Tag Archives: christmas tradition

Holiday Tales & Traditions Blog Hop

Post Update: Two things I wanted to update here. First of all, the winner of the giveaway on this post is Darci. Congrats Darci and I hope you enjoy the fabric. Second update: I talked about the Christmas Through the Decades later in this post and mistakenly said it was on Netflix. However it is really available on Amazon Prime’s streaming service. Sorry for the misinformation.

Hello everyone. If you are new to my blog, coming here from the Holiday Tales and Traditions Blog Hop, welcome. I have been blogging since 2014 (which seems crazy but it has been over six years now)! I would love to connect with you and invite you to take a look around to see what Needle & Foot is all about.

This week I am hosting a blog hop to share some traditions celebrated over the holidays. I asked a number of bloggers to write a post telling a tale they remember from their holidays or a tradition they celebrate during the holidays. Last year I wrote about family traditions from this time of year and I really enjoyed reading comments about the traditions all of you remember. I thought I would carry this forward to this season as well. We certainly need to come together and lift each other’s spirits during this time of year, especially in 2020 when so much feels heavy and abnormal. I hope you will enjoy the hop. Be sure to click through to the other blogs and enjoy some holiday stories.

I have a few tales to share with you. One from my childhood Christmas memories and the others from Christmases spent with my children. Because I think blog posts are more fun with photos, I am randomly including holiday pictures here and there.

Ian and I, Christmas 1994

When my three boys were young, Christmas was naturally an exciting time. As it is for most kids, right? After we put up the tree, I would wrap the gifts from Mom and Dad and put them under the tree. This happened about ten days or so before Christmas. My boys would spend a lot of time checking out the presents, shaking them, trying to guess what they were. It drove me crazy if they guessed correctly – I wanted it to be a surprise on Christmas morning and I don’t have the best poker face! So, one year I decided to try to outsmart them. I bought three rolls of wrapping paper. Using one roll for each boy, I wrapped their gifts. Then I didn’t put any tags on the gift. They were just blank. Under the tree they went. The boys were totally befuddled. “Mom, how do we know whose is whose?” they would ask. I would casually reply, ‘oh, I’ll figure it out.’ or ‘don’t worry about it, we can figure it out on Christmas.’ They went nuts and I thought it was hilarious. On Christmas morning, I played Santa (usually it was one of the boys) and passed gifts out to them. When each boy had gifts wrapped all in one type of paper, they figured out what I had done.

The following year, I knew I couldn’t pull the same stunt. It would not be as fun because they would know what I was doing. Instead, I switched name tags between two of the boys. When wrapping Ian’s gifts, I put a tag on them saying “For Andrew”. On Andrew’s gifts, I did the same, putting a tag on them saying “For Ian”. Kyle’s gifts had his name on them (I couldn’t figure out a way to mix it up any further without making some sort of mistake.) Christmas morning I played Santa again and placed all of the ‘Andrew’ gifts in front of Ian and the ‘Ian’ gifts in front of Andrew. Fooled them again!

My favorite holiday quilt-I hang it each season.

Let’s go back in time now to Christmas in the 1960’s when I was a child. I have a fond memory of one year when my father was scheduled to work at church on Christmas morning. I am sure it was the only year this ever happened but there we were, waking up and Dad was going to be gone for the majority of the morning. Mom insisted we would all just wait until he got back and then we would open gifts. Not so easy for a child, let along six of them! To distract us, Mom thought she would light a fire in the fireplace. Well the damper wasn’t opened and she totally smoked out the living room. She sent us all outside while the smoke cleared. I remember being on the front lawn with my five sisters in our pj’s on Christmas morning. I wonder what the neighbors thought of that. ūüôā

Since I grew up in the 1960’s, I had a lot of fun watching a show on Amazon Prime recently, called Christmas Through the Decades. The episode on the 1960’s was especially fun. I enjoyed hearing what the top selling toys were for that decade. The list is slightly different depending on what you are reading but this was the list from the documentary.

1960 – Chatty Cathy
1961 – Ken Doll
1962 – Slinky
1963 – Mouse Trap Board Game
1964 – GI Joe (“Pull his ‘dog tag’ and he will issue commands”)
1965 – Rock’em Sock’em Robots
1966 – Spirograph
1967 – Battleship
1968 – Hot Wheels Cars
1969 – Big Wheel

I think it is interesting that, other than GI Joe and Chatty Cathy, all of these classic toys remain popular today. I read that GI Joe is going to be re-introduced but I am not sure if that is already happening.

1/2 yard bundle of Wintertide and 1 yard of an old fashioned Santa print

Thanks for taking this little trip down memory lane with me! Since this post mostly centered on childhood gifts, I would love to hear your memories of toys that were popular when you were a child. Did you receive something you really wanted or give your child a toy he or she was drooling over? Leave a comment – it is so much fun for me to read your experiences and I know other readers will enjoy going through the comments as well. I would love to give one of you a gift this year as well! I will draw a random name from the comments and send along a fun holiday package of fabric (see above) to the winner. Winner will be selected on Friday evening, giveaway is open to US residents due to the cost of postage.

The Holiday Tales and Traditions Blog Hop is being celebrated on the following blogs:

Sew Preeti Quilts
Quilting Jetgirl
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Academic Quilter
From My Carolina Home
Pieceful Thoughts
Devoted Quilter
The Colorful Fabriholic
Me & My Quilts
Kathleen McMusing
Sarah Goer Quilts
MMM Quilts
Needle and Foot  – That’s Me!

Thank you to all the bloggers who participated in this fun event. Wishing all of you the happiest of holiday seasons!

The Holy’s and the Jolly’s – Christmas Cards

When I was growing up (the 1960’s) it seemed like we received¬†tons of Christmas cards. ¬†Maybe my parents were just incredibly popular or maybe, because there was no internet, email, facebook, blogging, instagram, or twitter, that was how people wished each other a Merry Christmas. ¬†Actually, it was probably both. But really, we received a billion cards each season. My mom would string them up and display them or keep them in baskets to look at. I loved checking the mailbox across the street and bringing in a veritable pile of cards. (I still love checking the mailbox which is 1/2 mile from my house and usually only contains junk mail or the occasional bill that can’t be paid on-line. Old habits die hard.)

The best part was after Christmas because then my sisters and I got to “play” with the cards. We hoarded them, traded them, and sorted them. Remember, I have five sisters and even so, there were enough cards for all of us to have some. This was a ritual for us and was something to do after the excitement of Christmas had mellowed and we still had that second week of school vacation. When we sorted them, we classified them in two groups; ¬†the ‘Holy’s’ and the ‘Jolly’s’. ¬†You probably know which cards fell into each pile.

The Holy’s:

or maybe –

These were fine. ¬†They were pretty and, attending Catholic school for the first eight years, we knew this was what Christmas was (supposed to be) all about. ¬†But then there were these – the Jolly’s.

In large part (no pun intended) isn’t this what Christmas is about to a kid? It was for me.

I wish people still sent cards in the mail. I know that the postage has become ridiculously expensive and usually I am up-to-date on the news and what everyone’s kids look like because of Facebook but I love the tradition of finding a card in the mailbox! Such a simple pleasure.

Christmas is just around the corner. ¬†As my family says, only three more sleeps and my boys will be home. ¬†Time for major grocery shopping and a bit of house cleaning as well as finishing up the gift wrapping. This will leave no time for sewing or blogging. ¬†I have still one gift that I am making and I am fairly certain¬†it will not be done in time for Christmas. It is turning out so pretty and I don’t want to hurry it. The recipient will have to wait patiently and I think (hope?) it will be done shortly after Christmas. ūüôā

Before I wish you all a Merry Christmas though, I have one bit of news. I am so excited! This is my 51st post and¬†I just got my 51st follower (between email followers and Bloglovin followers combined.) Doesn’t that seem auspicious? Fortuitous? Just sort of cool? ¬†I had hoped to have 50 followers before the end of 2014 – that was a goal I had set when I started posting earlier this summer. I made it! I was so nervous when I first posted on Needle and Foot – that feeling of what if I have a party and no one shows up? But look, all of you showed up!! ¬†I have had almost 20,000 page views so far. Yikes!!! That makes me happy.

Giving thanks for the friends that I have made through this little blog of mine, I want to do a small giveaway. If you are a follower of mine, leave a comment as to your preference Рtea or coffee?  Easy peasy. I will draw a name in a couple of days and send the preferred treat off to a lucky winner. (Be specific Рcoffee Рwhole bean or ground? Decaf or Caffeinated? Teabags or loose tea? Have a special flavor that you love?) We have some really yummy local teas and coffees and I am looking forward to treating someone to this. Note:  be sure that I have an email address to reach you if you are chosen.

By the way, I am not going anywhere close to the post office until after the holidays.  Etsy sales were good this month and I have been going to the post office constantly so I will mail this off after Christmas.

Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season. Hope you are able to spend it with your friends or family as the case may be.  See you in the new year!