Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Giving


Good morning, my friends!

What a beautiful day it’s been so far!  Pulling down boxes of full of Christmas from the attic, candles glowing, good smells from the kitchen, decorating begun…I just love this time of year!

I have a few things to share with you today…


A little Christmas collage…a piece of Maya Road chipboard available through Crafty Secrets


…and wonderful vintage images from Crafty Secrets’ “Christmas” Creative Scraps and “Christmas” Images & Journal Notes booklet, paper from Graphic 45’s “Christmas Past” collection…


…and the beautiful Polly May…my great-great grandmother…a woman who knew how to make Christmas bright for her family and friends…

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I love these photos from the 1920’s of Polly May and her husband Orley Seymour…the Stapleys. 

They were the parents of a large and loving family at the turn of the last century….

The O. S. Stapley Family

From humble beginnings, O.S. (as he was called) made his fortune when, as the owner of a small hardware store in Mesa, Ariz., he won the federal contract to provide construction tools for the construction of the Roosevelt Dam.

While not living opulently, the Stapleys were very comfortable, and were generous with their means.

I recently re-discovered a short biography on Polly’s life, written by one of her daughters, and so enjoyed her remembrances of her mother at Christmas time…

“Christmas and New Years were always big events in our home.  All the married children and families were home on Christmas…

“Mother spent weeks shopping and beautifully wrapping the gifts to put under the tree.


“The tree was always decorated by Mother on Christmas Eve, and then the presents were put under at that time.

(image found online)

“We smaller children were supposed to be sleeping.  On the upstairs porch, near the top of the stairway was a small window, where we would peek down the stairway and watch the tree being decorated…

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“We aren’t sure if she ever knew this, because she never said anything about it.  However, she did change the location of the tree to the corner of the dining room so we couldn’t see it."

Like all children, we slept very little on Christmas Eve, or we didn’t think we did!”

“Mother not only had presents for everyone of the family…


“…but also for her sisters, friends and neighbors.”


Don’t you just love little windows into the past?  An encouragement to Polly May’s great-great-granddaughter to get moving on her gift-giving plans…(I’m a bit slow this year!)

Here are a couple more windows into Christmas past…Polly May’s son Glenn and his family continuing the family tradition of gathering through the years…

Stapley Family Christmas 1 copy

A Stapley Family Christmas from the late 1930’s…my grandparents, Dow and Velda on the far right, newly married.  I love how everyone dressed up and posed so formally in front of the tree…doesn’t happen much anymore, does it?


Here is another Stapley Family Christmas in the 1950’s.  Father Glenn no longer here, but now there is the addition of grandchildren…my mother, Karen on the far left holding a ball, her brother Glenn on the floor in the center, and her sweet sister, Judy--who wouldn’t live to see many Christmases--lovingly held in the arms of her mother on the right.  Another story for another day…

I’m so grateful for these brief, captured family moments.  Such a blessing.

I hope you have a beautiful December day…and that you enjoy  all the details of this wonderful season…the decorating, the sights, sounds and smells…and the giving.


(Vintage Christmas card images from my own collection…all from the 1930’s.)



  1. Julie, I just love all these beautiful little glimpses into your family history. What a wealth of treasures you have and I am grateful that you choose to share with us. YOU are a treasure to each of your readers! Love you loads. Have a blessed Sabbath day. xxoo

  2. Dear Julie,--
    Your collage with your dear great-great-grandmother, is a beautifull treasure, as is all the history, you have from times gone by-with your family.
    It is alwayes, both beautifull for the eyes, and for the soul, to visit you, dear.
    Hugs, Dorthe

  3. Oh wow, Julie--I love it all!!! And your Candy Cane goodies look delicious!!!

    I love your background's beautiful! And that priceless card and stocking you precious!

    I was thinking of doing a "Christmas on Blogs" tomorrow on my prayer blog...Can I feature you? If so, let me know!!!

  4. Hello Julie,
    I love their names... Orley and Polly. How fun. I enjoyed this post and read every word. Sweet wonderful memories.. I loved too ,Polly's words she had written about Christmas. Makes me think .. perhaps I should be journaling our holidays.
    Blessings always~

  5. hello julie. i loved the old pictures and memories. great post.

  6. Wonderful story Julie of The Stapley family christmas, what great memories to bring up to us. I love the collage you made too.

  7. another great post full of your amazing creative talent, and your special family memories. i enjoyed my visit to your wonderful blog.

  8. A beautiful collage and fascinating family history. I just love reading your posts and seeing your beautiful pictures. Thank you.

  9. Your blog and posts are always so beautiful and this post reads like a beautiful Christmas story!! Always a comforting and enjoyable place to visit :)

  10. Oh Julie, I just love your posts... they are straight from your heart, and you feel the same way I do about the past and our families, traditions and memories... how lucky you are to have so many wonderful treasures to keep these memories alive... it is sad not many gather in front of the tree for family portraits any more... I hate to see traditions go by the way... thanks for sharing, always so much fun visiting here!... xoxo Julie Marie

  11. What a lovely post...I love all the treasured memories...the vintage photos and cards...thank you for sharing such JOY.

    Have a merry merry day my friend.

  12. Hi Julie

    A realy quick catch up visit to say hello, still only able to do short bursts on the computer, but don't want you thinking I've forgotten you.

    B x

  13. I love vintage also. Especially photos. What a lovely site you have here!

  14. Hi Julie, I love your sweet collage, it's very pretty... and I love hearing about memories of your families past! It's so wonderful that you have these wonderful pictures, what great memories!!! Thanks so much for sharing them with us! Hope you have a wonderful week!!!
    hugs~~ Daphne

  15. I've been away from your site for awhile, Julie, and I'm so sorry I have!! What beautiful pictures, of a simply lovely family! Thanks so much for sharing them, along with your wonderful stories! Your blog looks terrific, by the way!

  16. Julie I SO envy all the wonderful info and pics you have from your history!! I love reading about people's lives. Reminisce magazine is a fave! thank you for sharing such wonderful stories, pictures and creations!!

  17. Hi Julie!
    I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for the nice comments and for participating in my of luck!
    I so enjoyed reading about your Christmas memories and seeing the old photos - I love old photos! It's great to meet another vintage loving lady.
    Have a great night. :)

  18. hi julie,

    your posts are so cool. i love how you weave together projects with your history. always lovely, interesting and inspiring.

    and i just have to check out crafty secrets already!

    enjoy ~


  19. You are so blessed to have all these pictures and stories! Thank you so much for taking the time to share them with us.

  20. I love hearing about traditions of long ago. When Christmas trees were put up on Christmas Eve and everyone gathered around the tree for a photo. Now days the trees are put up weeks if not a month early and photos around the tree are in our jammies! LOL
    A wonderful collage you made of sweet Polly May!

  21. Hi Julie, I just love your family history and photos. Through the generations, it is amazing that you have words from the past to bring your ancestors so close in heart and mind. I wonder what they would think of this blogging business which has become a sort of journaling??? With that and your beautiful paper creations, you are carrying on the tradition of preserving your family's history. Lovely! Best wishes, Tammty

  22. What a sweet story about your great-great-grandmother decorating the tree! Thanks for sharing!

  23. How wonderful to have such a great history of your family....

    Warm blessings,

  24. What a wonderful and amazing idea you have! I really impressed with your idea. I also kept old photographs in entrance door in Christmas, now planning to keep friends photographs also.