Recently, as I was rewriting a chapter from my memoir into the essay Giving Up Christmas that was published in Tablet Magazine, I leafed through a photo album of childhood memories, mainly to see if I could find a picture that captured the magic of my childhood Christmases. I found some, but I also found something I didn’t expect, something I had completely forgotten about.
I found the above photo of the kitchen window of my childhood, looking out over the snowy fields and the pond behind our house, which my dad had decorated with stickers of the nativity scene for Christmas.
I was stunned to see I had recreated this type of holiday window in my adult life with my own family, albeit a bit differently.
Below is a photo of the window in our present day sun porch, decorated by my younger son. He also takes care to affix an additional gel sticky candle atop the menorah in the window for every day of Chanukah, just as my dad used to have the three magi appear in the kitchen window in January.
It might not be particularly astounding that my dad and now my family decorate for the holidays by putting stickers on windows. Yet I was moved to find a window of my childhood recreated in my adult life in my own home, in particular because it wasn’t a conscious effort of mine.
December 24 Update: I found this post goes well with Jennifer Rizzo’s Holiday Link-Up Party, sharing holiday traditions via a blog link-ups. So I’m throwing this post into the mix. Feel free to visit her site for more holiday traditions.
Aren't memories wonderful? I think so often of people who have Alzheimer's which robs them of so many memories. I consider our memories of years past a real Blessing.
Nancy – as a writer who constantly mines memory, I totally agree!
I love the view from the childhood window!! What a bucolic scene.
Steph – I did indeed grow up in the most bucolic of landscapes!
It's surprising how the subconcious brings that sort of thing back, isn't it?
William – it's awesome in the true sense of the word.
what a great connection between the two images! thanks for sharing it.
Thank you! And yes, seeing that connection startled me at first.