OT.....things of the past which were a common part of your life

yoyobon_gw

I was just thinking about how much and how quickly things have changed due to technology.

Perhaps it's my age but it seems things go out of use faster than ever...many replaced by high tech .


Do you remember always using a ROAD MAP ? There was no GPS . Dad would stop at the local gas station ,where the attendant would not only pump your gas but also check your oil and wash your windshield , and go in to pick up a free map if we were going out of state.

The glove compartment always had our own state map in it to check routes.

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lemonhead101

Interesting. We were just talking about this where I work. We're all instructors/faculty at a large state university, teaching college students. The youngest ones are now first-year students set to graduate (theoretically) in 2022, which means that few were born prior to 2000.

Beloit College typically pulls together a list of what "has always been" for this group of first-years (no longer called "freshman"), and if we, as instructors, want to make cultural refs that resonate with our students, this is is a useful list to keep in mind...

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msmeow

Yes, Bon! I loved holding the map on my lap and seeing what was nearby. And I remember them being free (gasp!), too.

I keep Google maps on my phone set to have north at the top, though I think most people these days have it always pointing in the direction they are going. I bet younger generations don't know directions any better than they know how to read a clock face.

People often joke about being old enough to remember having to walk across the room to change the TV channel. :) Back then it seems they thought being too close to the TV was harmful, because my parents always made us sit four or five feet from the TV.

My mom freaked out when my sister and I got our first blow dryers (from my sister-in-law for Christmas) because she was convinced we'd be electrocuted using them on wet hair.

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

I remember having one of those nasty hood dryers that looked like a vacuum hose blower with a shower cap at the end. Of course I had to use it because I HAD to set my hair with rollers !

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carolyn_ky

Oh, my! I don't think you all want to know the things I remember. (My youngest brother still loves paper maps.) I'm having a hard time with the fact that today's college students were born after 2000. I know it's true, but it doesn't seem possible. The poor things don't even know about Y2K. I went away to college in 1952--you know, back with the dinosaurs--and it is also hard for me to believe that was 67 years ago.

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annpanagain

This is going to be a downer post but with me, I get sad when I remember past occurrences, some happy, some not so much and realise all those people involved in my memory are dead!

I am beginning to feel like the Zoo tortoise who outlives his carers...

On the other hand, I enjoy the benefits of new technology. I would be lost without my laptop! The march of time isn't all that doom and gloom...

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yoyobon_gw

Ann....I don't think it's "gloom and doom" at all however, it certainly has quickly made items obsolete that we thought were the height of technology for our time . When I see some of the older shows that are rerunning on TV and their idea of the portable phone was a large one with an antenna I have to chuckle ! Even my first cellphone had a short antenna of sorts.

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colleenoz

Rotary dial phones...


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yoyobon_gw

I never imagined phones that tell you who is calling before you answer or phones that can block callers you don't wish to speak to !

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annpanagain

Yoyo, I am gloomy about the complicated technology that I don't understand or need. I use a "dumb" phone as I never liked the Smart type and only use mine as a camera. If you want something simple, you need to pay more sometimes as the mass market provides for complicated items at a cheaper rate.

I can manage to understand things better if I am shown how to use them. The air conditioner that was installed came with a manual but I needed my D to explain how it operated.

I am hoping that driverless cars come about in my lifetime so I can finally get a licence to drive, if one is needed, of course!

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msmeow

Oh, Carolyn, remember all that hype about Y2K? Planes falling out of the air, widespread power outages, etc. As far as I remember nothing happened. A friend of mine who is in IT had to spend the night at the office, just in case.

My much-older brother used to stretch the phone cord so he could step outside to have a private conversation. :)

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

Lol.....then the coiled cord became so stretched out that it was only slightly wonky and created a pile of " what to do with it" cord , like a heap of giant spaghetti !

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annpanagain

That reminds me of the time in the late Sixties when my husband pulled a back muscle in the middle of an election when he was running as a city councillor candidate. I somehow fixed up a long line from our only telephone point, in the kitchen, so that he could have the landline phone resting on his stomach as he lay flat in bed!

Wow, I was good with technology then! A mobile/cell phone was something in a scifi movie, if even imagined!

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donnamira

Remember typewriters? :) I still have the electric typewriter with interchangeable daisy wheels that I bought immediately after college, when I got a job and could afford one, never thinking how short a time I would use it. And to go along with the typewriter, there's Liquid Paper correction fluid, and those little-wheelie typewriter erasers with the attached brush. And before easy access to copy machines: carbon paper - I used carbons to keep a copy of all the papers I turned in.

The typewriter I wish I still had is my grandmother's portable manual from the 1920's. It had a little lever to lower the keys to lie flat, so you could put the handled cover over top and latch it down. It was unusually old-fashioned even when I was in college, and some of my friends had to come see that it really worked, and play with the lever to raise and lower the keys.

Yoyobon, my bonnet hairdryer is still sitting on a closet shelf! I opened the case out of curiosity last year, and the thing still works.


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yoyobon_gw

Does anyone recall those rubber things to curl your hair called Spoolies ? They came and went in a nanosecond....not that we even knew about nanoseconds back then ! It was such a relief when hair styles allowed for the natural look and didn't need to be set or teased .

And speaking of comfort, the highlight of my young motherhood was when my obstetrician said to me sternly " You will not wear a girdle again . It ruins your abdominal muscles " Yaay. For a while I sported a garter belt to hold up those stupid nylons stockings......and how "comfy" those hook thingies were to sit on. The advent of pantyhose seemed like a dream come true except for those gals over 5'2" tall ! Since I was blessed with height the crotch of the pantyhose always seemed to be somewhere between my knees.

Women really needed the absolute liberation that was to come in the late 60's :0)

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msmeow

We had one of those bonnet hair dryers, too. For some reason mom didn't think it would electrocute us, but the blow dryers would. Go figure.

Donnamira, when I was in the second grade I broke my left wrist (I'm left handed). One of our assignments was to write numbers from 1 - 1000 (I think 1000 was the end LOL) and since my arm was in a cast my teacher let me type my list. At home we had a manual Royal typewriter and (fortunately for me!) an IBM electric one, too.

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

Did anyone suffer having their mother give them a Tonette home permanent? Where were the child protective services with this product??? The fumes from the ammonia were horrible but I guess they figured the tiny paperdolls that came with the permanent would be enough to distract the poor victim.

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astrokath

I still like a paper map. I haven't trusted the GPS in the car since it told us to go up a cul-de-sac a few years ago, although Google maps do seem to work, and certainly are useful if you want a guide to how long it will take to get somewhere.

How about dial-up internet which tied up the phone line?

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carolyn_ky

Yoyobon, my television set will tell me who is calling. And, BTW, today I joined the group the Social Security Agency is after. Unfortunately, the recording has been played so many times that it was so scratchy I wasn't able to understand what they are going to do to me if I don't contact them.

I am 4'11" and some of the early pantyhose I got hold of I could have tucked under my bra. Did anyone else cut off a leg that had a run in it and wait until you had another and then wear two tops with one leg each? Ms. Thrifty, here; I was born during the depression.

And, yes, I had a puffy hair dryer and Toni perms earlier on, as well as those hard pink plastic rollers to try to sleep on. I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven when I had enough income for a weekly trip to the beauty shop.

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colleenoz

I prefer paper maps too, astrokath, because I like to see the whole journey instead of a snippet at a time. And GoogleMaps is better than in-car GPS imo. Last year we were in Melbourne and borrowed DD's car for a trip to the Dandenongs. DH insisted on following the in-car GPS despite my suggestion that we should take the GoogleMaps route I was following on my iPhone (and the on-road signage) which would route us down the freeway.

Instead we ended up creeping down Toorak Rd in morning peak hour traffic. I thought DH would have an apoplexy. We came back on the freeway ;-)

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woodnymph2_gw

A friend who is my age and I were just discussing this topic yesterday. She recalled getting a "tan" by mixing iodine with baby oil and applying it while lying in the sun. I remember shampooing with lemon juice to lighten one's hair.

I happen to adore the old fashioned paper maps. I collect them, in fact. I am one who simply enjoys looking maps and place names. I have a collection of European maps as well.

I still miss old fashioned fountain pens and colored inks in glass bottles.

As for typewriters, I had a nice electric one that I used often up until about 10 years ago in VA before I relocated here.

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carolyn_ky

I wish I had my old Selectric typewriter from work for filling out forms, addressing a single envelope, etc.

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yoyobon_gw

In college I got the latest version of a portable electric typewriter that would white out mistakes so you could type over them. It also had some sort of short term storage/memory as I recall.

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msmeow

Yesterday I was reflecting on the changes in eyeglasses and contacts over the years. I've worn corrective lenses since I was two years old. Now it's pretty common to see very young children in eyeglasses, but in 1963 I can guarantee I was the only two year old with glasses! I remember in junior & senior high school having glasses with thick lenses that were very heavy and constantly sliding down my nose.

For my 18th birthday I got myself contact lenses, and back then they were tiny hard disks. It was easy to lose one and also easy for one to get stuck in the corner of your eye or up under the eyelid. I even had a tiny suction device to help get them out when they were stuck.

Now my glasses are very lightweight and the lenses are thin, and my contacts are soft and breathable. It's definitely a case of technology making things better!

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

And now with the miracle of Lasic you can be without glasses or lenses !

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msmeow

My eye doctors have never suggested Lasik so I assume I'm not a good candidate.

DH was told in his recent eye exam that he has the beginning of cataracts in one eye. I guess if you live long enough sooner or later you get cataracts. :)

Donna

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vee_new

Donna, I heartily agree re contact lenses! I started wearing glasses from about the age of eleven, stronger ones each time I had my eyes tested. Eventually I changed to contact lenses and have found them a real improvement . . . except as you say, when you lose one. Mine are 'gas permeable' and quite comfortable, unless I'm out in a sandstorm or high wind.

OT over here we never say eye glasses, usually just glasses or more correctly spectacles.

And yoyo I would never be brave enough to have eye surgery. Suppose it went wrong?

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msmeow

Vee, I don't think I would have the surgery either! We usually just say glasses, too, unless we're talking about sunglasses.

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

My husband ,in his 70's, just had both eyes done and the surgeon opted to do both Lasik and remove cataracts at the same time ! He had it done to both eyes because his vision had become so poor that his contacts would not correct enough. After the weeks of eye drops which are necessary he is beyond thrilled to have perfect eye sight for the first time in his life. He has had glasses since he was 4 years old. The surgeon does thousands of these a year , has developed a laser procedure and teaches his technique at a medical university each month. He was in the best of hands:0)

Cataracts happen to almost everyone over 65, so I was told my a specialist, and they are routinely removed with no problems. When I have mine done I will go to the same surgeon my husband saw. He uses lasers to remove the cataract and replaces the lens all within 10 minutes ! Everyone I know who has had it done all say the same thing " I wish I'd done it sooner. It was nothing."

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annpanagain

I have cataracts but I am not having surgery yet. I get tested annually and as long as I still qualify for driving, I am good! Even though I don't drive. I know how easy the operation is but I don't want it until it is really necessary.

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astrokath

My mother wore glasses from the age of 18 months and when she complained about her thick and heavy glasses, the optometrist suggested contact lenses plus glasses. At age 80 she saw her face without glasses for the first time in her life. She later had cataracts removed and new lenses inserted and did away with the contacts.


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yoyobon_gw

Astro......my MIL had her cataracts removed in her 80's , after refusing to wear glasses and squinting most of her adult life ( she claimed the bridge of her nose wouldn't hold glasses ! ) and when she finally saw herself clearly in the mirror she said " Oh my gosh, look at all my wrinkles. I didn't know I looked like this ! "

Remember the Polaroid camera and those "instant" photos ? That always seemed magical to me. You had to be sure not to touch the film as it developed or your fingerprint would be a part of the image ! Today they have cellphones and instagram, snapshot etc where you can not only have a photo posted immediately for all the world to see but also you're able to photoshop or alter it to change your appearance. Is anything believable any more?

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msmeow

Yes, Bon, my parents had a Polaroid camera. :) My DH and I had a Kodak camera called Advantix. You take the film cartridge in for developing and get a card of thumbnail pictures in addition to the photos, and get the cartridge back in case you want to print any again (instead of getting strips of negatives).

We were just going through stuff in a bookcase and found the cases of those Advantix cartridges. I told him there probably isn't anywhere to get more pictures made any more!

Donna

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annpanagain

A question about the Polaroid. If you trimmed the developed picture too much at the bottom, did the coloured fluid leak out? I was told that it did.

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msmeow

Ann, yes, it would! There was also a vile smelling pink crayon-like thing you wiped over the picture, I guess to help preserve it once it was developed.

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

I can't think of a thing. There are many - I know!

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yoyobon_gw

Remember the original photo booths ? You'd take a friend or two and get 5 photos taken while you made all kinds of faces.

Today it seems like selfies have replaced these and have become a form of self obsession. My granddaughter is constantly taking selfies everywhere and posting them. Who was the goddess in love with her own reflection....Narcissis?

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annpanagain

Yoyo, Narcissus was a mortal man.

I was amazed at the pix my grandchildren took, where they made faces, when I actually met them. They had always sent me properly posed formal ones. The kind I was used to seeing.

It was a special day when we had our photos taken as children. Film stock for the home camera was unavailable to civilians in WW2, so we went to a studio annually to send updates to my father who was posted overseas. My young sister must have hated this as she is always scowling! I was a mini Shirley Temple with the blonde curly hair and sweet dimpling smile! Aaah!

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vee_new

Re photos. I have one 'baby photo' of me, a snap taken by a family friend, I'm in the pram with proud parents standing by. This was taken in the Spring of '45 when, as Ann says, there was no film available. No further pics for over a year! On the other hand DH's Father worked in scientific research and was able to 'borrow' the necessary equipment

He still has the albums of shots of everything from the baby 'layette' (ie all the little woollen garments) to 'first smile' 'first bath' 'sitting on potty' (they didn't wait until the child was about three years old to 'train' them back in those days) first birthday cake . . . etc.

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msmeow

Bon, you are right - people seem obsessed with taking pictures of themselves. This morning in the lobby restroom I saw a teenage girl, dressed in unremarkable clothes and a stocking hat (why, oh why, do kids wear stocking hats and hoodies in the middle of summer?!) taking pictures of herself in the full length mirror. Maybe she is a candidate for the show What Not to Wear. :)

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

Donna , it is epidemic in this generation and the last .....snapping selfies constantly. Gads, I hate having a closeup taken !

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yoyobon_gw

Things of the past that were a common part of our lives ........how about MANNERS and common courtesy and etiquette ?

I remember in English class we'd learn how to introduce our friends to an older person. There was a proper way to do it to show respect to that person.

We learned how to write bread and butter notes and how to properly thank someone in writing.

We knew table etiquette and how to use the right fork/spoon; what to do with your knife after use; what to do with your napkin at the end of the meal etc etc.

We were taught how to answer the phone properly ! And to hold doors open for those behind us, especially adults.

When someone said " Remember your manners" you knew what they meant and how to do that.


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msmeow

There seems to be a lack of common courtesy these days! Especially with drivers. I think Orlando must have some of the most rude, self absorbed, aggressive drivers in the world.

And how about all the people wandering around staring down at their phone three inches from their nose and not watching where they are going?

Oops, I didn't mean to turn this thread into a rant. :)

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

Donna, let's just call it venting :0) It's a nice safe place to do it :0)


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Rosefolly

I love maps myself, and like having them, but truth be told I am much less likely to get lost with GPS than with even the finest printed maps.

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vee_new

Perhaps the designers of GPS systems in the US are better than those in the UK but over here there are always endless eg's of drivers, especially those in 'heavy goods' vehicles who follow the GPS the 'wrong way' down one-way streets, through a tangle of narrow country lanes and under rural bridges where they get stuck and cause tail-backs of angry motorists. Of course it doesn't help that these drivers often speak little or no English having arrived via the Channel Tunnel/ferry from mainland Europe.

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yoyobon_gw

Vee...sounds like a real nightmare.

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annpanagain

We have a problem with tourists who are used to driving on the right. They cause quite a few accidents. Even people, like a US friend who has been here for years, get a brain fade sometimes and go to the wrong side of the road! This seems to happen when exiting roundabouts. It must be hard to re-program your brain.

Do left hand drivers cause problems in right hand countries too, I wonder?

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vee_new

Annpan, a one-time boyfriend had taken French at evening classes and a trip to Paris was arranged. Most of the group travelled by ferry but one person came by car. On their first morning there, while waiting to cross a very busy road, a group member 'forgot' to look left and set off into the traffic. The car that screeched to a halt was the one driven by the last member of the group . . .driving very cautiously!

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vee_new

We have an eg over here of the sad case of an American woman driving from a US airbase, forgetting which side of the road she should have been on and running into and killing a young man on a motorbike.

The police were called and she arranged to 'co-operate' with them and admitted liability. Unfortunately the next day she flew out of England and, once back in the US she claimed 'diplomatic immunity' (through whatever her husband's job was) I don't know what the outcome is. If she is returned here she might be 'done' for careless driving rather than the much more serious charge of 'manslaughter'. Just one small mistake . . .

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yoyobon_gw

I've seen elderly drivers ( oh oh, I'm in that range) lose their bearings and go the wrong way up an off ramp. That can be disastrous.

The brain is an odd thing.

Be thankful for your clear thinking !

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yoyobon_gw

With Christmas right around the corner.....ugh..........what holiday items do you recall that are no longer common?

Did you put those lead icicles on your tree ? Imagine how many tons of lead ended up in the land fill each year ?! And my father would insist that each one be hung on the tree individually . When the mylar icicles replaced them it was impossible to walk past a tree without ending up with strips clinging to you due to static ! I rarely see any icicles on trees now.

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

Neighborhood Christmas caroling. Groups would go door to door to serenade and often were joined by neighbors they were singing to. I remember grabbing my coat to accompany the carolers many times. Sometimes we were rewarded with cups of hot cocoa or other treats. This is one tradition I miss very much.

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msmeow

Bon, my DH says his mom made them hang the Mylar icicles one at a time and he hated it. In the early years of our marriage he would set up the tree and put lights on and the rest was up to me because he hated decorating it so much (even without icicles).

Donna

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woodnymph2_gw

Count me as another who misses neighborhood caroling. I grew up in Atlanta GA and this was a big thing. We also had "open house" in our neighborhood where neighbors would gather for egg nog and fruit cake. Of course, the egg nog was "spiked." :-) Everything seemed so much more safe and innocent in those days....

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yoyobon_gw

Although I never had the pleasure of a neighborhood caroling group I have always wanted to do that. In my fantasy it would be on one of those snowy evenings when the snow flurries are falling like fluffy feathers and everything is blanketed in white. *sigh*

Also.....something I'd love to do if the conditions permit it would be to take a horse drawn sleigh ride. There is a farm near here that offers them but you have to make an appointment ( of course) and can't count on the perfect day.

Remember that webby stuff made of fiberglass strands that people used to decorate the trees ? Was it called angel hair ? We never had it on our tree but I do recall it on other's trees. I remember, as a child, being warned not to touch the lights because they were those big colored bulbs that got so hot I'm surprised the tree itself didn't burn !


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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

Yoyobon - the caroling was just like that. At least in my memory. As for the sleighride, they are better at night. It's always a perfect night. (or easier to imagine it is) Finally the angel hair - we used to use it when I was a child to set the nativity set upon with strict instructions not to touch it. When I got my first apartment I used it to decorate my tree along with tiny white lights, red bows and (try not to freak) spiders. The small plastic kind you might use at Halloween. It was actually a beautiful tree and people had to really get up close to see that there were spiders set in the angel hair. Then you'd hear "ew-w-w-w! Spiders!" The tree caused much eye irritation from the glass in the angel hair which rather freaked ME out. I believe it's now made out of safer material.

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yoyobon_gw

You’ve probably heard about the German pickle stories where adults hang a pickle in a Christmas tree and the first child that finds it gets an extra gift. Now if you thought that was unique and culturally different, then you ought to know that Ukrainians put spider webs in their Christmas trees.

Now you may be wondering why Ukrainians would do that? Here’s how one of the versions of the legend goes.

The Story Of The Spider And The Christmas Tree

There once was a widow who lived in a cramped old hut. She lived with her children. Outside their home was a tall pine tree. From the tree dropped a pine cone that soon started to grow from the soil.

The children were excited about the prospect of having a Christmas tree, and so they tended to it, ensuring that it would continue to grow and be strong until it became tall enough to be a Christmas tree to take inside their home.

Unfortunately, the family was poor and even though they had a Christmas tree, they couldn’t afford to decorate it with ornaments for Christmas. And so on Christmas eve, the widow and her children went to bed knowing that they would have a bare Christmas tree on Christmas morning.
The spiders in the hut heard the sobs of the children and sad cries, and decided they would not leave the Christmas tree bare.

So the spiders created beautiful webs on the Christmas tree, decorating it with elegant and beautiful silky patterns.

When the children woke up early on Christmas morning they were jumping for excitement. They went to their mother and woke her up. “Mother, you have to come see the Christmas tree. It’s so beautiful!”

As the mother woke and stood in front of the tree, she was truly amazed at the sight that lay before her eyes.

One of the children opened up the window as the sun was shining. The sun would slide along the floor and slowly glide up the Christmas tree and onto the webs. As the rays of the sun shone on the tree, the webs turned into glittering silver and gold colour; making the Christmas tree dazzle and sparkle with a magical twinkle.

From that day forward the widow never felt poor, instead she was always grateful for all the wonderful gifts she already had in life.


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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

That is a wonderful story! Thank you for posting that YYB. I just love it.

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carolyn_ky

We had the old tinsel at home, and I put the new kind on our trees for a lot of years because they looked bare to me without it. Thank goodness I finally got over it. They were a pain and, yes, put on strand by strand.

My best tree was the year DH's first grandson was two. We got our tree up before his and when they came by, I took him by the hand to go see the tree. His little face lit up with an expression like you would see in a magazine picture--pure awe and wonder. It's one of my all-time favorite memories.


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woodnymph2_gw

The year I lived in Europe, I traveled a lot and collected Xmas ornaments from various countries. I subsequently decorated all our Xmas trees with straw ornaments from Scandinavia, felt dolls from Ukraine, miniature carved Greek figures, and so on.

The most unforgettable Xmas for me was when my new kitten was introduced to a laden Xmas tree which he tried to climb. Anyone who has ever had a cat knows that they do not mix well with glittering ornaments dangling from fir limbs.

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

I remember another themed tree I had one year in this same first apartment. Lest you think I had no taste, know that I was just starting out and there was no extra money for Christmas decorations. The theme was nests and I used bird nests I had collected over the years. I think I had pine cones and milkweed pods too. A friend gave me a wasp nest - the kind that looks papery and rather beautiful in it's construction. I know you probably know what happens next, but I certainly didn't. As the nest became warm, those hibernating wasps woke up, crawled out and began to fly around the living room (albeit sluggish and slow moving). How I ever had the nerve to pick that thing up, run down the hall holding it in both hands (it was about the size of a football) and toss it off the second floor porch, I'll never know. Huge crisis averted but just barely. I did give my friend "what for" but he thought the whole thing was hilarious. I really did feel bad about ruining the nest which I thought was a work of art. Didn't have any qualms about the wasps though. Sorry Mother Nature (and Merry Christmas ma'am)

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yoyobon_gw

Remember, years ago, when people kept a Christmas card list and sent out dozens of cards each year ? Of course that was when postage was reasonable and e-cards and holiday tweets were not our world. I used to keep all my cards in a big silver bowl on the hutch and my children loved going through all the cards, especially those pesky "holiday letters" which some included so we could be kept up to date on every insignificant event !! ( they are one of my favorite pet peeves ! ). It was always such fun to go to the mailbox and find several beautiful cards each day. TImes have changed and that lovely tradition seems to be fading. Now I only get one from my financial planner.........and maybe the newspaper delivery person !


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annpanagain

I always used to keep the first weekend in December free for writing my Xmas cards so that the overseas ones went off in good time. I hardly post any now and was horrified to find last year that a bigger card attracted a larger fee, as it didn't fit the template used for the cheaper Card Only postage!

Sadly my list has shrunk due to "natural attrition" i.e. my friends have died...

This year I have no left-over cards either. Usually I have something left in the packs I bought. I must have purchased the exact number I listed. How dreadfully organised!

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vee_new

yoyo, what a pity that so few Xmas cards are being sent in your part of the world. Here they still seem to sell well, especially 'charity cards' and although the postal rates are sky-high we send and receive about 40-50 cards.

annpan, I have learnt to make a note at the foot the November page of my next year's calendar Buy cards and get more wrapping paper.

For several years Royal Mail have charged more for cards/letters/packages of different sizes . . . let alone weight.

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yoyobon_gw

Vee.....and now the US postal service evaluates a card for thickness and flexibility and if it is not acceptable there is an additional cost per envelope.

I have to laugh at this because there was a time when you could mail just about anything you could cram into an envelope for one fee. One year I sent my friends each one flip flop (do you know what these are ?) on which I wrote their address and the invitation. Not sure where the PO put the postage but they all got there. I'm pretty sure the post office today would refuse to let me mail an item that that now unless it was in a mailing envelope or box !

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vee_new

yoyo, many years ago my brother worked as an 'extra' Christmas postman ( a useful way of earning money for students) His job was to sit in the mail van and run up and down people's paths delivering parcels. One of his last drops on Christmas Eve was a full-feathered turkey with no wrapping paper/cardboard/box around it; just a label round its neck.

nb over here we don't have mail boxes by the road, we have letter boxes next to or within the front door . .. but difficult to shove a turkey or any other large object into.

Was your 'invitation' to a one-legged dance?

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msmeow

Skibby, I love the story of the wasp nest! I had a boss some years ago who was originally from Boston. He told me their first Christmas in Florida they had guests for dinner, and during the meal they started hearing odd little thumps coming from the living room. They went to investigate and found gingerbread men's heads hanging on the tree and their bodies on the floor! They didn't realize how humid it is in FL - the gingerbread got soft and the cookies broke in the spot of least resistance. :)

I have also stopped mailing Christmas cards, and we receive very few. I do send a card to my elderly uncle just to let him know I'm thinking about him.

Donna

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sheri_z6

I still send Christmas cards. I just love getting something that's not a bill or an advertisement or just junk in the mail. I even have one friend with whom I exchange regular letters year-round -- I know, positively antediluvian! But most of our friends still send holiday cards, especially if there are kids, grand-kids or pets to feature. The Shutterfly cards have become tremendously popular and it's fun to see everyone's photos. I tape them up on the inside of our front door as they come in. Most years it winds up covered.

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woodnymph2_gw

Another antediluvian or Luddite here! I send about 40 Xmas cards each year, all handwritten. I usually get about 30 cards from friends. I also enjoy old fashioned letter writing. I have about 4 friends going back for decades with whom I exchange handwritten letters. It's not a burden to me, but a pleasure.

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carolyn_ky

I still send Christmas cards, too, maybe about 40 not including the RP bookmark list. I get fewer than I send, but I enjoy them. I just saw an obituary this week of a woman I knew in grade school who always kept in touch with a card. I stack the ones I receive in a pretty oval silver-lookalike tray, and family members like to look through them when they come by.

My mother used to Scotch tape hers to the fireplace mantel and down the sides. I wrote hers for her after she developed macular degeneration, and she still enjoyed the ones she received even when she couldn't see them very well.

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annpanagain

I don't know what your local Post Office is like but I try to avoid going to mine!

Apart from the actual business of postal services, the long queues are for people who want various other things, like licences, passport photos taken, all kinds of phones to buy as well as books, games, stationery items and even confectionery!

No wonder I have given up on sending snail mail!

Regarding displaying Xmas cards, in an old sitcom, "Mother and Son" the rather dotty mother used to hang up all the cards she had ever received! This series went well here but bombed with a different cast in the UK. For some reason, the delicate irony wasn't appreciated. The dottiness was seen as sneering at a confused old lady, I understand! Usually sitcoms transfer well to different countries but not always...

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msmeow

Ann, in the US the post office is pretty much just for that. They have a few other items like cards and stamp collections.

My hubby's grandma used to ask people to sign cards in pencil so she could erase the signatures and re-use the cards. :)

Donna

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kathy_t

I feel the need to put in a good word for the U.S. Postal Service. I can put a stamp on a letter and someone will transport it as far as I need (more than 2,000 miles if I'm in New York and want to send it to California, for example) and deliver it to the dwelling of the person I designate - for a mere 55 cents. I call that a bargain. At the moment, I can't even think of anything else I can buy for 55 cents.

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yoyobon_gw

Put that way Kathy, it really IS a bargain ! I hadn't thought of it like that :0)

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