Fab Feb Photo Collage Festival: Day 27 Christmases Past

4 x 7UP collageAs this series was all about my early years and those of our own family, I had to include some Christmas photos. I’m not going to write much about the different Christmases here because I’ve written extensively about them in the Advent Series a year ago.

So without further ado, here are some family snaps from that period, some not great photographically but good family memories. I’ve substituted the collage photo with a similar one with both girls in it.

Xmas delight

Xmas delight

Miss-Nearly-Three and the joy of seeing the Christmas tree in all its glory.

Peter Louisa Rach open presents Xmas 1973

This year the Xmas tree was a casuarina.

This year the Xmas tree was a casuarina.

The little one was very miserable with an ear ache for her first Christmas -we had to put them in the car and go for a drive to settle her down. Poor possum. If you’re wondering why all the long sleeves and jumpers, it’s because Goroka is at an altitude of 1600m or 5249ft, so it can be chilly overnight and in the morning.

Louisa and Rach Xmas pres 1977 or 76

And then we moved on to a gum tree (eucalyptus)

And then we moved on to a gum tree (eucalyptus)

Apparently by the end of our stay in Moresby we had bought the artificial tree which we kept for many years, but first there was the gum tree version.

The clowns were presents from my parents.

That same year Mr Cassmob excelled himself (with a little help from Mrs Claus) in the making of a dolls’ house. It was a good home for the Fisher Price dolls!

This is the house that Mr Cassmob (aka Santa) built.

This is the house that Mr Cassmob (aka Santa) built.

Fab Feb imageFamily Hx writing challengeThis post is part of the February Photo Collage Festival and the Family History Writing Challenge.

Happy Christmas to one and all

Baby Jesus in mangerIt’s Christmas Eve and we’re all looking forward to a special day tomorrow -especially the littlies…what will do without the bribery of Santa?  I do hope my grandchildren’s little hearts cope with minor disappointments about the precise gift the bearded gentleman, and his helpers, leaves for them.

Is your refrigerator like mine? Jammed to the rafters with good food and treats -and that’s without the goodies the daughters and their families will bring. No room for the drinks which will have to go in an Esky full of ice. We are so very fortunate to be able to look after our families in this way. If you feel that you want to share your good fortune with others, why not join us on the Kiva’s Genealogists for Families team. If you’ve missed someone from your gift list, how about a Kiva gift card?

From my family to yours, in Australia or around the world, may you all have a wonderful happy Christmas with your loved ones.

It’s easy when there is so much seasonal good cheer to remember that others have families who have severe illnesses or deaths to cope with over Christmas. Other people may have family disappointments or fractures to bear while everyone else is celebrating. To them I send my prayers of empathy and support. May you be blessed with the strength to know there will be better times ahead.


Merry Christmas 1

Christmas Lights in Darwin: our 3 yo grandson declared these "just perfect".

Christmas Lights in Darwin: our 3 yo grandson declared these “just perfect”.

Our family’s Christmas miracle

This week our family has been gratefully blessed with a Christmas miracle, not a term I use glibly. Our smallest grandson did something of a Humpty Dumpty, head-butting concrete in one of those hideous quirks of fate that spin our worlds from their normal orbit.

shooting starSo many terrifying outcomes have been averted and after a few scary days as his little body coped with the injury and shock, he is blossoming back into his “old” self, chattering and fully engaging with everyone.

The doctors and nursing staff at Royal Darwin Hospital have been absolutely fantastic and we are so grateful for all their professional expertise. RDH sometimes gets bad press, but unlike Jack from the nursery rhyme his medical regime has included far more than “vinegar and brown paper”. Apart from all the techno-gizmos in the hospital we’re so lucky that the local surgeons can also draw on the specialised expertise of neurosurgeons in Adelaide via video-conferencing and email. I’m also grateful for the support of my virtual and real friends for their support over the past few days.

We are all giving thanks that our baby has survived this ordeal so well…we can’t imagine life without our little man and a practical way we’ll give thanks is to help others whose lives, or that of their little ones, are at risk, probably through Kiva and Medicins Sans Frontieres.

The tree may not be up yet, the cake and pudding are in the early stages and cards may not go out, and my blog posts may be really late, but we’ve been blessed with a very personal Christmas miracle and the strength and support of family and friends.

hearts and stars

Advent calendar of memories 2011: 5th December – Outdoor decorations

Thomas MacEntee at Geneabloggers is encouraging us to celebrate the 2011 Christmas season with a series of posts called the Advent Calendar of Memories. This is today’s entry.

Did people in your neighbourhood decorate with lights? Did some people really go “all out” when decorating? Any stories involving your ancestors and decorations?

Christmas lanterns from a children's street parade in Nuremberg 1992.

I don’t recall anyone much having outdoor decorations, other than wreaths, when I was a child but perhaps I mis-remember. At any rate houses decorated with lights were not on my radar at the time. A Christmas wreath on the door was the likeliest outdoor decorations.

Lights really come into their own when it’s dark and gloomy northern hemisphere weather –they add a happy glow to the surroundings. When it’s light until at least 7, and later in the southern states, they’re more a treat than a necessity. In recent years, decorating houses with lights of varying complexity has become much more common and people take bus tours or do drive-bys to see the wonders of the lights. It’s a lovely tradition.

At our house we set our outdoor lights so they’re on each night and hang out a home-made wreath on our door, which luckily is under cover. With tropical downpours there’s a limit to how much outdoor decorating you can do at this time of the year.

Having just watched a cable TV show on Australia’s Christmas lights-spectaculars in streets around the country, I’m thinking that I’m the one out of kilter. I’d love to include some images of lights but haven’t found any Aussie ones yet among my collection, so will have to add an overseas one until I do.