Do you have fond memories of any particular holiday? My favorite in my youth was Halloween.
Before I write about my fun times during Halloween, I want to "stop you at the gate" before you start spending money for Christmas — so when the bills start to come in, you won't think of that holiday as an unpleasant event.
Costumes were not purchased in the store during Halloween. Your costume was either homemade or you put something together that was already in the house. I recall being dressed as a ghost for years. My mom would put holes in a sheet for eyes. I graduated to being a hobo in my preteens. They were either called bums or hobos. We saw pictures of them in movies. I would wear my brother's jeans and roll them up. My uncle would let me wear his shoes and big jacket.
We had a close-knit neighborhood. Trick-or-Treat in the neighborhood was always fun. The neighbors would pretend they didn't know me during the activities. When I reached my teen years, the churches would have dances during those times. A bunch of us girls and boy buddies, sister and brothers in the neighborhood would all go to the dance together. Those were fun times. We came home in groups.
There was no fighting or drinking within my group of friends. Some of us went to the same school, and our parents knew each other. We had a community of African Americans that watched over each other in and around the neighborhood. We lived in a working class neighborhood.
I would hear the word “domestics” and “welfare families.” I never knew who those families were. All the adults seemed to have the same disposition, and the children all received gifts almost the same. The girls received dolls, dishes and games. The boys received train sets, movie projectors, science sets and GI Joe's. We all looked forward to the holidays and the snow, which was usually knee-deep.
It always snowed before Christmas, and many of us received sleds for Christmas. We looked forward to sleigh-riding in the streets. There were not many cars, so we had lots of space to ride our sleds. Within the radius of 14 blocks, in my area only two families had cars.
Even in my teens, all of our neighborhood holidays were fun, and sharing gifts with each other. The neighborhood was always full of children.
During Thanksgiving Day before dinner, our high school gang went to the high school football game between Trade School and Boston Latin. That event was early in the morning. By the time we all came home from the game, we were freezing and ready to come home to a nice warm meal. Sometimes, you might have invited a friend to dinner.
I left home after a brief stint in college shortly after graduating from high school. I do have fond memories of holidays; do you?
The holidays are around the corner. Money will be spent. Now is the time to start to take a look at your needs, wants, and who you want to impress with a gift. Change your holiday shopping patterns now!Mary Midgett is the author of
"New York Flavor with a San Francisco Beat." The San Francisco resident is available to do presentations and seminars on social and family negotiations. She also conducts workshops on parent, self-esteem and social and intimate relationships.
For more information, visit www.marymidgett.net
, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. She can be viewed on YouTube