So many choices for Christmas trees in our Minnesota woods. We always celebrated on Christmas Eve when I was a kid. Mom made lefse and we put up the tree…cut that very day in our woods. We had ham with pineapple and sausages and sweet potatoes on top for supper. Then Mom read the story of the baby in the manger from the bible and we opened presents. When I was very little there were real lit candles on the tree instead of electric bulbs on strings! It was all ever so magical. For most of my life I’ve spent Christmas eve just a tiny bit sad because that magic is not possible to recreate. It’s unlikely the small strain of melancholy mixed with loneliness for a time and place and people will ever go away if it hasn’t by now. So here’s to the ghosts of Christmas past…

Now has its own magic however. Family, friends, good food, dogs, sweet and funny presents, and laughter. Last night.




  1. Very nice images Marge. My melancholy always comes totally alive when I watch “A Christmas Story” the movie about the 1940’s family in Cleveland. It is totally mine and my brother’s story; the factory father’s sharp provocative and humorous personality, the pretty young loving mother, the old Cleveland industrial house and neighborhood, similar house doors, windows, children’s wallpaper and furniture, the 40’s period toys and gifts, the authentic old wrapping paper, the typical food and dishes, the period clothing, the old Christmas tree decorations, tinsel and fixing the crooked star, the fuses and blowing the circuit breaker, the front porch, the backyard, Warren G. Harding School, the other school kids’ behaviors, the heavy wool snowsuits, goggles, and buckle galoshes, sticking your tongue to the pole, the wash your mouth out with soap punishment, downtown Higbees parade and cotton decorated float, Higbee’s Christmas Santa, the cold snow and ice on trees and bushes, and the Bumpus’s type neighbors and dogs. I experienced just about everything about this movie in my own Cleveland childhood and its Lakewood suburb. Every time I watch it, it feels like I’m home again and my heart beats so much harder! The only difference is our Higbee’s Santa wasn’t mean and we never went out for Chinese dinner. My Hungarian grandmother had us over for roast chicken she killed and plucked herself in the basement of her small factory house by the railroad tracks and with it she served fresh homemade chicken noodle soup and mashed potatoes, plum dumplings, cooked carrots and cabbage, and homemade strudel. This classic movie directed by Bob Clark with Darren McGavin Melinda Dillon, and Peter Billingsley is my own joyous masterpiece of memories. I love reliving it!

    • Kathy, what a beautiful post. I enjoyed every word. I sometimes think the process of growing older and old is the same as feeling increased loneliness for what was… Thanks. Let’s hope 2019 is an okay year.

  2. We all have a ghost of Christmas past and usually those memories are so sweet…so comforting. It was a simpler time, really, and family and friends were always at the center of it all. Looks like that tradition continues in your family

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