Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Drugstore Christmas Eve

DSC07470_edited-1 {vintage Phoenix postcard with corner Walgreens found online—perfect!}

Do you remember the feeling you’d get on Christmas Eve when you were a child?  When the sun went down, dinner was over and you knew the time was getting closer and closer to when Santa would arrive?

I sure do!

Another little girl felt that same feeling on a Christmas Eve back in 1946…


Dinner over, her father had just one more errand to run that night…a very important Christmas errand…and he said little Karen could come along with him, if she wanted to.

She wanted to.

DSC07463_edited-1 {Don’t you just love the internet?  A few clicks and I found an image just like the car my grandparents had at the time of my Mom’s story…}

Off through the night in the shiny, copper penny-colored Plymouth they went…a drugstore in downtown Phoenix was their destination…

Parking in front of the Walgreens on the corner, her Daddy told her to wait in the car—it would only take him a minute. 


As Karen sat in the center of that wide front seat, she looked around her at the beautiful holiday lights all along McDowell Street…stores were closing, people rushing home for the big night…Oh, how quickly her little heart was beating!

All of a sudden, she jumped—she’d heard her name spoken—quietly, but clearly… “Karen”. 

She just knew it was Santa Claus calling her name…she just knew it! 

DSC07476_edited-1 {fabulous tag from Crafty Secrets’ “Retro Christmas” Vintage Cuts}

In a moment, her Daddy came smiling at her through the drugstore door, got into the car, and started it up…

“Daddy!  Someone said my name—It was Santa!”, she squealed. 

Her Daddy--a very smart daddy—said, “I’ll just bet it was one of his helpers, trying to tell you that we’d better get home quickly and get you into bed so that Santa can come!”

DSC07460_edited-1 {my love affair with plastic vintage buttons continues!}

Oh, my!  How she ever sat still in her seat all the way home, I’ll never know.  Getting home, she buttoned up her pajamas, brushed her teeth, and jumped into bed as quickly as she could!

Santa did come that night, just as she knew he would...don’t you just imagine she fell asleep to the wonder of Santa Claus knowing her very own name?!

My dear mother, Karen, still remembers that night—as clear as a Christmas bell.  She says she really did her someone say her name, and it wasn’t her Daddy…

DSC07485_edited-1 {my newest page for my heritage scrapbook…}

This mother of mine has always kept the magic and excitement of Christmas alive in her heart.  She has passed it along to me, just as I have passed it along to my own three daughters…

On Christmas Eve, all three generations of women in our family become little girls again…

And that, my friends, is the Magic of Christmas.


Off to be a little girl,


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Paper Soldiers

Soldiers 88_edited-1 

It was a rare treat to go to Grandma and Grandpa Smith’s house for Christmas that year…

Sweet brothers--Grant & Clayn Smith {my dear Dad—Clayn, on the left, his big brother, Grant, by his side}

But even though Grandma & Grandpa lived in Snowflake, Arizona, there was no snow that year…and no money, either.

Soldiers 33_edited-1

It was 1942.  The War was on, and money was tight for everyone.  Little boys aren’t always aware of those things, though…

Early on Christmas morning, 5-year old Clayn and his big brother Grant ran to the lovingly decorated Christmas tree—eager to find the treasures they just knew Santa Claus had brought in the night….

Soldiers 44_edited-1

They found only one gift each—cardboard soldiers.  Sheets of soldiers to punch out and play with…that was it…

And they were thrilled!

soldiers 22_edited-1 {I found these soldier images on line from someone’s collection.  While they may not be the same set Dad had that Christmas, they’re pretty close, he said!}

The two boys punched out, set up and played with their brand-new soldiers all that Christmas day.  All around the house, upstairs and down—finding new rooms to conquer, new strategies to try…

The forbidden-to-little-boys ladder in the kitchen up to the attic was much too tempting for those two that magical day…and up they went…

Soldiers 66_edited-1 {another wonderful find from the world of Tim Holtz.  I just bought these metal tags on Monday with no thought of what I would use them for…fate was kind!}

Battle was interrupted, however, when they were discovered & brought down with a softer-than-usual reprimand, I’m sure—it was Christmas Day, after all!

All the day long they played…the two brothers together…

Soldiers 55_edited-1 {Clayn & Grant standing at attention on their grandparents front porch steps—so glad they were thoughtful enough to pose so appropriately for me so long ago!}

“You know”, my Dad told me last night, “I think that was just about the greatest Christmas I can remember…”

A new page made today for my heritage scrapbook.  How wonderful it was to hear the joy in my Dad’s voice as he thought  back to that Christmas so long ago…

Soldiers 11_edited-1 {no fancy stuff this time—glitter, seam binding bows & such things have no place with boys and soldiers!}

Little boys and paper soldiers. The magic of Christmas, it would seem, doesn’t require too much after all, does it?

See you soon with something new…

Soldiers 77_edited-1 {a single, perfectly perfect & very old button from my stash}