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My Favorite Holidays

When I was a very little girl back in the early 50's, I was so entranced by Christmas decorations, particularly the lights and the trees,
that I kept trying to talk everyone I could find into decorating year round. Artificial trees had not reached the sophisticated levels they have now, but I was quite sure that large empty tree limbs could be cleaned, spray painted, secured in heavy pots,
and fill in quite nicely for everlasting year-round trees. I envisioned red and white lights for Valentine's Day,
green and white for St. Patrick's Day, and pastel lights for Easter.
All sorts of seasonal decorations could be created to enable us to enjoy each holiday in the most resplendent form imaginable.

Everyone ~ EVERYONE ~ assured me that the concept would never fly, and furthermore,
we shouldn't even attempt it lest we be deemed mad.

As it turns out, time has vindicated me. I was merely way ahead of my time.

Signs of the Seasons Spice Up One Yard

By Rodger Mullen, Staff columnist, The Fayetteville Observer

Ramblin' with Rodger, January 26, 2004:

The holidays never end for Ruby Hott.

Her neighbors in the Kinwood area, north of Fayetteville,
can tell what occasion is being celebrated just by looking at her front yard.

Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving - Ruby and her husband, Harlan,
dress up their home and yard for all of them.

When I stopped by Ruby's house on Lofton Drive, it was all decked out for Valentine's Day,
with hearts, flowers and lots of red and white lights.

"As soon as we take this down, we'll be putting up St. Patrick's stuff,'' she said.

Ruby said she and her husband have been decorating year-round for more than a decade.
Harlan does most of the heavy lifting; Ruby tells him where she wants everything to go.

The Hotts also have an indoor Christmas tree they keep up all year.
They change the ornaments to reflect the theme of whatever holiday is coming up.

Ruby said she likes to see the faces of the children who come by to look at her decorations.
Last Christmas, she and her family handed out more than 500 cups of hot cocoa and candy canes.
Her son dressed up as Santa Claus for the occasion.

Ruby said in the past 10 years, she's only missed decorating for one holiday. Her neighbors noticed.

"Believe me, you hear about it if you don't do it,'' she said.

See???  Whad' I tell ya?!?

Updated 12/26/03

December 25

By far and away my favorite holiday is, was, and always shall be Christmas. I love everything about Christmas.
To one degree or another, I even love the things about Christmas that seem to disturb most people.

I love Christmas decorations, carols, and lights, Santa Claus and snowmen.
I love Christmas trees, cookies and snow.
I love Christmas caroling and concerts, cantatas and church services.
I love the whole family near and elegant feasts and dressing up and parties.
I love pretty displays and opening presents.
I love the Hallelujah Chorus and Perry Como singing Ave Maria.
I love all the holiday specials and cartoons and old Christmas movies on TV.
Sometimes I even love shopping for presents, though I'd usually prefer to make them myself.
Most of all I love the warmth and love, and the reading of the Second Chapter of Luke
by the magical lights of the tree when the feasting and the gift exchange is done.

I prefer to put up my decorations on St. Nicholas Day (December 6), and take them down on Epiphany (January 6),
as was the custom in Colonial Virginia.

Christmas 1942 Christmas 1954 Christmas 1969 Christmas 1972 Christmas 1974

2206 - 4th Avenue
 Richmond, VA

My Paternal Grandfather
Millard Raymond Buckley
(11 Nov 1879 - 4 Oct 1951)

1309 - A 16th Street
 Newport News, VA

Carol - Age 7

7621 Lankford Ave., Apt. #2, Norfolk, VA 23505

Our First Tree!

605 Mechaw Drive
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

We hung popcorn and walnut shells that we had strung to adorn our tree this year!

605 Mechaw Drive
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
Christmas Eve 1982 Christmas Eve 1982 Christmas Day 1984 Christmas 1990 Christmas 1993
400 Elm Street
Hillsboro, MO 63050
400 Elm Street
 Hillsboro, MO 63050
2315 Monument Avenue
Richmond, VA 23220
501 Hillsboro Street
Taylor Springs, IL 62089
501 Hillsboro Street
Taylor Springs, IL 62089
Christmas Eve 1996 Christmas Eve 1997 Christmas Eve 1998 Christmas 1999  
501 Hillsboro Street
Taylor Springs, IL 62089
501 Hillsboro Street
Taylor Springs, IL 62089
501 Hillsboro Street
Taylor Springs, IL 62089
501 Hillsboro Street
Taylor Springs, IL 62089
  Christmas 2002 Christmas 2003 Christmas 2003 Christmas 2003

Fayetteville, NC

Fayetteville, NC

Fayetteville, NC

Miles and Eleanor's tree -
Fayetteville, NC

Christmas 1953 - A Memory The Old Rusty Faucet - Another Memory
Updated 12/26/03 Updated 12/26/03


Must See Christmas Movies
1.  It's a Wonderful Life (1946) ****
2.  A Christmas Carol (1938) ****
3.  A Christmas Carol (1995)
4. A Christmas Story (1983) ****
5.  Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) ***
6.  The Santa Clause (1994) ***
7.  Christmas in Connecticut (1945) ***
8.  Miracle on 34th Street (1947) ****
 9.  Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
10.  White Christmas (1954) ***
11.  Scrooge (1951) ****
12.  Home Alone (1990) ***
13.  National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
14.  Scrooged (1988)
15.  Prancer (1989)
16.  A Christmas Without Snow (TV: 1980) 

Once Upon a December

(Move your mouse over the document to find the hidden lyrics!)


Let Us Keep Christmas

Whatever else be lost among the years,
 Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing.
Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears,
 Let us hold close one day, remembering
Its Poignant meaning for the hearts of men.
 Let us get back our childlike faith again.

Wealth may have taken wings, yet still there are
Clear windowpanes to glow with candlelight;
There are bough for garlands, and a tinsel star
To tip some little fir tree's lifted height.
 There is no heart too heavy or too sad,
But some small gift of love can make it glad.

And there are home-sweet rooms where laughter rings,
And we can sing the carols as of old;
Above the eastern hills a white star swings;
There is an ancient story to be told;
There are kind words and cheering words to say.
 Let us be happy on the Christ Child's day.

- Grace Noll Crowell, 1950


All My Heart This Night Rejoices

All my heart this night rejoices, As I hear, far and near,
Sweetest angel voices;
"Christ is born," their choirs are singing,
Till the air, Everywhere, Now with joy is ringing.

Hark! A voice from yonder manger, Soft and sweet, Doth entreat:
"Flee from woe and danger;
Brethren, come; from all that grieves you,
You are freed; All you need, I will surely give you."

Come, then, let us hasten yonder; Here let all, Great and small,
Kneel in awe and wonder;
Love Him who with love is yearning;
Hail the Star, That from far Bright with hope is burning!

~ Paul Gerhardt (1607-1976)

Translated by Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878)
"Stella" tune by Horatio W. Parker (1863-1919)


"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."

~ Norman Vincent Peale
(1898 - 1993)

"It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself."

~ Charles Dickens

(7 Feb 1812 - 9 June 1870)


"Help us rightly remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wisemen."

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

(13 Nov 1850 - 3 Dec 1894)


"I do hope your Christmas has had a little touch of eternity in among the rush and pitter patter and all. It always seems such a mixing of this world and the next ~ but that, after all, is the idea!"

~ Evelyn Underhill

(11 June 1875 - 15 June 1941)

"For each of you may this be a merry Christmas. But more importantly, I wish for each of you a time, perhaps only an hour, spent in silent meditation and quiet reflection on the wonder
and the majesty of this, the Son of God. Our joy at this season is because He came into the world. The peace that comes from Him, His infinite love which each of us may feel, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude for that which He freely gave us at so great a cost to Himself ~ these are of the true essence of Christmas."

~ Gordon B. Hinckley, December 2000



October 31

Halloween surely places second on my list. As a child, I was blissfully ignorant of any thoughts of its pagan origins.
No one in our circle fretted over evil and doom, which might surround trick-or-treaters.
Destruction and violence didn't abound. Safety was an issue, of course, but if proper precautions were taken,
what could be more wonderful than combining two of my favorite things, costumes and candy!


Tonight is the night When dead leaves fly
Like witches on switches Across the sky,
When elf and sprite Flit through the night
On a moony sheen.

Tonight is the night When leaves make a sound
Like a gnome in his home Under the ground,
When spooks and trolls Creep out of holes
Mossy and green.

Tonight is the night When pumpkins stare
Through sheaves and leaves Everywhere,
When ghoul and ghost And goblin host
Dance round their queen.

It's Hallowe'en!

~ from The Little Hill (1949)
by Harry Behn

Halloween 1997 Halloween 1998 Halloween 1999
501 Hillsboro Street
Taylor Springs, IL 62089

501 Hillsboro Street
Taylor Springs, IL 62089

Our First Halloween Tree

501 Hillsboro Street
Taylor Springs, IL 62089

My mother always made me wonderful, elaborate costumes. No tacky, skimpy store-bought cheapies for us!
Several of her creations remain vivid in my mind.
When I was three, I was a gypsy, laden down with her scarves and jewelry!
At the age of eight, I decided to be an Israelite shepherd of old. That was one of her better efforts!
When I was twelve, I wore my big sister's evening gown and was simply resplendent! Unfortunately for me, when I was twelve,
I could generally pass for sixteen, so that year, even though I was with a group of school friends, there was some muttering and grumbling that passed from our neighbors' lips, something about "weren't we a bit old for this sort of thing".

But, hey, I was just a kid!

Besides, they still gave out as much loot and booty as always. We used to fill up big brown shopping bags of candy!
By getting an early enough start, you could fill a huge bag, return home for a fresh one, set out again for a wider territory,
and have enough candy to last a sane person for several months! I know that year as an Israelite, I gathered three big bags!

  Halloween Party 1971 Wednesday,
October 31, 1973
October 31, 1974
October 26, 1975

Cape Girardeau,  MO

Vampire Paul and Witch Carol

605 Mechaw Drive
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

A Colonial Family

Paul - age 30
Lewis - age 3
Carol - age 26
Brent - 18 months

605 Mechaw Drive
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701


Superman Randolph - 4 -1/2 months
Robin the Boy Wonder Brent - age 2-1/2
Batman Lewis - age 4

605 Mechaw Drive
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701


Brent - age 3-1/2
Lewis - age 5

October 26, 1975
October 31, 1976

605 Mechaw Drive
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Dutch "Daughter" and Mother

Randolph - age 16 months
Carol - age 28

52 Linn Drive
 Ste. Genevieve, MO 63676

British Soldiers and Colonials

Lewis - age 6
Randolph - age 2
Brent - age 4 1/2
Carol - age 29

        October 26, 1984








3215 Monument Avenue,
Richmond, VA 23220

Mickey Mouse Nathaniel - age 5

    October  1986   October 25, 1991




Litchfield, IL

French Nobilty

Nathaniel - age 7
Dale - age 2-1/2
Joshua - age 9-1/2


501 Hillsboro Street
Taylor Springs, IL 62089

Old Lady Nathaniel - age 12

  October 29, 2001 October 30, 2001 October 31, 2001  



Pumpkin Emeline - age six weeks


Pumpkin Emeline - age six weeks


Cow Tommy - age almost 2

Darth Maul Jacob - age 4



Once again, even after the important religious aspect aside, we are left with two of my favorite things: new clothes and candy. With Easter, you even add bunnies (my favorite animal) to the scenario. What could be better? The earth is turning green again; spring flowers are beginning to burst forth - the loveliest time of year!

Easter Sunday
March 30, 1975
Easter Baskets
April 11, 1982
Easter Sunday
April 11, 1982
Easter "Baskets"
April 7, 1996
Easter Sunday
April 7, 1996

Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Carol, Lewis, Paul holding Randolph, and Brent holding Naomi

400 Elm Street
Hillsboro, MO 63050

400 Elm Street
Hillsboro, MO 63050

Carol, Randolph, Paul, Joshua, Lewis, Nathaniel,
and Brent

501 Hillsboro Street
Taylor Springs IL 62049

These "baskets" bear an amazing resemblance to my hammered aluminum!

501 Hillsboro Street
Taylor Springs, IL 62049

Dale - age 12
Adrienne - age 8

  March 1998   Easter Sunday
March 31, 2002

501 Hillsboro Street
Taylor Springs, IL 62089

Our First Easter Tree



Bethany and Emeline


A thorough account of Easter may be found at these links:


Music by Rudolf Schenker
Lyrics by Klaus Meine

Let me take you far away
You’d like a holiday
Let me take you far away
You’d like a holiday

Exchange the cold days for the sun
A good time and fun
Let me take you far away
You’d like a holiday

Let me take you far away
You’d like a holiday
Let me take you far away
You’d like a holiday

Exchange your troubles for some love
Wherever you are
Let me take you far away
You’d like a holiday

Longing for the sun you will come
To the island without name
Longing for the sun be welcome
On the island many miles away from home
Be welcome on the island without name
Longing for the sun you will come
To the island many miles away from home


"Holiday" lyrics courtesy of - 01/15/04

"Holiday" midi courtesy of - 01/15/04

Holiday Lights clip art courtesy of - 02/07/04

Happy Halloween clip art courtesy of - 02/07/04

Pink Roses divider line courtesy of - 02/06/04

Other Holidays

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