The above photo is of the Christmas tree is our parlor. It's a 9 foot fir tree that smells great. The tree is decorated with antique ornaments as well as many hand made by various relatives. And there are the bubble lights that I was fascinated with as a kid. One of my favorite ornaments is an old one that has little blades that rotate based on heat given off by a bulb placed underneath it. You can see this unique ornament in the center of the photo below.
I remember how exciting it was to wake up on Christmas morning--usually about 5 AM or earlier. It was hard to stay in bed, but I was taught to wait until my parents were up and about.
My dad, ever the realist, would tell me that for his Christmas he was happy if he received some oranges and pieces of hoar hound candy. This made me feel terribly sorry for him. In fact, I would feel guilty about receiving anything when he was so deprived. He also told me that if a child misbehaved they will find coal and switches on Christmas morning instead of the toys that they wished for. I would then work diligently to be as good as I could be so that I wouldn't come down to a sack of coal or those dreaded switches.
I suppose that as I look back on this bit of guilt that was heaped on my head, I could have built up a lot of resentment. Instead, I think that what my father told me made me appreciate how lucky I was and that there were children who got little or nothing for Christmas. His stories made me realize over the years that it is more blessed to give than to receive.