Hey family, you know we are all family in some way, how is everyone? I know we are getting ready for the Christmas holiday and I want to thank you for reading my last blog, in fact, please feel free to go back and re-read some of my favorite musings from this year. I sure would love it!
Anyhow, doesn’t Christmas make you just feel some kind of way? The wonderful fellowship with family and friends, the delicious foods, presents, church, laughter and much more are the joys that play in my mind with my existing memories. And now, since I am mostly alone on Sandridge Road I think more on the euphoric Christmases from my childhood and wish I could capture the essence of my family traditions and bottle them up. If I could do that I would spray the joyful feelings from room to room, offering fragrant gifts that take me back to the days that shaped the ones I cherish now.
You see this aluminum tree, back in the day once Grandpapa passed, Mama must have gotten tired of trudging through the woods to chop down our own, she bought this delightful tree with the pretty blue balls. It conjures up many recollections, including the year it caught on fire.
Prior to fake Christmas trees, the life I was born into was fashioned by my Grandpapa, Prezzie Adam, and he gave me, my siblings, and my cousins our best memories of Christmases on Sandridge Road. Undoubtedly, there were many others who helped orchestrate the wonderful life lessons and endearing traditions we try to hold onto, but he was the catalyst for our life long morals which are so reminiscent of his values and love of God to this day. He was there in all of our favorite times, teaching us in his quiet ways to be respectful of our mama and daddy, and to be the best persons we could possibly be. To this day, throughout the communities surrounding Sandridge, it is an honor to be remembered as one of Prezzie’s children.
So, with the closing of this wonderful year of sharing my life with you, I’d like to introduce you to some of my family and their very favorite things about Christmas on Sandridge Road.
I’ll start with my favorite Christmas present as a child…the Easy Bake Oven – turquoise blue to be exact. I remember everything that year, I was about seven or eight and I did love to watch Mama in the kitchen. Getting that as a gift was too much for me, I loved that toy!!! I think it barely lasted through the following summer with all the extra stuff I was cooking in it like plums, hot dogs, and cracklings. Anyway, I came home from school one day and saw it lying on its side in the woods behind our house. Mama tried to explain to me that it no longer worked, but I was not having it. I walked to the woods, pushed back the bushes and braved sand spurs as I drug it back only to have it end up right back in the trash pile the next day. My little tug of war with Mama only lasted for a couple of days until Grandpapa stepped in and told me it was broken. And that was that. He was quiet but stern and I loved him so much that once he said it was over, I believed him. I did get another one for Christmas too!
Marcia’s memories – I remember the fruits, nuts, candy canes and raisins for Christmas. Also Mom baking those delicious cakes, and sweet potato puddings. Aunt Ellen making the thin layered jelly cakes and Aunt Carrie’s dark chocolate layered cakes. Visiting the people in the neighborhood, the fresh cedar tree, and pine branch decorations. We never had an artificial tree until much later. I remember Grandpapa teaching me how to make brewed coffee on Christmas morning. Everyone knew that I couldn’t cook, so I was the designated dish washer. So many memories. The school plays before we let out for the holidays were the best.
Dianne’s memories- I always remember trying to hold on to the best shoebox so we could get all our goodies inside. Making sure my name was on it. Couldn’t wait to get that big peppermint stick of candy that would last forever.😇👑 Believe it or not, loved getting some new bobbysocks, pencils, oranges, the best apples ever, the sparkles, which I set the couch on fire with one year. I remember one year someone dressing up as Santa and scaring the daylights out of us as we were sitting in the setting room. I think it was Cousin Cleve. Deann and I would have a contest on whose Mama made the most cakes. Daddy would always do fireworks on Christmas evening. What fun, running from the fireworks, and seeing who had the longest speech at the Christmas program.
Sybil’s memories – Christmas was always a magical time. On Christmas day we would walk over to Uncle Adam’s house. Aunt Carrie would make that tight little chocolate cake with that bitter chocolate icing. Then she would give us a hanky with some coins tied in the corner of it. We would also get an apple or an orange. Remember that trail thru the woods we took to get there? Mama would make at least eight or nine sweet potato pies. We each had our own pie. Her pies were the best I’ve ever had. I also remember we had our own sweet potato bank.
Kelvin’s memories – I will tell of my embarrassing story of one Christmas I spent with y’all down south. I was 11 yrs. old. That’s right. 11yrs old. Christmas morning y’all were opening the gifts you got and unknown to me I had some gifts under the tree. I was so surprised. I said, “How did Santa know I was down here?” Tony and I think Angie busted out laughing 😂 with, “Boy, you still believe in Santa 🎅??” and my mother was looking like don’t tell him. Lol! I was embarrassed and disappointed at the same time. What a dose of reality.
Ty’s memories – I remember the speeches we had to give as part of the church Christmas program. I never liked having to do those. I used to be scared to do to get up there. Now my folks at work ask me to curb my comments when I get up and talk in front of a group. I do know one year we had a white artificial tree.
Michelle’s memories – I remember the night before Christmas when we would get dressed up and go to the best Christmas Eve service at St. Joseph Missionary Baptist Church, thanks Mrs. Gore! We would have a Christmas tree with presents galore. There was a pulling of names for a gift from the tree and we would say our Christmas speech with excitement and cheer knowing that at the end of the service was a Christmas bag at the door for each member. The smell of Christmas apples and oranges along with all the other goodies in our bags. This was a wonderful family fellowship with family and friends.
Angela’s memories –I have intangible imprints that I hope will never stray from my mind. The sharp sweet smell of winter red apples and juicy oranges nesting in the cardboard box tucked under Grandpapa’s bed. He would buy them early from the Cherry Grove Fishing Pier where he worked and we would have to wait weeks until Christmas day before we could sink our teeth into their delicious goodness. I remember how the juices from both would drip down our ashy elbows, and we would lick without shame to savor every single morsel of our long awaited fruits. We did not have Christmas stockings hung over a fireplace mantel, but large, brown A&P shopping bags from our local grocery store, which suited us just fine. Along with the pretty shoe boxes filled to the brim with candy, nuts, fruits and fireworks that Mama and Daddy would lovingly wrap with leftover wrapping paper for our presents, I do believe we were some of the happiest kids on Sandridge Road.
Hey family, please share your favorite Christmas memory/family tradition with me. I really would love to hear about them.
Wishing you the merriest, most blessed Christmas holiday with lots of love in between,
Sherri Lynne from Sandridge Road