My families’ December traditions were focused on Christmas, Jesus’ birth.   I do not know if my ancestor’s celebrated other holiday traditions during December.  I’m sure that my ancestors brought holiday traditions from their native countries that my family continues and today they are considered a blend of American Christmas traditions.  For example, the Christmas Tree originated in Germany, the stocking in Holland, and a lit candle in the window in Ireland.  I’ve seen all of these at one time or another in my extended families’ homes.

I hunted through my family photos to see if there may be evidence of older traditions.  The oldest Christmas photo I have is from 1940 that has my dad on his front porch standing in the snow by a decorated tree.  The small tree has tinsel and ornaments on its branches and a tree topper with three balls on it rather than a star or angel as I’m more accustomed to seeing.  I wonder why their tree was outside?

The toys are displayed in front of the tree and I’m sure are what  “Santa brought”, which look like more than I would have expected to see during this time period.  Perhaps that was because he was the first and only child at that time.  Here are the toys that I recognize:  Donald Duck, drum, baby doll, stuffed elephant, chair, train, tractor, and something that looks like a helicopter rotor.  If you recognize something else or a particular tradition, I’d love to hear from you.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This is my submission for the Advent Calendar Christmas Memories 2009.