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December 22, 2013


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Great story all true!!Many I had not thought of in years!! I'm the one on the left with hands in pockets looking back to make sure everyone was looking at the camera,got caught. Love you Sue,Merry Christmas!!! Joe

Thanks for posting this, Tipper! As I get older, the traditions of this season have come to have more meaning as they bring back such good memories. Merry Christmas, everyone!

and Ed...If I am not mistaken that is the famous "Emett Kelly"!
He was one of the most loved clowns during that era. I did a painting of Emett years ago. I still have it somewhere! We didn't get to see him much on TV..He mainly was with the circus, I think Ringling Brothers Barnum and Baily, the one that wintered in Florida. The other clown that I loved and who did a lot of look-a-like takes on "Emmett" was the loveable Red Skelton! I miss those shows...Now-a-days a lot of folks including kids are scared of clowns...Guess that is the "Chucky" syndrome!
Thanks Tipper,

I very much like this story- reading about the similarities and differences of traditions.

Tipper: Wonderful story and great responses. I try real hard to make it through this time of year without getting to low. I keep telling myself that these are the good years - with wonderful grandsons - and great gatherings.

All the positive reads folks share help a lot!

Eva Nell

My grandmother also started the baking the day after Thanksgiving. It amazed me how moist & good those cakes were. She kept them in a back, unheated bedroom. The fruitcake was wrapped in cheese cloth, liberally laced with spirits and kept in a closed tin container. Every few days she would check & add more brandy/wine as the cheese cloth was never supposed to get dry. To this day I still don't eat fruitcake!!!!! But we had fresh coconut cake, pineapple cake, chocolate cake which kept me happy.

Susanna-do you know who is the little man, in the bowler hat and candy striped tie, with the mustache and his spectacles slid to tip of his nose? At first I thought he was one of the family but closer examination makes me think he is a big doll or puppet sitting on the table.

and Granny Sue...I loved your story. It seemed as though I was having an Ah-ha, intuitive moment or as it were an "epiphany"...please no pun intended! The "creche" and also as we called it at home "our manger scene", looks so much like my Mothers. Dad also made the stable, it was bigger than ones that came with the figures during the forties and fifties..We also put a angel in the front and on the back we fashioned a oversized star with a longer point down toward the stable in the back. Also our multitude of angels, (usually only three represented) placed on a wire or taped to the back of the inn. We had lots of camels...but made sure only one was on the inside of the stable, the one that carried Mary!..A cow lowing in the hay and a sheep by the shepards, toward the side and back of the stable...I have it today and couldn't part with it for a million dollars...

My Mother-in-law, started her Christmas Fruitcakes and "stack cakes" right after Thanksgiving as well...My husband said, "When I received and opened Mom's "Stack Cake" saturated with Rum, while I was stationed in Korea, it was almost like being home." At least the aroma led him to think it! She had to prepare those cakes early and get them in the mail for her boys in the service...The rum preserving them somewhat! Ya think! LOL

Yes, there were Christmas traditions in my family also. We didn't put our tree up until Christmas Eve. It was a busy day as we prepared the house for my dad's father, my only grandparent, to arrive. One of my dad's brothers' wife made the best Hungarian cookies which we served. During this time, my mom and dad would sing Christmas Carols in German. So many more memories to remember. This post made me remember them.

Does your husband make deer jerky? Will you ask him if he thinks reindeer would make good jerky.

I really enjoyed this article from Granny Sue. I have never heard of some of these traditions, and it was very interesting reading. The photo would have been typical at our home in 1957 except we didn't have a staircase to an upper floor. Merry Christmas to all.

I loved granny Sue's description, "stir-up time," for the concerted effort in cake making immediately after Thanksgiving. Momma did the same thing, making a big batch of applesauce cakes which would be zealously protected from ravenous offspring (such as Don and yours truly) until Yuletide arrived. In the interim she kept the cakes moist with judicious applications of a bit of wine or periodically placing apple slices atop the cakes, which were kept in a cold room (we didn't have central heating, so the downstairs bedroom worked just fine).
I loved the term and since imitation is a high form of flattery, I think it quite likely I'll appropriate it at some point in future writings.
Beyond that, it's always interesting to hear about the Christmas traditions of others.
Jim Casada

Susanna, I agree that all the things that cost nothing are the most memorable. We knew there wouldn't be much under the tree, but that was not what Christmas was about in the house where I grew up. Thanks for sharing a beautiful story.

Too bad so many of the old traditions and beliefs have been forgotten especially by the younger generations, all they know or at least a lot of them is the gifts, seems to me when we were growing up the not having was the best way to appreciate somethings, just my opinion, sure miss the old times.

I enjoyed the Christmas Story of
Granny Sue and her big family. I
have visited Granny Sue's blog and
she has some wonderful stories to

And Bradley, how in the world are
you able to comment so early in the morning? My Blind Pig don't even get here till a few minutes after 7 am...Ken

Lovely memories and so interesting!

"Granny Sue's" story about how they celebrated Christmas is touching and wonderful. Like Tipper, I like padding the manger with good deeds, each represented by a straw (hay). So often our familiarity with the Christmas story causes us to lose some of the wonder, awe, meaning and impact of the Birthday of the King.
May we reexamine this year and draw near to the manger, for there the King of glory came to earth--to give us abundant life.

Love the old traditions, we keep some of them, without knowing exactly why.

Lovely story. I enjoy reading about traditions and having a few facts thrown in makes it even better. Thanks Granny Sue and Tipper.

loved this story Tipper. The words in the last paragraph...."But we were rich in tradition and all the things that cost nothing but make holidays exciting and memorable" would be what makes her family and ours alike. Thank you Susanna!

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