Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Of Old

The one story that sticks out in my mind when Christmas rolls around is the one that my Dad told me about his Christmases as a child.

My Dad was born in 1914 in Somersworth,NH. He was the third child of 10,from my  Pepere ( pronounced Pep-pay) Lessard's first marriage. My father's mother died in 1929 from pneumonia.We always call them the " first batch".

My Pepere Lessard worked,but didn't make a lot of money. He worked at the mill,then worked at the pumping station. My Memere ( pronounced Mem-may) Lessard didn't work,because she stayed home to take care of her children. They were very poor. They got clothes from the church. There were no extras.What they lacked in money,they more than made up for with family. My Memere Lessard  had her parents ( the Magnans) and brothers and sisters nearby,and they were always part of their lives. Some of my Dad's most favorite memories was going over to his Memere and Pepere Magnan's house on Saturdays for dinner and standing around the piano,singing.

Christmas was wonderful for my Dad. Though they didn't get much for gifts,they would wake up on Christmas morning and have a beautifully decorated tree. Memere and Pepere  would put it up while the children were asleep. There were pies,cakes,and all kinds of wonderful things to eat that they normally would not have. The relatives would come over and they would sing,eat,and make merry. My Dad never dwelled on what they didn't  have,it was what they DID have,and because it was not something that was everyday,it made it more special.

When this time of the year rolls around, I am always brought back to this story,and it gives me great pause. Today,we see people trampling each other in stores  to save a few bucks. Stores are now open on Thanksgiving,and to me,it's very sad and wrong. I think of my Dad as a little boy with a pair of mittens and a pretty tree as a gift with plenty of good things to eat being surrounded by a loving family. I also can hear the happiness in his voice when he would tell me about those days. It was enough for him.

This photo is dated around 1919. From left to right: Luminda Magnan ( my great grandmother),my Memere Magnan Lessard,my great Aunt Eva Magnan, my great Aunt Bella Magnan,and my Dad.

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!


  1. This is such a beautiful story Donna. I love reading the stories you post about your family history. This one makes me a bit teary eyed because it is so heartwarming to hear of the pure love and joy of a family and the beauty of a simple Christmas and the importance of family. Wishing you, Rick and Zach a Merry Christmas full of love and joy my friend. (((hugs))) PS I am sending visitors from my blog your way! :)

  2. I am so glad it moved you,Amy.Christmas was my Dad's favorite holiday-mine,too. Merry Christmas to you and yours...I hope it's filled with love and laughter!!!!

  3. Such a wonderful, loving story! Thank you for sharing it. I hope you, Zach and Rick have a very Merry Christmas filled with love and happiness! Love from Maine! Pamela