Christmas traditions have changed over the decades. In the 30s, kids got an orange for Christmas or maybe one toy. Lights were confined to Christmas trees when my parents were little and a Tacky Lights Tour was unimaginable. These days, my great-neices and I  eat cookies and drink sparkling grape juice from plastic champagne glasses while admiring the Phifers’ million and a half lights on Asbury Court but that’s just one of my family’s “gotta do” events and/or activities.  There’s also  gingerbread houses with oh, 50 kids or so, the church caroling party, Christmas brunch with my ex-husband’s family and mine, the Richmond Pops concert and the Richmond Nativity Pageant at Dogwood Dell. Unfortunately, this year the Pops is the same night as the Carillon program and my aunt, who has Alzheimer’s, can’t stand long enough to participate in the outdoor event so we’ll be at the Landmark (still “the Mosque” in my family) delighting in the Richmond Pops’ songs of the season.  Make sure you’re get to at least one of  these great Richmond traditions.

The Richmond Nativity Pageant at Dogwood Dell is celebrating its 82nd year. It’s Richmond at its best: a little corny, all-volunteer, and absolutely wonderful. Some families have been in it for generations.  Go to this link for details. The lead picture from last year’s program includes three generations of Robbens as the Holy Family.

Dress warmly as you’ll be outside. The pageant,performed at the Carillon, truly is an event you should experience at least once. That’s all it will take to create a  tradition.

Meanwhile, at the Landmark, the Richmond Pops holiday concert is free but you need to get tickets and it’s probably too late now since the concert is Monday night. Put it on your calendar for next year when (hopefully) it won’t conflict with the Carillon program.  The Pops is an incredible amount of musical talent, all volunteer, under the skillful direction of  Joe Simpkins. It’s a great way to get in the holiday spirit.

Don’t forget the Tacky Lights Tour. You can go big (limo) or small (car crammed with kids) but don’t miss the gaudy and the glorious.

For contrast, here’s a little glimpse into the Christmas traditions of Harry Stilson’s time. Then, for laughs, I’ve included a few pictures of our holiday events like my back yard after my annual open house last Saturday where several folks got stuck in the mud and gingerbread house time the next afternoon. The gingerbread house pictures are courtesy of Bruce Boyajian.

0136 christmas toys                                                       Howard Lynch & Ralph Carr

around Christmas tree girl by tree

I have no idea who the people in the pictures above are. Any suggestions? See your great-aunt Maude? Your cousin’s wife’s sister? Anyone?

yard reszed                    Just a glimpse of my back yard, post-open house

RJ                                                     Gingerbread house making, 2013

Nora                               That Skittle is awfully little to be “glued” with that spatula!

Haley                                                            Construction completed

Rountrey gang                                    My kin, some working, some supervising

Asha                                                 First year of making gingerbread houses

I know this isn’t much of a history lesson and it’s certainly not a well-written, thoughtful blog entry but hey, it’s Christmas. I am impressed with myself for simply getting a photo to Channel 12 for their Throwback Thursday Facebook page and for getting this hodgepodge blog entry done! So grab your kids, your friends, whoever, and go savor the season. It’s Christmas in Richmond, Virginia and that says it all. Merry Christmas from Kitty Snow and Richmond In Sight.