Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas Past

These pictures are so funny! They are probably only funny to me because they are pictures of my family on Christmas. There's no doubt that my parents were horrible photographers. It was very rare we even took pictures so these are very priceless (only to me) indeed.


This is the earliest picture of Christmas I have. I am stunned that my parents actually paid to have this picture taken with Santa Claus. This is the one and only time that happened! The older kid is big brother Jason, then me (you will recognize me in all the pictures because I am the only girl child. Okay maybe not because my mom cut my hair just like the boy's hair. Except it was longer in back. Yes, I was a girl with a mullet.), and then messy kid in front is little brother Ray. Did I mention my mother cut our hair herself? The picture is falling apart. I need to see if I can get it fixed by someone who can work the power of photoshop better than I can.


I remember this gingerbread house very well. It seemed so magical and beautiful to me. By the expressions on my brother's faces they could not see the magic in this frosting covered master piece. They just wanted to eat it! Our home teachers (people from church) gave it to us. And yes, eventually we did partake of that gumdrop goodness. Left to right: Ray, me, Daniel, Ben (hey Ben, why are you wearing pink pajamas?)


Me and Ray. I got my barbie, and Ray got a semi. And what good is a semi unless you have a barbie standing on it? The furnishings in my home are hilarious! What is that thing in the background? Is it a plant or a child eating life form?!


Daniel's on the left and Paul's on the right. Isn't Pauly Wog a cutie? I'm not sure what those yellow headsets were. Some kind of walkie talkie I assume. Daniel is obviously taking this form of communication very seriously.


Mom and Dad. Burt and Nina. The parents of all these children. The big white box on my mother's lap is her first microwave. I believe she was the last person in North America to get a microwave. It changed our lives forever! And the thing on top of the microwave is a potato peeler. It was a big plastic bucket with blades and a motor. You were supposed to be able to put potatoes in it and it would tumble the potatoes around the blades until they were peeled. I'm not sure if my mom ever used it. My aunt (who shall remain nameless) gave it to her for Christmas. On the box you could see eraser marks that still left an impression that said, "Congratulations on your wedding ______and______! With love, the Smith family" Yes, you got it folks! The potato peeler was a regift!!!



And here is the final photo. And it is a terrible photo. On the right is our horrible tree. We never had much money for the tree so we always got the cheap tree no one wanted. The ornaments were old and falling apart. We always put up the same hideous gold garland. But decorating the Christmas tree is one of my favorite childhood memories. You can see two little brothers in the background. The person I always focus on is my beloved mom barely in the picture on the left side. These pictures of Christmas past are very bitter sweet for me. They make me laugh so hard. And they make me cry so hard. Little did we know that a future Christmas morning would bring the death of our mother. This Christmas morning is the nine year anniversary of my mom's death. The grief can be overwhelming. But the love is forever. So, as we remember our Savior's birth and the promise of eternity and joy, I also remember my mother. She was goodness, comfort, and love. I love you mom.


I'm Spending Christmas With Jesus This Year
I see the countless Christmas trees
Around the world below,
With tiny lights like heaven's stars
Reflecting in the snow.


The sight is so spectacular
Please wipe away that tear
For I'm spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year.


I hear the many Christmas songs
That people hold so dear
But earthly music can't compare
With the Christmas choir up here.


I have no words to tell you
The joy their voices bring
For it's beyond description
To hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me,
Trust God and have no fear
For I'm spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year.


I can't tell you of the splendor
Or the peace here in this place.
Can you imagine Christmas
With our Savior, face to face?


May God uplift your spirit
As I tell Him of your love
Then pray for one another
As you lift your eyes above.


So let your hearts be joyful
And let your spirits sing
For I'm spending Christmas in Heaven
And I'm walking with the king!
- written by Wanda Bencke

6 comments:

 Anonymous said...

Katrine, you remember so many little details that I had long forgotten, like the regifted potato peeler and where that gingerbread house came from.Has anyone wondered why I am not in any of those photos, other than the first one? It is because, I, the twelve year old, took it upon myself to start documenting our family's history myself. I was mortified at a young age that there weren't hardly any photos of anyone in our family. I convinced mom and dad to go buy that polaroid camera! Otherwise none of these photos (few that there are) would not exist.My favorite memories of Christmas are decorating the house and tree, also. And I remember so well all of the beat up decorations and ornaments that we pulled out every year for, oh, twenty years or more. And I loved them. Somehow, in spite of it all, with their limited resources and energy, our Mom and Dad made Christmas magical. Every year I have my own little private Christmas tradition. When it is getting close to Christmas day, I wait until the house is quiet and I'm alone, and I turn on a CD of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas. There is a particular track that evokes such an emotional response from me because it so reminds me of Mom, and it makes me think of her ascending into heaven, and I think about that, and listen to the music, tears streaming down my face.And on Christmas Eve I light the lamp that was burning at the foot of her bed the eve before her intense suffering ended, and ponder her goodness and wonder why she was torn so painfully away from her young children. Big Brother

 Anonymous said...

Katrine, you remember so many little details that I had long forgotten, like the regifted potato peeler and where that gingerbread house came from.Has anyone wondered why I am not in any of those photos, other than the first one? It is because, I, the twelve year old, took it upon myself to start documenting our family's history myself. I was mortified at a young age that there weren't hardly any photos of anyone in our family. I convinced mom and dad to go buy that polaroid camera! Otherwise none of these photos (few that there are) would not exist.My favorite memories of Christmas are decorating the house and tree, also. And I remember so well all of the beat up decorations and ornaments that we pulled out every year for, oh, twenty years or more. And I loved them. Somehow, in spite of it all, with their limited resources and energy, our Mom and Dad made Christmas magical. Every year I have my own little private Christmas tradition. When it is getting close to Christmas day, I wait until the house is quiet and I'm alone, and I turn on a CD of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas. There is a particular track that evokes such an emotional response from me because it so reminds me of Mom, and it makes me think of her ascending into heaven, and I think about that, and listen to the music, tears streaming down my face.And on Christmas Eve I light the lamp that was burning at the foot of her bed the eve before her intense suffering ended, and ponder her goodness and wonder why she was torn so painfully away from her young children. Big Brother

 Anonymous said...

Katrine, you remember so many little details that I had long forgotten, like the regifted potato peeler and where that gingerbread house came from.Has anyone wondered why I am not in any of those photos, other than the first one? It is because, I, the twelve year old, took it upon myself to start documenting our family's history myself. I was mortified at a young age that there weren't hardly any photos of anyone in our family. I convinced mom and dad to go buy that polaroid camera! Otherwise none of these photos (few that there are) would not exist.My favorite memories of Christmas are decorating the house and tree, also. And I remember so well all of the beat up decorations and ornaments that we pulled out every year for, oh, twenty years or more. And I loved them. Somehow, in spite of it all, with their limited resources and energy, our Mom and Dad made Christmas magical. Every year I have my own little private Christmas tradition. When it is getting close to Christmas day, I wait until the house is quiet and I'm alone, and I turn on a CD of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas. There is a particular track that evokes such an emotional response from me because it so reminds me of Mom, and it makes me think of her ascending into heaven, and I think about that, and listen to the music, tears streaming down my face.And on Christmas Eve I light the lamp that was burning at the foot of her bed the eve before her intense suffering ended, and ponder her goodness and wonder why she was torn so painfully away from her young children. Big Brother

 Sharon said...

I like your Christmas tree! (Except for the gold garland.)My heart is with you and your brothers this holiday season, and especially on Christmas.Love,Sharon

 Sharon said...

I like your Christmas tree! (Except for the gold garland.)My heart is with you and your brothers this holiday season, and especially on Christmas.Love,Sharon

 Sharon said...

I like your Christmas tree! (Except for the gold garland.)My heart is with you and your brothers this holiday season, and especially on Christmas.Love,Sharon

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