Thanks so much for the great response to this blog!
A special thank you to those who have passed it on to others. We are heading quickly to amazing page visits to this blog! Welcome to folks from all over the country and other countries as well, including Lisbon!!

The "Village", as it was called, is located in the northwest corner of the city of Taunton, Massachusetts U.S.A. It covers about 1 square mile with the center being School Street. A large portion of the Village population was Portuguese when I was growing up.

This blog covers a lot of the history of the Village, much to do with my years as a child there: 1940 through the late 1950's. I do have many wonderful photos and information prior to that that and will share those as well. Always looking for MORE PHOTOS AND MORE STORIES TO TELL.

If you would like to send photos or share a memory of growing up in the Village
e-mail me at
feel free to comment on the posts. Directions are on the right side of the blog posts. Jump in, the water is fine and it is easy!!!

I will be posting photographs but not identifying individuals unless I have permission or they are a matter of public record. It you wish to give me permission, please let me know.

I am looking for any and all photos of the Village...

Please note: the way blogs work is that the latest post is first. It you would like to start from the beginning of the blog, check out the post labels on the right of the blog and go from there. Thanks.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas lights twinkle in my mind

Back in the day, it would be time to find a Christmas tree.  Our folks would either go out into the woods and chop one down or more likely go off to a lot where they sold them
 (and a lot cheaper then, too).
Once the live tree was roped to the top of the car it would come back home with us. Would it fall off the car before we arrived?  Would it fit, would it hit the ceiling, its slender top tilting off to one side? Would Dad have to chop the top off?  Would the star fit on top?

                    Did you know that today only 25% of people in the U.S. buy a fresh Christmas tree?
                                                            Wall St. Journal report 2012

The tree would next be fitted into the stand and screwed in place.  This could be a  tricky feat, as we had to hold it straight so that it would stand upright. Then the stand had to be watered, it was live, remember?  But, up it would go.  Often we would let it be for the night, letting it "settle."

Do you think Dad had a good drink beforehand?

Phase I : The lights. Those big clunky strands that would somehow not have been put back correctly the previous year ending up in a tangle.  Dad and we got them all worked out and stationed along the branches.  Put on the lights: oh, no, one bulb must be out!
 And on and on and on....

                                 I remember these bubble  lights, too, though they were soon 
                                           replaced with the big colored ones.
                          Dad needs another drink....and the boys sneak out of the house.

Phase ll: the tinsel.  Yep, the tinsel. You took it out of the original  boxes where it had been recycled last year and packed away.   No cheating now: no bunches flung in heaps.  Delicately, strand by strand.  Kneeling, pushing through the branches, reaching up and around.  Suddenly, someone would yell the dreaded: "you missed a spot!".  Finally, probably after an hour or more: done with the tinsel.
    Little known facts about tinsel:  from an old french word meaning sparkle, it used to be made of real silver (only for the rich), then it was made of aluminum (when we all got on board), and now: ready: polyvinyl chloride - translated - do not let your babies and animals chew it.  Thanks to Humor me Blog for those tidbits.

About  now Dad had another libation to keep from uttering words children, they thought, did not know. Dad may have even  quit the process altogether.  Up to us and Mom now.  Looking for ornaments in their old boxes which had sunk in tops from being used year after year.  Mom and us commenced to decorate the tree, finishing with a satisfying sigh...

                                                          Photos all from Pinterest

The house was now scented with that beautiful smell of pines, no spray cans needed, thank you. The glow of the lights reflected off the ornaments and tinsel and also our hearts.  The rest of the house lights went out and,  job well done, we sat and listened to the memories of earlier Christmas days.  We remembered loved ones gone, while visions of sugar plums danced in the minds of we children, for the celebration to come....and the presents (not too many) that would lie at the foot of our tree.

                                 Somehow a quick pre-decorated tree does not do was all
                                 part of a seamless ceremony, those twelve days of Christmas.

                 This year even more hugs for grandchildren.....and gratitude for the innocence of
                       the Christmases we had as youngsters in our very own


  1. Sandy,so beautifully written! I can identify with everything you described but the bubble lights.The lights were always so tangled.Even today my husband has so much trouble with them.To put on tinsel correctly took the patience of a saint. I threw it on several times.Bad idea! Thanks for the memories!

  2. Once we even had a spray can of artifical snow that we used on the tree and the manger. I found a box of tinsel this year and almost used it but it brought back many memories. Christmas and decorating were a big tradition at our house. "Feliz Natal" or "Boas Festas". As we grew up we would all come back after midnight mass and my Mother ( God love her) would have prepared a HUGE breakfast for us and our friends. We would go caroling as well. Family and friends consistly played a big role in our lives. We kept the tree and manger up until "Little Christmas" on January 6, 2012. That was when the Kings(Magi) came to pay homage to the Child Jesus.This is the date ending the 12 Days of Christmas or the Epiphany. So many things are going by the wayside now and children need to be wrapped in these traditions I believe.