|Mary and Skip Nunn abt 1956|
Christmas at our Taughannock Boulevard home never varied. Our tree was cut from the back woodlot, and then decorated with a few ornaments, popcorn strings, and lots of silver tinsel. The best part were the candle-shaped lights that bubbled up when heated. A simple cardboard crèche was put out – one I still have and use. On Christmas morning my brother Skip and I woke early, sneaking down the stairs to see if Santa had come. Once Mom and Dad were up, we were allowed to open our stockings before heading out to 8:00 a.m. Mass at St. James in Trumansburg, NY. Using our negotiating skills, we finally got them to agree to let us open our stocking plus one present before church. Back home, our grandparents, Merritt and Maude Agard, and great-grandmother Laura Hardenbrook arrived for Christmas breakfast. Excitement mounted as we waited to open presents. Santa always did well by us. You can see in the above photo that I had received a new carrying case for my Ginny doll while Skip proudly shows off his new bow and arrow. We kept busy playing with our new toys until later in the day when we drove two miles north to our grandparents’ house for a family dinner that included aunts, uncles and cousins.
In raising our own family we developed new Christmas traditions. Mass was on Christmas Eve, presents were opened early Christmas morning always accompanied by Finnish Coffee Bread or Cinnamon Tea Rings. Our children enjoyed their new toys and mid afternoon we drove seventeen miles north to Ithaca to join the rest of the Maki clan for a large family gathering. By evening we were exhausted but happy. It was another wonderful family Christmas together.
Our children are now grown and living elsewhere, and so we are in the midst of establishing new Christmas traditions. In the meantime, the tree is trimmed, the crèche is out, the coffee bread is made, and we welcome our family with love whenever they can get here.