My mother loved Christmas and it was always so much fun during the season. I miss her so much more during the holidays because she loved the excitement so much.
We had to wait until after Thanksgiving to play the old Christmas records...Bing Crosby and Hank Williams were my Dad's favorites. My Dad would hang the lights on the porch...they had to be multi-colored... and they were those huge old-fashioned bulbs.
When the Sears Wishbook came in the mail, all of us kids would start to make our lists. We spend hours pouring over those pages.
We didn't have a ton of decorations, but some of them stand out in my memory...the shelf elves and the candy cane Santa boot.
When I was growing up, our Christmas tree was put up on Christmas Eve. It was artificial. Overnight, Santa came and magically decorated it while we slept with tinsel garland, multi-colored lights and a hodge-podge of ornaments. I remember the special antique ornaments from Germany. After five kids, they didn't survive the years.
We woke up to a fully decorated tree complete with a Lionel train that went around it... and our presents. I believe this is an old German tradition. It wasn't a tradition that I kept when I moved on to my own home. I wanted to have more time to enjoy the decorations.