A medley of Village Christmas memories....ah, they soothe the soul. We are bombarded with ads and wants and spaced out Christmas shopping. I hope that you can play this video as you read this. It is a long video but I am going to keep it going.
...and remember, no matter where you grew up.
I am letting the music slow me down. My mind and spirit focused lets me reach way back into memory and feel those far off Christmas years all over again. The silence of the Village (not many cars remember?), the snow snapping under our feet, hot cocoa for when we came in from building snow forts or sledding down Blinn's Court in a rush of colored jackets and stocking caps. Pulling your wooden sled back up the hill. Your breath coming out all frozen with laughter warming you up. Clusters of snow clinging to hair and woolen clothing. But, laughter and screeching as your sled picked up steam, My friends, my family. Frozen in time in the Christmas card of my memory.
Nearly every Village Portuguese home had a Creche in prominent place. My mother and my Aunt Eleanor took us out to the woods each year at the edges of the Village to gather greens and mosses for the best Creche ever. Those women who lit up our lives, not just at Christmas but all the years of our childhood and beyond to this day.
My sister Kathy and I often sat at the piano and sang together, especially at Christmas time
I took piano lessons and plunked along. My mother loved to hear us sing. Our piano
looked just like this....
Christmas carols and religious decoration were part of our childhood. The Taunton Green always had a focus of what Christmas is really about. There seemed always to be snow, usually soft and kind.
Christmas was a time like no other. It was everywhere: downtown, in our schools, in our Village and in our homes. It was a lesson in love, in sacrifice as you saved your pennies for presents for your parents. If you were very young, still at Fuller School, you made your own presents and gave them with great pride. It was about giving and worship and celebration.
As we grew, the festivities and religious meaning of Christmas stayed with us. I am no longer a child, of course, far from it. I am a silver haired senior. But, I remember everything about my Christmases.
As teenagers Christmas changed. We started a new tradition. A group of teens that I and my sister Kathy hung out with joined together for Christmas caroling.
Our wonderful mother, Angi Souza, piled us all into the back of my Dad's company pickup and off we went around the Village, singing carols all the way in the cold snowy evening. We would go to our family homes. I especially remember the Silvia home down around 237 School Street, Pat and Joanne's home. Mrs. Silvia always had cocoa and refreshments waiting for us. Midnight Christmas Eve this group went to Mass and were surrounded by most of the Village. Then afterwards my Mom awaited us with a big breakfast-all of us- when we returned to 184 School Street. My Mom's cooking abilities were legendary. One member of our group was known to eat one of her pies all by himself!
The choir would make Ebenezer himself soften. We were warm inside and outside. Friendship did that, family did that, the holy day itself did that.
Christmas in the Village
In these times of global uncertainty, of growing older and less energetic
the Christmases of yesteryear bind us once again in the liveliness and meaning of those times.
Times of simplicity and greater meaning.
I wish each and all a dear and wonderful Christmas.
May you not be lonely. But,if you are, harken back, for somewhere there
must be a Christmas memory or two to savor.
Not everyone grew up in our Village, but I hope these
memories have cheered you.
Sandra Souza Pineault
My past Christmas in the Village blogs are below if you would like to read them.
This is the third Christmas for this blog and still
the memories come, well maybe with a repeat now and then.
After all, I am a silver haired blogger.
12/2/13 Memories Dance Like Sugar Plums....
12/11/13 One Hundred Years of Lighting Up Christmas
12/16/13 Away in a Manger