remembered with a card. I used to wait eagerly each day to see what cards came in […]

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My Christmas Ornament Collection

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(Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories Day 3:  Christmas Ornaments) When we were little, my parents bought the ornaments that came in a box.  They were either satiny balls or colored glass ornaments with glitter on them.  We had 5 or 6 boxes of ornaments that we put on the tree. Then in the 1970s, Hallmark […]

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Christmas Morning–Breakfast

(This is day two of Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories…Holiday Foods) Ever since I was wee child my family had a tradition. After all the stockings were emptied and the presents unwrapped, we’d sit down for Christmas breakfast. This included bacon, eggs cooked in several ways, toast, and because of my Mom’s Portuguese roots, linguinca. […]

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Advent Calendar Day 1: The Christmas Tree

(Day 1 of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories…this was first post in 2010…I hope you enjoy it) My Grandpa and Grandma Lassalle always had an artificial tree.  It was flocked and had red satin balls on it.  They set up one of those rotating color lights that reflected off the branches rather than stringing […]

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Advent Calendar: The Magical Castle on Christmas Eve

(This article was originally posted for the 2010 Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories Day 24: Christmas Eve) When we were little, Christmas Eve was always spent at Grandma and Grandpa Lassalle’s house in Oakland.  Right after dinner, the 7 of us would pile into the station wagon an be on our way.  I remember being […]

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Advent Calendar: Songs of the Season

(This article was originally posted for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010) I have to admit it, I love Christmas music.  I love Winter Music.  I love the Holiday songs.  I always have. I was in choir in elementary school.  It was one of my favorite times of year.  I can still remember learning […]

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Advent Calendar: My Aunt’s Spirit Lived On

(This story was published for the 2010 Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories Day 22:  Christmas and Deceased Relatives…) My family did not have any traditions or rituals pertaining to our dead relatives.  We did not visit cemeteries or do anything special to remember them. Instead, I will tell you about the little card that seemed […]

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