Friday, December 16, 2011

Deja Vu Blogfest: Christmas, 1972

For today's Deja Vu Blogfest, I decided to use my Christmas, 1972 post from back in July. I couldn't resist the holiday connection now that we are actually in December, and I also wanted to remind myself that I was complaining about the heat back then. I'll try to remember that when I start complaining about the cold now.

I also realized that this is my 150th post, so that's kind of cool to me. I didn't know if I'd make it to my 2nd post when I first started this blog.

Thanks again to DL Hammons for hosting the fest and coming up with such a great idea!

Christmas, 1972

Over the summer, I've been working on cleaning out and organizing the drawers and closets in my condo. I've only lived in this place for 8 years, but anyone looking at the closets and drawers would think it had been at least 25. I've actually enjoyed the project, as I've come upon things I had totally forgotten about, and I also smile every time I open a closet and see how organized it is.

One of the things I found that made me smile was this picture from 1972. My sister and I dressed in our matching outfit best, and went to see Santa. I was 4 here, and my sister was 8. She was a bit old to be doing this, but I know she did it because I didn't want to go by myself.

This picture brings back great memories for me, as I loved everything about Christmas when I was a kid.

We went to see Santa at a great old department store called Shillito's. To me, visiting the downtown store was almost like going to an amusement park, especially at Christmas time. Shillito's had amazing Christmas window displays, and I loved them. I would stand in front of them and stare, completely mesmerized, like Ralphie and his friends in A Christmas Story. (One of my all-time favorite movies, by the way. My family and I never tire of quoting it.)

Shillito's also had the best Santa displays. It wasn't just about seeing Santa, as you had to walk through an enchanting Christmas display that snaked around one whole floor of the store just to get to him. One year it was the North Pole, another it was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I can still remember the smell of the chocolate as my mom and I walked through the display on our way to see Santa Claus.

With the massive heatwave gripping so much of the country, I really enjoyed taking a trip back in time to this winter tradition.

It was also fun to see a picture of my 4 year old self. I couldn't help but think, if I could go back and talk to this little girl, what would I tell her, knowing what I do now?

The first thing that came to mind was that I would tell her to go easy on the student loans when she gets to college! I kid, but there's no question I've made some unwise financial decisions in my life. But of course, hindsight is 20/20.

I think mostly I would tell this little girl not to be so afraid to try things as she gets older. And not to worry so much about what other people think.

But at the same time, I think, I wouldn't tell her anything. Whatever choices I made or whatever fears I had, they are all part of the person I am today. And accepting myself, warts and all, is something I've finally learned to do.

What about you? If you could talk to your childhood self, what would you say? And if you are dealing with the heat where you live, I hope this little trip to Christmas past gave you some relief, if only in your mind.


  1. Hmmm, I might tell myself not to wait until I'm so darned old to get serious (okay ... SEMI-serious) about writing. Than again, I don't regret the life I've lived, so maybe your attitude is best. Might as well embrace the warts.

  2. I love de-cluttering! My husband and I have been doing that recently and it always makes me smile when I see a cleaned out drawer or an empty shelf in the closet. Glad I'm not the only one! :)

    Enjoyed this re-post, too!

  3. I'd second your advice to not be afraid of trying things. The more we do so, the braver we become :)

  4. I remember this post. Yeah, can you believe we were complaining about the heat?! I could use some of that right now.

    That photo is just precious. What a great repost. There are a few things I might tell my younger self too. Like don't waste so much time worrying about stuff that isn't going to matter.

    Have a great weekend, Julie.

  5. Oh my, what a wonderful post! And how cute you looked together in your matching outfits.

    I'd tell her that getting some boring old job for the money and security is no guarantee that you're 401K won't go in the toilet later, so you might as well do what you love! :-)

  6. You're adorable! Love this sisterly moment from the past. That store sounds magical. I like what you said about not saying anything but it would be tempting... Wonderful DejaVu post.

    And thanks for your sweet words on My Blog.

  7. Oh, loved this, Julie! I have such similar memories, even though I'm older than you! Thanks for re-posting this, because I don't think I saw it the first time. We may not have even "met" each other yet back in July!

  8. What a great photograph!

    Thank you for sharing it with us. It really does have a Christmassy feel about it.

  9. What a wonderful post! Hindsight is tricky. What if you told your college self to go easy on student loans and then you didn't complete college? I'm reading Stephen King's new one, 11-22-63 and it poses scenarios of one small change affecting so many other events. BTW, I love the pic on Santa's lap.

  10. Such a wonderful and thought-provoking post, Julie! You know, I actually found a letter written to myself by myself when I was 11. I was cleaning out the closet in my mom's house in preparation to move to my own apartment. The letter was really cute. "Hi older Julie. Do you have a boyfriend? I hope you have a great job. I hope you are published and have lots and lots of books." If I could talk to that self, I'd tell her to look forward to growing up because it's pretty great, even if I have just two of those things right now!

  11. I have a bureau that needs sorting out so I can relate to this! I also have many happy memories of Christmas as a kid - especially the night before. Oh, the anticipation!

    following you back now :)

  12. I remember reading this before, but I still enjoyed it the second time around, and I especially liked seeing your adorable photo again! It is such an interesting concept to think about what you would tell your younger self, but I think you summed it up best! Julie

  13. I remember reading this before, but I still enjoyed it the second time around, and I especially liked seeing your adorable photo again! It is such an interesting concept to think about what you would tell your younger self, but I think you summed it up best! Julie

  14. @Susan, yeah, that's my thought too, I do wish I hadn't waited so long. I admit I haven't been able to fully embrace the attitude in this post, but I'm trying! :D

    @Madeline, thanks! I had to laugh when I re-read this post, because the closets are already a mess again! I may need to do some more de-cluttering over the holidays.

    @Joanne, good point, I wish I had learned that sooner.

    @LG, yeah, I do this all the time. I fuss about the heat in the summer, then in the winter when I'm scraping ice off my car I'd give anything to have the heat back. Thanks and I hope you have a great weekend too!

    @Melissa, that's such a good point, unfortunately we've seen too much lately about what can happen to 401Ks! Thanks so much!

    @Catherine, it really was a wonderful store, I absolutely loved it. Thank you!

    @Becky, thanks! I love your Christmas memory posts as well, these kinds of pics are so fun to see again. :)

    @Rebecca, thank you, I'm so glad you liked it.

    @Brinda, that's a great point about the loans, I should think of it that way. Oh, 11-22-63 is on my reading list, I can't wait to read it. Thanks so much!

    @Julie, oh, it must have been so fun to find that letter! What a great story. Thanks so much for coming by.

    @ms, LOL, I was the same way the night before Christmas, and on the day after Christmas I was always depressed that all the fun was over for another year. A year seemed SO long back then. Thanks so much!

  15. @Julie, oh I must have posted at the same time you did. Thank you for your comments, and I'm glad you liked the photo! :)

  16. How cute that photo is! A Christmas Story is one of my favorites, too :)

  17. I don't know... Even though I'm upset about some choice I made in my life, I wouldn't want to change any of them.

    If I did, there's no knowing how different my life would have been and I like it as it is.

  18. At first blush, I could think of many things I'd like to tell my younger self, but then I read your point about how all those things made me the person I am today. And I like who I am today. So, like you, I'd probably just let her be.

    Thanks for coming by my blog today too, fellow Julie. You now have a new follower! :-)

  19. loved that trip into the past! awesome picture =)

    i did a challenge about writing to my 10 yo self, similar advice and no need to say it. we turned out pretty good!

  20. Hi,

    Lovely post! What wouldn't I tell my child-self if I could... :)

  21. I would tell her that things will get better, and to keep doing what I'm already doing--trying my best and taking the mistakes in stride, because they all get me to here.

    Thanks so much for joining the Blogfest!

  22. Wonderful post Julie, It made excellent reading. very well penned.


  23. Is it Macy's now like our Shillito's? I too remember this post and a big CONGRATS on the 150th. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  24. All great things to tell your young self. This blogfest was a great idea.

  25. That is such a cute picture. :-)

    If I could talk to my childhood self, I'd tell her she should just let life take its course, because by the time she'll be 37, her life will be pretty wonderful.

  26. Wow, looking at that picture reminded me of my sister and I in pictures at that age. There is something about childhood Christmas' that always seem magical. I hope my kids feel the same way when they get older.

  27. If I could talk to my six year old self what I'd say is.....remember these two words when it comes to investing. APPLE & GOOGLE!


    Such an excellent choice to re-post! Thank you for sharing today. :)

  28. Oh, I really enjoyed this post! I'm glad you picked it to repost today. I probably wouldn't tell myself anything either because I've come to accept my warts, too. The gray hair, not so much, so I'll stick with coloring it. I laughed out loud at the part, "Go easy on the student loans." And DL Hammons about investing in Applie & Google, ha! Pretty funny!

  29. Ahh..those trips down memory lane - they are interesting.

    I chuckled when I read that you felt your 8 year old sister "was a bit old to be doing this" - my 24 year old daughter and I go every year to have a picture with Santa...we are going, again, next week! (it's also been the same Santa for about 15 years now - too weird!)

    I couldn't imagine a Christmas without the two of us sitting with Santa - the fun we have looking back at all those photos, it makes me smile, just thinking about it!

    Wonderful Do-Over post - I really enjoyed it!


  30. Hi Julie .. loved this - those department stores were/are so wonderful with their windows .. and those times with Father Christmas - maybe I never got to do it .. austere post war, but I remember my brother/s going ... Wonderful photo - great to see .. thank you - Hilary

  31. Lovely post. It made me rather nostalgic. Thanks for the repost Julie.

  32. I'm glad you re-posted this, and that I got a chance to read it. It's amazing how magical Christmas is to children, and easy to forget once we're grown. Nice to meet you, Julie.

  33. that picture is priceless!
    congrats on your 150th post. :)

  34. I remember going downtown sometimes to pick up my father from work and I loved going in the department stores. They are now gone, replaced by a parking lot.
    I'd tell my younger self that I was worthy and to just believe.

  35. What a lovely repost. And awesome pic!

    I would tell my small self to take risks and to not care so much what others think.

    Glad I got to meet you through the blogfest!

  36. Oh my gosh. I would love to talk to my childhood self ... what a great thing to think about ... but really, the things we'd say to the child, we can still say to the adult. :) Maybe?


    Great post. thanks

  37. How fun! We quote Ralphie on a regular basis in our house too. It's been a fave since I was a kid. If I could talk to my childhood self I'd tell her to soak up every minute. Those early childhood Xmases are the best.I thinkk that's why A Xmas Story resonates with me so much.

  38. I remember and really like this one, Julie. It's a great repost and adorable photo.

  39. @Gina, thanks! I can't wait to watch the Christmas Story again this year. :)

    @Misha, that's a good attitude to have, very true.

    @Julie, thanks for coming by here as well and for the follow, great meeting you!

    @Tara, oh, that's a great challenge. Thanks so much!

    @Francine, LOL, that's kind of how I feel sometimes too. Thanks for coming by.

    @Lydia, that's great advice. Thanks for co-hosting, it's a great fest!

    @Liza, thank you!

    @Yvonne, thanks so much, I'm glad you liked it.

    @Jules, thank you! Yeah, Macy's is now Shillito's, but it can't compare at all. I just loved Shillito's, such a cool store.

    @Mary, I agree, it was a lot of fun.

    @KC, oh, that's a great thing. Thanks so much about the picture.

    @Ciara, it's so true, I love old Christmas pictures, they get me every time.

    @DL, LOL LOL, that's the best advice yet! Thanks again for this fun fest.

    @LynNerdKelley, so great to meet you, thanks for coming by. LOL, I don't accept my gray hair either, and sadly I get more of it every day it seems.

    @Jenny, oh, that's such a fun tradition you and your daughter have! I never thought of anything like that, how fun that you do that together. Now I'm kind of wishing I could go get my picture with Santa, how fun. :)

    @Hilary, thanks! I so loved the holiday windows, I remember seeing them in NYC when I visited a few years ago, but we don't have them here at all now. It's a shame as I think they are such fun.

    @BIP, thank you, I'm so glad you liked it.

    @Sarah, thank you, it's so nice to meet you as well.

    @erinjade, thanks! Great to meet you.

    @Diane, that's a great thing to tell yourself, or any kid, good to keep in mind. Yeah, most of the department stores here are gone as well, it's a shame I think.

    @Alison, thank you, I'm so glad to meet you as well. This was really a great fest.

    @Margo, that's a great point! I guess it's never too late really. Thanks so much.

    @Pk, LOL, I love quoting Ralphie. And you're right about that movie, it does represent those magical childhood Christmases, good point.

    @Robyn, thank you!

  40. Sorry I'm a bit late to the post, but I really enjoyed the read! Also I agree that e have to accept that our choices made us who we are, even if it is tempting to go back and erase some of the less-good decisions!

  41. Very cute picture! I'd probably give my younger self the same advice about student loans:)

  42. @Ellen, thank you, and thanks for coming by here! :)

    @Query Girl, thanks! I think there are probably a lot of us who feel that way about the loans LOL. Thanks again for co-hosting the fest!

  43. That's such an adorable picture.

    If I could talk to my childhood self, I would read to her more. :)

    Thanks for the reminder about not being afraid of what others think.

  44. Love it! Those pictures are adorable :) And btw, I'm a huge fan of the Proclaimers too!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  45. @Michelle, thank you, and I love your advice to your childhood self. You can never read too much!

    @Sarah, thanks! LOL, I've been singing this Proclaimers song in my head ever since I wrote this post.


Thank you for your comments!