Somewhere…in my memories


It’s a little more than days away and, once again, I am digging deeply into the world around me to find some Christmas spirit. Much like snowflakes in bright sunlight, my enthusiasm for the season disappears quickly.  I keep holiday music tuned on every radio within reach, make endless To-Do lists and watch one more day breeze past.

But, I remember…

When there were so many presents under our tree that the huge evergreen was almost dwarfed by the packages festooned with colorful ribbons that spread across our living room.

When the season used to take forever to arrive and seemed to stay around longer.

When people didn’t line up in stores, like mercenaries, the day after Thanksgiving,  intent on inflicting pain and suffering just to purchase gifts.

When I had time to bake dozens of Christmas cookies that hid away on our pantry shelves, only to be found by sensitive little noses and prying fingers.

When everyone wore some type of holiday corsage or festive button on their coat.

When toys were simple and operated by imagination, not batteries or a power cord.

When packages that came in the mail were wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string.

When Bloomingdale’s was the main attraction where I lived and everyone raced to see their fabulous window display each year.

When outside decorations didn’t have front lawns looking like Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, packed with teetering-tottering air-blown holiday figures and mechanical reindeer.  Simple lights and a wreath on the door told passers-by that Christmas lived in that home.

And..I remember how my mother would walk into our home and remark how beautiful everything was, how she enjoyed all the traditional holiday food.  She loved Christmas…back before she started to forget.

All of this is somewhere, in my memories.



workshop-button-1From Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop…Write about a favorite Winter memory.

I share this post just about every year.  For me, it’s a gentle step back into a time when life was so much simpler and the memories are much like gifts waiting under the Christmas tree, all with “Open Me First” tags on them.  



  1. Linda B says:

    Well said. I long for the simpler times!

    • Patty says:

      Thank you, Linda! Just think, someday, our kids will look back and talk about our present time in the same way. Difficult for me to ever look back over the last few years with cherished memories.

  2. Tonia says:

    How true this is. It is sad how a lot of the traditions have faded away.

    • Patty says:

      Yayyyy! My first official Tonia-comment!! Never fear, between us, we will hold onto as many traditions as we can. Hopefully, our kids will do the same. xxooox

  3. Kelly says:

    I, too, am trying to muster some holiday spirit and am finding it very difficult. I can't believe that it is 2 weeks until Christmas and I have done NOTHING. Oh, well. It is what it is. Simplify is my word of the season and I seem to be doing it well. lol Great post.

    • Patty says:

      I keep waiting for a jolt of Christmas Happy to hit me and help get my wheels in motion…hasn't happened yet! Will keep good thoughts for you and, thanks for stopping by!

  4. May says:

    When people didn’t line up in stores, like mercenaries, the day after Thanksgiving, intent on inflicting pain and suffering just to purchase gifts.
    ~ I sent up a loud AMEN when I read this line!

    But it was your conclusion that made me misty eyed. Starting with the inflatable over-done lawn decor rather than the beauty of just some holly on the front door and moving right through your mom's love of Christmas slipping away from her with her memory.

    This piece is wonderfully bittersweet and true.

  5. jesterqueen1 says:

    The most poignant moment of this piece is "before she started to forget". Ouch. I have never had much Christmas spirit, so I love your willingness to acknowledge ambivalent emotions about the season. Your warm memories are so wonderful that I can just about smell those hidden cookies. I hope you have time to bake a few this year. Hide them for the neighborhood kids (uh – maybe with their Moms' permission) if nobody at your house is likely to come snooping.

  6. The M Half says:

    "before she started to forget" – ouch. I vaguely remember the spirit of Christmas in my childhood homes, until it left when my mother's body failed her just before she turned 36. I'm not much of a Christmas spirited gal and probably can point a bit to the loss of my mother as part of the reason.

    This post was aching. Thanks for sharing.

  7. DM says:

    This is beautiful. It really is. I too remember simpler Christmases, though those blown up lawns certainly do make my kids eyes shine!

  8. John Holton says:

    Wow, did you ever connect with this one. I remember all those things, too. Only the names are different. My Mom loved Christmas, too. Even when she was living by herself, she put up a tree (a real one) and decorated it. And every store on State Street in downtown Chicago had a Christmas display…

    I will never get used to the idea of stores opening on Thanksgiving evening and people acting like banshees running after one of the ten big-screen TV’s they have in stock.

    • Patty says:

      Thanks so much, John. It seems this post reached out and touched a lot of people.

      Maybe it\’s because this past year had us all longing for better times and we focused on comfortable memories.

      Happy, Healthy New Year! Stay safe!

  9. Abby says:

    Lovely and bittersweet memories. I find it hard to feel very Christmassy this year, but this post brings some of it back for me.

    • Patty says:

      I had a rough time as well this year, Abby. So many people are hurting, so disconnected from life in general.

      If we\’ve proven anything it\’s that we\’re pretty darn strong, having gotten through these past months. I am very hopeful that we will look back, a year from now, with most, if not all. of this well behind us.

      Stay safe!

  10. Kat says:

    It sometimes feels unreal to think about how Christmas and traditions change over the years. Hard to imagine how much more can possibly change in another 20 years.

    • Patty says:

      The traditions we\’ve passed along to our children will, hopefully, endure for years to come, Kat. While so much has changed, there seems to still be the desire to bring back things that were special. My grandchildren, in their still tender years, seem to cherish things I may overlook. A good sign, I think, that they\’ll carry on the important traditions.

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