Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Giving

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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…

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

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

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…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.

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

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“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…

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

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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…

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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?

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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.

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

Julie