Saturday, December 15, 2012

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Holiday Happenings

Often times December to mid-January birthdays and anniversaries get over shadowed by the Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year holidays. So we’re going to shine a spotlight on those family members and ancestors this time around. Select one or more December to mid-January birthdays and/or anniversaries on your family tree. Write a short tribute to or memory of those birthday guys and gals and write a toast to the anniversary couples.

In my family there are lots of celebrations in December and January and we have always made a real effort to make sure that Christmas and New Years celebrations did not overshadow the other events.  

For starters we have birthdays of two sisters, Peg on Dec 16 and Alice on Jan 1, in addition to the Dec 6 birthday of brother Tom.  Moving to the next generation we celebrate the birthdays of Nieces and nephews Leslie, Nicole, Holly and Nicholas. (Do you see a Christmas theme here?)

There was also the family of my dad's only sister Dorothy.  Dorothy's birthday was Dec 26 and two of her daughters were also born on Dec 26.  Dorothy's husband Robert (Bob) Murray was born on Dec 16.

Overshadowing all of the celebrations was the death of my dad on Dec 28.  He was only 49 and had never been sick.

Dad was extremely proud of his family of nine children and loved to walk us down the main street of town on the way to church on Sunday.  We would fill an entire pew at Mass and then some of us would walk to the bakery after church to get bismarks and the Sunday paper.

I was 17 when dad died, so I can't evaluate him on an adult level, but I don't ever remember seeing him angry.  He worked hard and played hard.  He loved sports of all kinds and wrote poems about events in our lives, births, illnesses, successes etc. 

I often think of him beaming as he looks down on how each of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren have developed.  He would be VERY proud of each and every one!