My Homemade Holiday Card, on this 12th Day of Xmas

xmas in the new century phones trains camerasThis year my homemade holiday card offered a cruise through time, starting with this 1909 shot  of my mother and her brothers and cousins.

She’s the sad-looking one holding the toy phone. She was saddish by nature as a small child, whereas her oldest brother James, on the far left, was just plain jolly. His letter to Santa to Santa that year was signed, “from James Sullivan, A Fat Six-Year-Old Boy.”

My card was like that generally, both jolly and  jokey. After this first old picture I fast-forwarded 50 years to an image of David and his cute brothers posed by the their tree in Medford Massachusetts. He’s the one with the nice big smile and the striped shirt.

marotta boys c 1958

He and I didn’t know each other yet of course but here I am not more then ten miles away then, together with my big sister Nan in our front yard on Charlotte Street in Dorchester. Nan is so pretty  even now, and was then too. I was always mugging so you can’t ever TELL what I looked like.

snow fun charlotte streetFrom there the card opened up to show two shots of David and me as a couple,  both in our early 20s, one depicting a holiday-minded Dave with a big red Christmas bow stuck to his head.  I won’t put that up here since he hates having his image going far and wide  for all the world to see. Then the other one showed  me having what appears to be a 99th glass of champagne and wearing a one-piece hot pants getup and once again mugging.

august 70 at nan & jim's

Then further down came pictures of our kids AS little kids and then a few shots of our grandchildren.

Here was little Callie, AKA Caroline Theresa the 5th, named for her mom who was named for her mom who was named for her mom who was named for her mom – tiresome, I know.

callie on a sept saturday

And, here since I seem to be doing a Ladies First thing, was little Ruthie-Roo, born 13 months ago and already one of the funniest people in the room.

ruthie batman two

Young David Marotta came next in the card, a guy who was plain crazy about Nerf Guns for a while there, until the principle of disarmament settled upon the house.

david got his gun

And last but not least there was this picture of Edward, at 11 our eldest grandchild, here dressed for battle for the honor of the Fenn School.

edward football

Finally when you turned the card over to side four, there was this picture of David and me in the late 80s headed to a gala to celebrate the purchase, by its citizens, of a new Steinway for use by our town. The accompanying text basically said that al though WE two sure don’t look as good now as we did then, at least the hall wallpaper has greatly improved.

t & dpm steinway gala '88

So there it was: a card that was funny and fun to make.

And now, with Twelfth Night behind us and Little Christmas here, I’m sweeping away the last of the pine needles and laying those slender self-lighting, self-extinguishing window candles to rest in their attic box. Where one or two of them may well flicker on as darkness gathers and where, until their batteries run down, they will faintly light the gloom up under the eaves, until we pull them forth again next Christmas