Christmas/Holiday Cheer: Nilsson, “Remember (Christmas)”

Long ago…far away…

Probably 1968; my parents weren’t the best about putting dates on pictures.

Remember, is a place from long ago...

My earliest Christmas memories are from when I’m five or six. In the first, I’m at my maternal grandparents’ house. There’s a pretty big crowd, so I imagine my mother’s sisters are there with their families. I’m carrying around a Kenner SSP Racer, complete with rip cord; I imagine it’s a present I received there, either from Gran and Papaw or one of my aunts’ families.

Remember, filled with everything you know...

The second one is likely from a year later. This time my grandparents are at our house, along with Aunt Nancy and her family, who are down from Ohio. My gift from the latter is Battleship, and I get to play a game with my grandfather.

Remember, life is never as it seems...

I had those hideous bangs in my 6th grade photo, so that pegs this as 1975. Maybe that’s the tree Dad and I chopped down ourselves…

We always had live trees growing up, even though I can’t say now how often Amy and I were taken along to help pick them out. One year–it’s either 1975 or 1976–Dad and I trek out to the farm his parents had owned (they were both gone by this point; Dad would sell it in 1983) to find and cut down our tree. I’m wearing a Cincinnati Reds sweatshirt under my coat on a cold and cloudy December Saturday morning. We tromp around quite a bit before identifying the one we deem most suitable. My role in all this is uncertain, as Dad’s not interested in a pre-teen wielding an axe. After some struggle, the cedar is taken down and we manage to get it home. (In the trunk? We don’t have a truck.) My suspicion is that my father doesn’t enjoy the experience much, as we never do this again.

Clues abound that this is 1978. That robe is way small on me now! Can you identify the LP on the floor by my sister (perhaps it’s playing on the stereo in the background as this was taken)? And what music magazine am I perusing?

Remember, when you’re sad and feeling down...

My only Christmas as an only child.
Mom, styling in the very early 70s (I’m guessing 1971). Those are Amy’s and my stockings on the ends of the mantle; mine is still used as a decoration here in our house.

Remember, turn around…

I’m frequently up before dawn these days, checking in on our restless senior dog. Looking out the window over the kitchen sink and across the way, between the bare branches of our maple tree, I can see through the French doors on the rear of the house behind us. They’re keeping their Christmas tree lit all the time, and I make note as the lights quickly go yellow-to-green-to-blue-to purple-to-red-to-yellow… (they must all sleep with their bedroom doors closed). I consider the kids in that house, wondering if they’ll carry anything from this Christmas around in their heads for decades. And then my mind goes to the parents…

Remember, think of all that life can be...

Throughout the second half of the Aughts, we host Christmas for our families: Martha’s sister and mother, and my parents (my sister is living in Florida by this point). Ruth and my mother-in-law stay in our third bedroom, while my folks take over the master. Martha and I blow up an air mattress and “sleep” on the floor in our amped-up boy’s room. One of the last things Ben does before heading up to bed is to strew the contents of a bag of “reindeer food” across our front yard.

Life was clear…close your eyes…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.