Christmas Blast From the Past c. 1971-72

During this time of year we are reminded of friends and family. We try to honor our wonderful memories and recapture the excitement, the love, the warmth of years past. We cherish traditions and sometimes find it difficult to accept new ideas, new phrases, new notions.

Mostly we hold onto good friends if we're lucky. I'm happy to say that one of my best friends from Jr. High and High School is still a dear friend today. We don't get to visit often and we now live halfway across the country from one another, but we do email frequently and send cards.

The above photo was taken in my parents living room on Christmas Day circa 1971-72. Polaroids don't last. But through the magic of Photoshop I was able to lighten and clean it up a bit. I've left some of the hazing and patina. It is what makes it more real - an artifact - a relic - a wonder of a moment of time captured.

Holiday Memories of Game Playing

We loved board games in my large boisterous family. My brothers and I would spend many hours around the dining room table playing Monopoly. During our holidays from school we would begin a game right after breakfast that would continue until bedtime. We bought and sold and schemed and connived all day long.

When arguments would erupt (as they usually did) over who owed rent or money to another player (because we always felt sorry for the one losing and would loan from our stash) we would switch from Monopoly to Clue or checkers or a jigsaw puzzle. If the argument was too inflamed mom would make us go outside, weather permitting, and expend the built-up energy or to our rooms to be quiet for a while. We always missed one another and were playing again shortly, this time agreeing not to argue and setting up new rules for engagement.

As a result of my fond memories of playing with my brothers I handpainted a table for my sons where they could play Monopoly or chess or checkers. We own several versions of Monopoly and Clue and a variety of other games and puzzles. They too enjoyed many long hours of play. The table was my cocktail table for years. It now rests in the attic until one of my sons has children.

Then it will be placed where my grandchildren can play day-long games and learn about caring and giving and taking care of one another. They can learn arguments are not the end of the world and can be solved by taking a moment to reflect or walking away until tempers cool.

Or maybe we'll just play Elder Scrolls IV-Oblivion on Grandmumsy's X-Box360 Elite and magically dispose of our nemeses. Because while I still cherish those moments of interacting with my brothers around the dining room table and occasionally fondly wish for those simpler times, I have accepted the new, the improved and some days it is great to be able to roam the countryside in search of a goblin to challenge or a wrong to be righted.

Have a Magical Season whatever your Wishes. Blessings and Bliss for All of You. Take Care.

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