Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Past

Christmas.
The word evokes such powerful memories. Presents, turkey, church, family, singing. The Bag Lady's family was quite musical, so we used to sing all kinds of carols. Four of us sang in the church choir. We even sang in 4-part harmony at home. The Bag Lady and her mother were sopranos, Reb was an alto, one brother sang tenor and dad and the other brother sang bass. We would sit around the table after supper, having a little Christmas cheer and sing. Strange, huh?

We had our little family traditions, like jigsaw puzzles, as mentioned on Reb’s blog, and our folks always hosted a musical Christmas party. They had friends who played in a band, and they would all come, toting their musical instruments. They played and sang well into the night. The Bag Lady remembers as a child, lying in bed, listening to the music and singing emanating from the basement, going on well into the early morning hours.

When we were older, we were allowed to stay up and sing and dance with the grown-ups. There was always someone playing a guitar or two and someone else on the piano. The fiddle, banjo and accordion were usually there, too.

They played everything from old-time country music to Christmas carols. Dad would even bring out his bagpipes and play a tune, but only one or two. For those of you not well acquainted with bagpipes, they are definitely not an instrument to be played in small, enclosed spaces!

Mom would serve a ton of food that she had spent days preparing – everything home-made and delicious and beautifully presented. Pastry and cookies and cocktail foods. We kids would pray that there would be lots of left-overs to feast on the next day. There usually were some, because mother would have been mortified if she ran out of food, so there was always plenty.

The Bag Lady looks back on those days fondly, and wishes she could be transported back in time just once more to listen to the laughter and singing, and watch the dancing and feast on some of those delicious treats.

Excuse her while she closes her eyes for a moment, just to remember…

13 comments:

Crabby McSlacker said...

Ah, you're a far less superficial person than I.

What I remember most is waking up and running into the living room and seeing all those PRESENTS!

the Bag Lady said...

Oh, yes...the Bag Lady was always the first one up on Christmas morning... Her parents always left the lights turned on on the tree, so she loved the look of the lights sparkling off all those wonderful presents spread out under the tree. She would just park her skinny little butt in the doorway and gaze at everything in awe. (right, for about 10 seconds, then she would dash in and start reading cards to see who got what!)

Hilary said...

Sounds like lovely memories. About 30 years ago, I had a boyfriend whose family of six siblings (3 of each gender) was very musical too. They all played guitar and their voices harmonized beautifully. I spent a couple of Christmas seasons with them and loved those "gather 'round and sing" times.

Missicat said...

Sounds like you had some great family Christmases!!! Of course I am laughing because the thought of my tone deaf, spastic can't-chew-gum-and-walk-at-the-same-time family singing and dancing...HAHAHAHAHA It would definitely have been memorable!
We were definitely the "OMG PPREEESSEENTTS" type...

the Bag Lady said...

Hil - sounds like you have a few great musical memories of your own. (And didn't the Bag Lady see a photo on your blog of one of your sons playing a guitar...?)

Missicat - happy to provide some chuckles for you! The Bag Lady's current situation is far removed from those musical moments...but at least the Cowboy can dance!

Hilary said...

Yes, my younger son is very musically inclined. He sure didn't get it from me, though it probably leaked in through my genes somewhere, as we have had some musical talent in our family, here and there.

You must have hit that post on a fast modem day.. that photo was at the bottom of the page! :)

Leah J.Utas said...

Great Christmas memories. It's always good to take a few moments of quiet to remember.

Reb said...

I loved those parties! I miss parties like that. There was occasionally a mandolin and a flute too. Oh and Mrs. O's homemade almond brittle!

I remember the year we used it to get rid of the tons of Lasagna Aunt J had made.

Using the pool table as a buffet table.

Thanks sis!

Hilary said...

"Using the pool table as a buffet table."

Baggie and Reb Clampett! You had your own 'fancy eatin' table!" ;)

bunnygirl said...

I have fond memories of singing in a children's choir and how enjoyable it was at Christmas. I remember going caroling with Girl Scouts, too.

Alas, my asthma meds have messed my voice up and I'm sometimes embarrassed to even talk these days! Inhaled corticosteroids weren't made with vocal cords in mind. :-(

Missicat said...

Y'all had a TABLE?? Must be one of dem rich folks I hear 'bout..

hehe

A mandolin and a flute??

the Bag Lady said...

Oh, those were the days...
Hil - fast modem be damned - if the Bag Lady visits your site often enough, eventually all the photos will download :)
We were forced to use the pool table because mother always made tons of food!! It was the only thing strong enough and large enough to hold it all!!
Bunnygirl - the Bag Lady ruptured her vocal chords so now instead of being a soprano, she's more of a baritone!
Missicat - the best was the mandolin, flute and bagpipe combination! Oh, and did we mention the trumpet and saxophone? (Actually, our dad could pick up any instrument and, after noodling around a few minutes, get a recognizable tune out of it!!)

the Bag Lady said...

Reb - the Bag Lady had forgotten about Mrs. O's brittle - damn that was good stuff!! Sigh.