Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Christmas Memory

The first weeks of December were a wonderful time in Mrs. Van Ostrand's first grade classroom.  On the big windows that looked out on the forest, we used stencils and Glass Wax to make Santa Clauses, reindeer, candy canes, stars and snowflakes, even though real snowflakes were usually falling on the other side of the windows.  (In the Big Bear, CA, of the 1950's, you could absolutely depend on snow in December).  After we finished the window stencils, Mrs. Van Ostrand gave each one of us blunted scissors, construction paper, cotton puffs, glitter and glue.  Then she guided us in fashioning decorations to take home to our families and decorations to put on the little tree in her classroom. 

Each year her first grade class sang a carol at the school's Christmas pageant, and my favorite part of the day was when she taught us to sing the carol she had picked out for that year.  Our carol was "Silent Night," and we learned a few lines every day.  I was having trouble with the "round yon virgin" part because it just didn't make sense to me.  Shouldn't it be "young?"  Just what was a "yon," anyway?  Mrs. Van Ostrand patiently explained it to me, but I think her patience was sorely tried when, as we were singing for the second time the verse "holy infant so tender and mild," my barely six year old brain had a moment of misunderstanding so epic it caused her to never use this carol again.  I shrieked, "Tender and mild!?  They cooked Baby Jesus!?  THEY COOKED BABY JESUS LIKE A TURKEY!!

It's not always a good thing to have a vivid imagination...


  1. Dearest Victoria - your post set me laughing...just goes to show that Christmas follows way to close to Thanksgiving. Bless you my friend for sharing your memory and for giving me a robust laugh. Have a wonderful week.

  2. Debbie, thank you, I was hoping my memory would bring a laugh. I think Thanksgiving is too close to Christmas, too...wish they'd move Thanksgiving to early October!

  3. just read your story from your school days. It's sharing memories like this bringing smiles & laughter to others that makes the world a happier place. Lovely story.

  4. Barbara, thank you. I'm happy it made you smile!

  5. Glad it gave you a laugh, Vicki...and a snort? LOL


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