Merry Christmas from

Josephine's Journal




Here are some favorite Christmas memories that have been shared with me about holidays from years gone by. I really appreciate those who were willing to let me include these memories as my journal entry this week.

Linda Hicks ... "Looking back, I’m sure Mama and Daddy listened with sadness each Christmas as I and my four siblings pored over the Western Auto Christmas catalog. Of course they could not afford the things we asked for—things like Red Flyer wagons, walking bride dolls, huge doll houses, etc. But one Christmas, when I was around eight years old, I remember telling Mama that I wanted Santa to bring me a new jumping rope (because the plow-line rope I had been using was rather frayed). I remember the surprise in her voice as she said, "Honey, is that all you want for Christmas?", and when I said yes, she said, "Well, Old ‘Santy’ just might bring you one!" And sure enough, to my total delight, there was a new jumping rope in the big paper bag of goodies left by Santa. It had red wooden handles with jingle bells attached. I pulled it out and began jumping amidst the gifts received. I remember Mama smiling and telling me there were other things in the bag as well—a coloring book, apples and oranges, etc. But I just kept jumping! I was an innocent child then and did not realize the significance of my delight with that Christmas gift. Now that I’m a mother and have watched my children enjoy Christmas gifts down through the years—and also watched them not always receive what they had asked for—I realize that my joy made my mother so happy that Christmas! And that memory continues to make me happy even now!"

Sheila Pemberton ... "When my sister and I were about nine and ten years old, we asked Santa for a record player and records. We were fortunate growing up because even though our parents didn't have much money, we usually got what we had asked Santa for. I remember waking up on that Christmas morning to the song "Wake Up Little Susie" by the Everly Brothers. My sister and I jumped up and ran straight to the front room. (I have a living room now, but back then, we had a front room, and I don't really know when this changed.) Sure enough our wish had been granted!!! There it was, a real record player and several records. It was a small one that played 45's and 78's. It wasn't a self changer, but we didn't care. We loved changing the records. I don't remember any of the other records, but I can still hear that record player playing "Wake up Little Susie". Oh yes, it came with an extra needle. I remember my Dad telling me it was a "diamond needle" I was very impressed."

Carol Coleman ... "One Christmas gift I especially remember was the one when I asked my parents for a watch. I was very happy when I opened a gift, and sure enough, there was the watch I had asked for. But my happiness at getting exactly what I wanted didn’t last long. My brother and sister both got several presents that Christmas, but I only got the one gift. In the long run, I was very disappointed to just to have to sit and watch while they opened their gifts when I only had the one.

I have a lot of happy memories about the Christmas seasons I had growing up. One was always spending some time with two of our neighbors, Miss Callie Sells and Miss Floy Sells, who lived nearby. Miss Callie never married, and very late in life, Miss Floy married the principal of the grammar school here in Livingston, Mr. Thrasher. These two ladies were like second grandmothers to me. Every Christmas, they always baked cookies for me. One year when I was around five years old, I got to go to school with Miss Floy one day near the Christmas season. She was teaching that year at Ruth Chapel, a school that was located on old Highway 42 in the area known as Twin Oakes now. That particular day, she asked me to come up in front of the class and sing "I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas." I’ll never forget that day. Other of my very favorite memories are the time spent in the home of my grandparents, Noah and Mommie Maynard. My grandfather, who died when I was only four years old, was the minister at Allons Baptist Church and I remember going there for Christmas services, but only after he had passed away. The nativity story was always told during these services and each person got a gift of fruit wrapped in white paper with a bow on top. I always looked forward to going to Mommie Maynard’s home to visit with two of my aunts, Aunt Marge and Aunt Liz. Mommie Maynard had a type of cactus plant that always bloomed around Christmas. This bloom was quite special in that it resembled a baby in a manger after it opened up. Aunt Marge, Aunt Liz and I would sit up all night sometimes just to watch as the bloom opened.

Going to my Ledbetter grandparents for Christmas is another favorite memory. Part of a meal at their house was sweet potatoes Grandpa Ledbetter baked in ashes of the fireplace, and our Christmas tree was always a cedar that came from Grandpa Ledbetter’s farm.

Probably the most exciting part of Christmas for my family was a trip to Nashville to see the Christmas parade. This was something my father always did for us at Christmas. While we were there, we would go to Harvey’s Department Store and see all the wonderful Christmas decorations.

Two of my very favorite things to eat at Christmas are English walnuts and peppermint candy. I still enjoy eating these two things together even today.

I was lucky enough to live only one block from the town square and always got to go to the movies. I especially remember the Christmas movies about Sun Valley, Idaho, the beautiful Christmas music, and the sleigh rides. Best of all would be the walk home from the movie when there was a big snow on the ground. But the best part of my Christmas memories comes from the love I still feel from my family. That’s really what Christmas is all about. My wish for everyone is to make those kind of memories for your children and grandchildren to carry with them always."

Venita Lightsey - "I especially remember a couple of Christmas gifts I got on separate holidays. One was a big doll dressed in a blue satin dress with a blue satin bonnet. Another gift was a giant size box of Crayola crayons. These two gifts stand out in my mind as wonderful and
made those Christmas days especially happy ones. I remember also the year we got a silver sparkler pom-pom tree with the color wheel. I have the box from another one of these type trees that came from Livingston Variety Store on the square in Livingston and sold for $5.99. A smaller version of the silver pom-pom tree was sold at Lay’s 5 & 10 for $3.99. But my very favorite part of the Christmas season when I was growing up was Paul Hembree's candy barber poles. Some of the small grocery stores sold this type of candy on a punch board. Whatever amount of money was punched on the punch board was the price of a barber pole. Boxes of peppermint candy that also came in other flavors like vanilla always bring back some favorite Christmas memories for me too."

Sharon Paul ... "My fondest Christmas memory is not about the gifts, but the cutting of our Christmas tree. My sister, Pam, and I were up early to eat breakfast, do our chores, and then off we went with Daddy and Mama to cut the tree. Mama would pack us a brown bag lunch. We walked all over that little farm until Mama would say, "That’s the one!" Daddy would cut the tree down and home we went. My mother made everything about Christmas so special."

Virginia Harris ... "When anyone mentions Christmas memories, I never think about a gift or a toy. My first memory is standing by the most beautiful tree (cedar) and watching a bubble light. And always, tangerines ... there is no way to explain the wonderful taste and smell of a tangerine to a grandchild who has oranges all year! Yes, the sights and smell are my memories of Christmas. Not very exciting, but precious to me!" "Another memory I have of Christmas was saving the silver papers from Daddy's cigarette packs. We used those silver papers to cover the star we placed on top of our Christmas tree."


I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone the happiest of holidays, and to also extend my sincere thanks for all the great comments and encouragement I receive from my readers. I continue to be amazed and humbled that my stories are enjoyed by so many, and will look forward to the coming year and the new adventures the preparation of upcoming journal entries will bring.


A Tasha Tudor Christmas card sends happy holiday wishes to all my faithful readers.


Here is a collection of Holiday Articles From Josephine's Journal:

Let It Snow

Christmas Memories

Vonda's Christmas Card

Our Christmas Mouse

Surprise Christmas Guests

Quannie's Christmas Card

Christmas in Livingston

My Christmas Wish

Christmas Memories


Thank you all so much for your support and have a very Happy New Year!

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