holidays, life

Ghosts of Christmas’ Past

Image from wikimedia commons

It’s been said that many people get depressed during the holidays. I, too, have been known to feel a bit of melancholy during this time of year. So, being the analytical person that I am, naturally I look deeper.

I heard it said on a news program, that people tend to get lost in memories of Christmas’ past. Some people might have a tragedy that happened, or lost a loved one, which can bring up painful reminders. This is one reason why depression might occur.

Other people, like me, have lovely memories of Christmas’ past. I think the melancholy sets in because those types of holidays are long gone, never to be seen again. I didn’t have my own children to experience holiday memories. All I have are the ones of my own childhood.

For many people there is a lot of pressure to have a perfect happy family gathering. I don’t mean to sound cliche, but Normal Rockwell family paintings come to mind. We may be disappointed when family dysfunction paints a dismal picture instead.

During those waves of melancholy, I let them surface and allow myself to feel whatever emotion reveals itself … for a time. I don’t dwell, but acknowledge. Then, I turn my thoughts over to gratitude for those great memories, maybe even giggle at photos like the ones below.

Learning to accept family members as they are, dysfunction craziness and all, can help those dealing with struggles with perfection.

May we all be warmed by loving memories, and take joy in making happy new traditions as well.

Here are some of my ghosts of Christmas’ pasts when these wonderful grandparents still graced this earth (and sons & dads messed around in photos.)

dfamily wmAbove: left to right: Jack (Nana’s 2nd husband), Nana Jo (paternal grandmother) who is in the story on my free memoir reads, Dad, bro, me, Mom in red, Gary my cutie-pie husband, Papa Pasquale whom they called Pat (also written about in my free memoir reads).

Below: left to right: Mom, Grandma Lee (maternal grandmother written about in my free memoir reads), me, Gary behind me and Papa in chair.

vfamily wmBelow: This one makes me laugh. 1975. Check out my mom and me in our fake furry collar coats. My bro’s jacket is hilarious and the goofy face he’s making on purpose. I’m holding my Christmas present I got that year. Giggle. I can’t help but laugh as I type about the item. It’s a transistor radio to wear as a wrist watch. Hee, hee.

xmas 1975 wm

20 thoughts on “Ghosts of Christmas’ Past”

  1. I have great memories of Christmas with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. And because we now live near most of our extended family, we have similar big, loud family gatherings every year. I tend to feel the “crash” after it’s all over and done with. Christmas always passes by too soon.

    Love your pictures! What fun memories.


  2. I love the your photos. There are a lot of memories there πŸ™‚
    I have a strong attachment to the past. I love knowing it’s there and can never be erased even if I can’t lay my hands on its components now. I simply remember the past, people & occasions, with fondness. I’ve never had the inclination to recreate them. Perhaps I’m too practical, unimaginative. I look forward to the new, which soon enough takes its rightful place in the past.


  3. I feel especially sorry for people living alone – their loneliness accentuated by all that merry making, shopping, laughing and partying they see on TV.

    Thank you, Lori, for sharing your family photos. Lovely.

    God bless and have a great week ahead,


    1. I know, Eric. I think about people alone too. On years when I was able, I invited anyone I knew who didn’t have family to my home. Many holidays it’s been just my husband and I, so I feel for those with no one. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment, Eric.


  4. It’s easy to create false expectations about Christmas and then get disappointed when our own holiday doesn’t match up. Even with kids we don’t necessarily recapture that Christmas-y feeling we once had. But I gave up trying to have the perfect Christmas. Now I just get done what I have time to get done (I haven’t sent out Christmas cards in years) and try to enjoy the little things that build up to the day.

    Loved that last picture. The hair and coats made me think of that new movie coming out, “American Hustle.” πŸ™‚


    1. So true, about false expectations, Carrie. I hadn’t heard about that movie. I’ll have to look for it. Don’tcha just love my winged, feathered bangs. I was sytlin’. πŸ˜‰


  5. Aw these are great pics. It’s hard to celebrate holidays every year when people that felt like cornerstones of the holiday have passed on. I think you have a great handle on things.


  6. Nice pictures! I’ll admit I get lost in the past memories or nostalgically think of being a happy kid. It’s always good to know we aren’t alone πŸ™‚


    1. Yep, I think it happens to many of us, Lauren, those nostalgic feelings for Christmas’ past. Sometimes they make me teary, but not for long. I had some fancy clothes back in the day, eh? My winged feathered bangs are awesome at age 13, and I was still waiting to kiss a boy. πŸ˜‰


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