Christmastime: Past and Present

As Christmas is now only three days away, I began thinking of Christmas past……

Christmas was always an important day in the Barber household.

Mother LOVED decorating the house for Christmas and she would take days to complete her decorating.

And, yes, we had lots of Christmas birthdays. Joe’s birthday is Christmas, mine is the 27th and JoAnne’s was the 3rd. Since we were close in age, we always had one large birthday party and for many years it was at Evan’s Skateland on West 8th Street.

On Christmas day we would go to Church at St. Peter’s after opening our presents. Then it was on to, as my father called it, the Barber ranch/family home. Santa (Uncle John) always made an appearance. We believed in Santa until we were quite old as we knew that it wasn’t possible for our parents to buy us birthday AND Christmas presents!

Once we were teenagers, we began going to Midnight Mass and then on to our great friend, Louise Behringer’s home for brunch. Looking back, I can’t even imagine brunch at 1:30 AM! But we did!

Our Christmas’ changed as we finished college and some of us moved out of town. However, you could always count on mother decorating every corner of the house and having a “live.” tree. So, fast forward until today.

Christmas Eve will also be very different this year. Unfortunately, no mass at 5 PM at St. Patrick’s. We always get there by 4 PM (at the latest) to be sure that we have a seat with Aunt Jeanne. This year, we will be watching virtually. Sadly, Ryan loves entertaining family and cheffing (as he calls it). But this year, he will be “cheffing” for the three of us. He is already looking forward to Christmas 2021…and so am I!

Ryan and I decorated the house early this year since COVID-19 is all around us; we wanted to smile. So early November on a 60-degree day, I said, let’s decorate outside…and by November 10, the exterior was a sea of red Christmas bows and decorations! The next step was indoors, we could use more smiles! We finished on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, purchasing a “live” tree, as always, and decorating it with over a hundred Christmas bulb memories. Ryan enjoys hearing stories of his very first Christmas bulbs and gifts from our friends from over the years.

I hope that your Christmas is filled with much joy and happiness.

Stay safe and healthy.

Merry Christmas!

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