Friday, December 17, 2010

Object de Christmas

Seems I get a little nostalgic this time of year. I started thinkin' 'bout Christmas when I was a kid and the objects that made it special. I know your wondering what I mean by objects. Well...these objects represent a moment in time or person that represent Christmas. I'd never seen these objects other than at Christmas time and when they came out of hiding all year long, I just knew it was Christmas.

Ribbon candy....Never saw it other than the holidays, but my Grandparents had it in a candy dish on the coffee table. Piles of strips of color and swirls, I would sit on the floor and watch it as if I was waiting for it to do something. Even then I was interested in color and design. Didn't taste so good but boy, was it entertaining to me ~

Our Aluminum Christmas tree. At the time I was embarrassed of it. Everyone in the world had a "real" tree but not us...nooo, we had a tree made of Aluminum that shined and glared at us the whole holiday season. And not only did we have this tree of silver....we had a color wheel to boot.
So the tree turned blue or green or orange depending on what part of the wheel hit the tree just right. When my parents were away and left us kids alone with the poor tree, my brother and sister and I would turn off all the lights except the color wheel and pick it up, point it in our directions and perform a little song or light hearted drama....until I broke it by hitting it (accidentally) against the wall. can't find these Christmas wonders without paying an arm and a leg. Guess my parents were ahead of their time ~

Christmas Tamales. Although I've never made them per say, I've put them together numerous times. Being half Hispanic and living in Southern California traditionally you just had to make these wonderful little gems of savory goodness. I'd go to Tamale making parties. You show up with your apron, assigned to either the Masa making department or the chili making department or like me...the putting together (assembling) department. All the time gossiping, singing, drinking, dancing and laughing but most certainly having a wonderful time. And before you know can smell the mouth watering little packet of heaven floating through the house.

Nuts and the Nut cracker. My Grandfather (fathers father) would sit in HIS recliner, floor lamp at his back, pipe stand on his right along side the TV guide and his bowl of nuts and the nutcracker on his left. I loved the smell of a good pipe tobacco and the image of him sitting there smoking his pipe, cracking the nuts and talking to us about the good old days when he used to own a bar in Michigan just puts a smile on my face. And just to add to this picturesque image...he had a full head of white hair, blazin' blue eyes and always wore a sweater vest ~

Christmas butter cookies in the traditional tin....need I say more?

Lincoln Logs. My Grandmother (mother's mother) had toys at her house for us grandkids just like I do for mine. Our favorite were the Lincoln Logs. We built sky scrappers with those puppies...well, it seemed like we did. We'd all be on the floor sprawled out and lounging about with the logs, adults in the kitchen talking (arguing) and we'd be in our own little world of Tarzan or Pioneer people or camping. And occacionally my Grandmother would add to her collection and never tell us until we'd open THE closet and spied the biggest haul of Lincoln Logs know to mankind. Christmas music playing in the background, Christmas tree ( a real one) sparking in the corner, tin of butter cookies calling my name on the dinning room table and the occasional whiff of a Tamale......ahhhh, Christmas ~ I'm Just Sayin'


  1. I am so totally there, the ribbon candy, the bowl of nuts..
    When I was still a kid in Southern California, our next door neighbor, who was an arrogant poop, used to go way too far with his Chirstmas decorating..he had that same aluminum tree and colour wheel you had, but to add insult to injury, he literally had speakers at either end of the front of his house and would broadcast cheesy Christmas music all day and half the night, as well as sheets of fake snow to cover his lawn and a really ugly life sized Santa, sleigh and two reindeer .
    My fater and he were sworn philosophical enemies, and one year my Dad, who actually loved the holidays, asked me to make him a small wooden sign that said "Scrooge Lives Here".
    That went into the middle of our yard, and the neighbors all had a good laugh about it, while the extravagant one next door was wet-hen- furious..
    Ah, yes, Christmas memories...this sounds like a good blog

  2. Oh Bunny,your memories sound like home to me(by the way,I was born and raised in Michigan). All these things still(and always will)say Christmas to me. Great post.

  3. Hey Bunny, first let me say I love, love, love your blue and silver porch. So pretty!

    Congrats to Racquel on the goats. She could teach these folks around here a thing or two about taking care of animals. I saw 4 chickens eating from a garbage bag the other day. I hope they aren't being raised for food themselves when they have to go eat from the trash. Yuck!

    Lincoln Logs -- I remember them well. And that ribbon candy sure looked pretty but tasted like bad medicine. We used to get those butter cookies every year, especiall when they would have the special edition tins.

    Nice holiday memories. Have a wonderful weekend. Tammy

  4. We had the aluminum tree as well. It did make you feel a bit odd didnt it? No one else I know had one. I remember pulling each limb out of the paper sleeve. Out color wheel melted on one side so it wobbled a bit. The spot light bulb was hot. There is a house on my way home that has an aluminum tree. We also had a cardboard fireplace we would set up as well. Oh the memories. Nuts and fruit in the stockings.

    Them's was the good ole days. Thanks hun for the trip back in time.

  5. Oh the ribbon candy we use to go to this special candy shop that was in someone's home and my grandmother would buy ribbon candy so thin you could almost read through it. If you bit a piece it would instantly melt in your mouth mmmmmmmmm as adult I have never see it that thin and the Nuts were in a bowl that looked like a chunk of tree hollowed out and we would pick a few that we could crack. Your right I can smell my dads pipe now. Thank you for the memories

  6. Love this post - it's so true, there are definitely some sights/smells/sounds that are just - well, Christmas!

    My dad had a nutcracker too - it was brass, in the shape of a crocodile, and it only ever saw the light of day during the last week in December! The sight and smell of chestnuts cooking also immediately brings back mny childhood.

    We don't have ribbon candy over here but that is so pretty!

  7. OMG - Bunny, we had the same Christmas experience! I was in awe of ribbon candy always wondering how they made them. We always had a real Christmas tree but my aunt and uncle who lived up the street from us had a silver aluminum tree with the same color wheel. Growing up in Hawaii we never had tamales but I know I would have loved them. My mother always had a bowl of nuts around tho I'm not a big fan of them but we always had a few tins of those Danish butter cookies. And as for Lincoln logs - loved them! Thanks for sharing. By the way, I'm back so come over for a visit I'll have some hot chocolate waiting for you!

    xoxoxoxo, Bonnie

  8. Loved seeing and hearing about your objects de Christmas; it made me make a post of my own memories and objects. We have some similarities but tamales,don't think we ever had one even when went to Mexico, guess we didn't know enough to order one to try (probably scared of the heat)But it was close to Christmas when we went and i loved that they had beautiful Christmas things; came home with tons of handmade ornaments like God's eyes and shell things....
    Lincoln logs- never heard of them but they look like fun to play with. It sounds like you had wonderful Christmas foods and fond memories, thanks for the tell'in and Christmas shar'in.


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