In honor of the Genea bloggers theme idea of Christmas Advent. I have a little Tale. Christmas Parties and Celebrations.
There was a separate time spent sharing the Christmas Holiday with Sylvia's family and the time spent with Herman and Dewey's family. I'll deal with Sylvies family holidays another time, because it didn't happen every year like it did with Lyle and his family.
Herman and Dewies family consisted of his brother Lyle, Amanda, his wife and their girl Mary Linda.
So many of the other extended Meyer relatives were in Iowa or had their own close family that they spent Holiday with together.
Lyle and his family owned a small family gas service station with a bar, snack bar, and a garage for auto repair at the south east end of Lewisville. It was directly in line on the highway to the five and ten Mile corner where Herman had his station and Lyle probably worked as a youngster. [Although Lyle worked at a game farm as a young man. That is another story for another time]
Also attending a few years at various times was an elderly thin lady with a bun of braided white hair on the back of her head, was introduced to be Mary's Grandma Walker, who probably was there because she hadn't bee able to attend the other Christmas party with the Davises. The Davises celebration of the holdiay included Uncle Bill Peters family. [Sylvia's brother ]
Sometimes we just have to mix up the relatives at the Christmas parties if some members of the family are super busy during the Christmas vacation time. Lyle was a big football fan [click to see him in a football pose play], so usually every year at Christmas time was reserved for a trip to California, so they could attend the Rose Bowl game and Parade. So because of that, Christmas was usually celebrated early in their home.
They deserved and earned that time away from all their work. Amanda worked hard in all her rolle, wife, mother, bartender and at the service station. She took part with local women in church and society events. Lyle did mechanics in his garage, worked the bar and farmed at the farm land they had east out of town a few miles.
There would be playtime for the kids, adults visiting, the evening meal followed by opening of the gifts. More visiting and then go home. The Moms did the dishes and as the girls got older they were in there to help and to listen and contribute to the mothers chatter.
Prior to eating the children were to occupy themselves together, with board games, talking, bonding with chatter, maybe looking at Amanda's Sunset magazines or some other children's magazines that highlighted the sentiment of Christmas. Since Mary Linda had taken piano lessons, sometimes she played a few songs, this skill or the piano would always fascinate Sissy.
Amanda always used the proper social etiquette. She and Sylvia used the holidays to help the children along with their social graces. She once was a helpmate housekeeper for Herman some years after his Annie had died. She also had been there when August Seil and his wife Anna lived there in the old house. She very well knew what all three of the men loved. [She was very accomplished in household management and cooking skills]. I wonder what Herman and the others did like?
She had a platter of the most delicious sweets and cookies, which were passed around.
There would be homemade cookies which included Rosettes, which was Norwegian inspired, and her filled date cookie with browned butter frosting, fudge, Peanut Brittle, and Divinity.
Amanda had Norwegian blood, and so therefore she had Norwegian samples included.
Amanda would set a nice table with centerpieces different every year and the nut cups in proper place. Always were those pretty little nut cups by each plate, that Sissy couldn't hardly wait to dive into them.
It was often nuts with Mints. Maybe a sweet piece like tiny little pillow hard Christmas candy.
I have wondered over the years where that tradition started. Sylvia's parties were usually a little more relaxed and country and she never did nut cups.
Later, if time progressed pretty well enough not to get into conflict with bed time; their might be a little time to view a television show Ed Sullivan with their dad or uncle Lyle. Or the kids went to play games or just talk in another room.
The definite gifts,
Sonny was sure to get a box of assorted candy bars along with something else. Sometimes Steve did too. He had this love of All Day Suckers or Slow Pokes. and I am told he would get one or two in his box. Often these would be accompanied by a board game or something else. One gift Sissy could count on nearly every year to receive was a book of different flavored life savers. She was proud of that gift too.
There also might also be clothes or just the unusual and unexpected gift because you just never knew where Amanda might have shopped.
Once Sissy received a reversible dress. And yes, she told me she reversed it a lot to several different combinations.
I wish I had a picture of that dress. Steve once received a coon skin hat about the time Daniel Boone was a popular image on television.
I am afraid I don't know what they gave Mary Linda or her parents back that was memorable. Herman usually went home with a flannel shirt and clothes. Lots of times Sylvia was to receive something that Lyle and Amanda had picked up for them on their travels. One particular time it was this huge plaster like ceramic pitcher with a gigantic rooster and a matching platter from their trip to Mexico.
Later on while Lyle and his family were in California, there would arrive to the Meyer house house a post card from Mary Linda. . Steve had a birthday the first week in January, sometimes he received his gift at Christmas time, sometimes it came late after they arrived back from their trip. Often times while they were still away, he would get his birthday card in the mail.
Things happen and life changes, the children grew up and life as it was is no more. New traditions are made with your own children and others. Holidays are spent in other ways.But sometimes One still keeps the old in small ways. I wish there had been pictures that I could share with you today, but there were so few. I can only share some of the known memories.
Sylvia, was not that fond of the crispy norwegian sweets, and evidently neither she nor Dewey made any claim to Norwegian heritage becaause those particular kinds of sweets were obviously never in their home. Shouldn't that obvious fact have been a clue to me when I went to research the Peters family as Norwegian??
6 months ago