Best Christmas cookies? An email from Taste of Home had me clicking on the link, even if our Christmas gathering this year happened a fortnight ago. I have a Pavlov-inspired response to cookies.
Surprisingly, when I clicked it open, nothing inspired me to hit the "print" button and further clutter my kitchen counter with maybe-I'll-try-this-later printouts. My kids should be proud of me for not falling back into the behavior that required multiple trips to the burn pit and Goodwill during a Covid cleaning frenzy.
Anyway ... then I saw another link on the bottom of the email: Vintage Christmas Pictures Through the Years:What Christmas Looked Like the Year You Were Born. (Click on the link to see 60 years worth of photos.)
Since I've been on my share of photo Christmas cards through the years, I couldn't resist.
|1956 - From Vintage Christmas Photos (link above)|
Even though it was a year early, I thought 1956 - with the rocking horse - looked more like my birthday year than my actual birth year. Well, maybe not quite. Our red rocking horse was wooden and bright red.
|Lisa & me - Cowgirls|
I wasn't the only one who rode miles on that horse. I evidently turned the reins over to my sister, Lisa, on occasion.
My actual birth year - 1957 - had this photo, a tree dripping with tinsel. Yes, there's a real tree underneath all that silver.
|1957 - From Vintage Christmas Photos (link above)|
But then I remembered putting tinsel on our trees at home. We were supposed to put the tinsel on, strand by stand. And when it was time to pack away the Christmas decorations for another year, we were to painstakingly remove the tinsel from the tree so it could be used the following year, too. I can't say that I'm sorry that tinsel is no longer the Gold Standard of Christmas trees.
|1958 - My Aunt Merlene holding Lisa, Grandpa Neelly holding me, Grandma Neelly and my mom. (My dad must have been behind the camera.)|| |
|1961 - me & Lisa and the tinseled tree|
|1963 - Lisa, Darci, Kim|
I seem to remember more tinsel on our trees than these photos reveal. (It was probably all the individual placement that tricked my mind into believing the tree was covered with tinsel.)
I've been involved in Christmas photo cards for most of my life. It's a
family tradition. I starred in my very first one in 1957, as a
My parents included their children on the family Christmas card until we
graduated from college. Since then, we make occasional appearances with
a full-family photo, but most of the time these days, the great-grandchildren are the stars in my parents' annual letter. And this year, with Covid, my parents celebrated a little family history of another kind - a retrospective on John Deere tractors' evolution during their years of farming.
Randy and I sent our first photo card in 1981, the year we were married.
|Christmas Card Photo - Jill - 1985|
We sent one with the three of us in 1986, when Jill was 15 months old.
After that, I usually stayed on the other side of the camera and just
included the kids. (When you're the one doing the work, you get the most
|Christmas Card Photo - 1986|
The first one with Brent was in 1988. Brent would have been about 7 months and Jill was 3.
|Christmas Card Photo - 1988|
Back when Jill and Brent were little, this annual attempt was captured on film. And you weren't sure what you'd gotten until the film was developed. I have rolls and rolls of film chronicling the misadventures of getting two little kids to look their best in the same frame.
Here's another of our many attempts in 1988:
This year, we let a professional handle the front photo. (Thanks to Demiurge Photography, Manhattan, KS).
For the back of the card, Kinley's and Brooke's visits to the farm made
the cut. The one with the calf was taken in February - pre-Covid. It
seems so long ago. The other was taken during 2020 wheat harvest.