After having such a fun time on their first visit to the Born Again Quilts studio and gallery, the ladies of Kingston Residence were ready to visit again during the Christmas season. The display windows one decked out with toys from yesteryear, the other a simple nativity scene being watched over by a quilted angel caught their attention and invoked memories of Christmas past.
Soon the ladies are sitting around the table where they get to see a nearly restored quilt that was partially in shreds at their previous visit. While munching Christmas cookies the ladies were asked to share a favorite Christmas memory. It could be something funny, poignant, sad or joyful for most of us have at one time or another have experienced each. Activity director Rachel and volunteer Bev chime in with their special memories too.
It’s interesting to hear how many of the women got engaged at Christmas. As children or young teens during the Depression Years many experienced simple Christmas days with little emphasis on gift giving and receiving. Having food on the table and a roof over their heads is what mattered most. Many ladies remember receiving knitted or crocheted items like mittens and scarves made by the loving hands of mother. Some of their mothers were farm wives with children and chores to attend to leaving little time for handiwork so their items were store bought and no less appreciated.
Marthena describes how her childless aunt and uncle brought gifts over to her house on Christmas Day. One year they gift her older sister Norma with a pair of silk stockings- a real luxury for a teenage girl. Before the day is over, someone inadvertently tosses them into the fireplace with the rest of the day’s wrapping paper. The incident becomes part of their family lore and every Christmas Norma is reminded to her chagrin of the fate of her coveted silk stockings.
Bev fondly remembers getting ready for Christmas Eve children’s program at her church. Everyone would be ready to go except mom. Mom would urge their daddy to take them for a ride while she finishes dressing. Soon they are back at the house and mom is now ready to go. After the service they arrive home to find they must be one of the first stops on Santa’s trip because he has already come and left gifts. When they no longer believe in Santa, mom gets a bit quicker in getting ready for the Christmas Eve Service. That is until they welcome a baby brother eleven years younger than Bev. Once again mom pokes around getting ready and the older children keep mum so as not to spoil the wonder for their kid brother Larry who like them grows wide-eyed with excitement at the presents Santa leaves.
For Nancy the neighbor man informs her and her siblings Santa doesn’t exist causing much distress in the household that night. Their distress can’t match Rachel’s. She and her older sister Sarah find small boxes under the tree with a piece of coal in it stating they had been naughty. Rachel is beside herself for not behaving better throughout the year. She does get presents but just the thought that Santa judged her so harshly is difficult to bear. Her mom who did it as a joke, could not have imagined her impressionable sensitive Rachel would take it all to heart. Later in life Rachel and her mother agreed Sarah should have gotten an entire dump truck of coal.
After each take their turn it was time to sit back and reflect on all of these memories. Some ladies lament that Christmas today with its emphasis on gift spending does not have the same Christmas spirit as those they cherish from long, long ago.
Merry Christmas! May God bless us everyone! ~Tiny Tim
Lois Eubank is the owner of Born Again Quilts, 4005 South Wayne Ave. The studio is open from 1:30-7 p.m. Tues and Thurs 5:30-7 p.m. Weds, and 9-5 Saturdays now through December 21.