I attended a semi-military residential school with both male and female students. We lived segregated in cottages of twelve students of the same educational grade. Each Christmas each cottage would be decorated by the students and who would perform a Christmas musical for visiting VFW and American Legion members and their auxiliaries.
Each group would bring presents for their “Adopted” child. Cookies and candies would be shared. And then the school rules would be set aside and the students would be allowed to visit the other cottages. Mistletoe would be employed to garner kisses, something frowned upon the rest of the year.
There was a festive atmosphere in the cold. An atmosphere that never was seen during the course of the school year. Rules relaxed and students wondering the campus, not in military formations. Everyone enjoying the Christmas joy.
I remember one year when my “Legion Ladies” gifted me with a bundle of various board games. I was as happy as can be with them and would play them during the year with my fellow cottage mates when we could.
When all the Christmas parties were over and the VFW and American Legion members drove off campus back to their cities the students would board buses that would begin their journies to their hometowns for their Christmas vacations.
My hometown was to the north of the state nestled between mountains in a river valley. I could feel the cold growing as the bus made it’s way up the mountain. The light was fading when the bus pulled into the station. I searched for my father on the landing. Once he was found and my luggage stored away we drove to my father’s house. And so began another Christmas celebration.
The one thing I remember vividly, still, was the street on my father’s house, which ran up the side of the mountain, would be closed off and at the bottom, coal ash would be spread. There the children would fly down the mountain street on their sleds. The ash would stop the sleds at the bottom. What a joy it was.
The one tradition I loathed most at these Christmas vacations was my father’s trips to all the relatives homes. I would have to endure seeing all the gifts they received that I did not. The adults drank their adult beverages and by the time all the relatives were visited my father was .. really happy!
Memoirs are to be cherished. And Christmas brings us a multitude of them. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!