Celebrating a California Christmas in the 60’s

Aluminum Christmas Tree 2.jpg
Mother’s California Christmas Tree Photo from the Kansas Historical Society

Christmas morning I was laying in bed listening to the rain. John was snoring beside me and Susie was still asleep in her bedroom next to ours. I quietly slip out of bed and slowly head for the kitchen to make the coffee:The smell of coffee perking in the electric percolator was welcomed on this dreary morning. I was expecting my second child the end of January and Susie will be three the fifth of March.This pregnancy was easier than the first, I was able to work in the beauty salon up to the week before Christmas.

As I sat by the window and watched the rain splatter on the cement driveway, I was overcome with sadness. I’m missing Vermont this morning, and I would of been watching the snow drift softly to the ground instead of hearing the rain hitting against the window pane.  

I snap back to the present as Susie shuffles into the room in her sleepers snuggling her favorite blanket. She ran to the tree for her presents that John and I had stayed up the night before to get ready for her. Okay, it’s time to wake John up. Susie – go jump on Daddy! That got him up.

After opening presents and finishing putting the tricycle together (which was too much of a challenge on Christmas Eve), it was time to get ready to go to my mother’s house for Christmas dinner. My mother was now married to Joey, who was an accountant. They lived in Redwood City.  My sister Peggy, her husband, and baby Sharon would be there also.

Sharon was two years old and Susie was almost three. They could be a little rambunctious at times which didn’t set well with Joey. After a few cocktails he would mellow some. The turkey was in the oven cooking and It was getting warm in the house, so we opened some windows and a door. The rain had stopped, and the sun was shining. Temperatures were now in the high 50’s. Some of the neighborhood kids were out on the sidewalk riding their new bicycles.

Dinner is ready and as the tradition goes Joey carved the turkey.  During the meal he would get weepy and tell us that he won’t be around next year. But yet– when the next Christmas rolled around–there he was!

After dinner, we would all sit around Mother’s aluminum Christmas tree to open the presents with Joey continuing to be his difficult self.

Vermont Christmas is just a memory in my mind!

Until we meet again!



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