What are your favourite memories of Christmas past?
For most of us that will involve some kind of food.
It is one of those very rare times of the year when you are not only encouraged, but basically expected to overeat.
One of my favourite memories is of my Grandma’s wreath.
It was no ordinary wreath, this one was made up of chocolates! I think it came straight from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She only had them when I was very young then one year she said she wasn’t able to find them anymore. Cue very unhappy kid face here.
There is a fortune waiting to be made on wreaths chocked full of individually wrapped chocolates people! Wouldn’t you like one? I would. For my bedroom. You know, some nice light 2 am snacking.
We always had to make a day’s long drive to see my Grandparents and the first thing we did upon arrival was run downstairs and find that sweet candy wreath.
Often I’d have to get a stool to help me reach the wreath as it was always just out of my reach and then on my tippy tippy toes I’d grab as many of those delectable chocolates as my little hands could hold.
My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
My Grandma also had a magic chip bowl which I’ve written about before.
This was a few years after that incredible chocolate wreath was no more.
As soon as we got in the door I would run straight to the best spot in front of that chip bowl and eat Sour Cream and Onion Old Dutch potato chips with onion dip until my lips turned blue. That magic bowl was never empty. Just as it started getting low Grandma would appear out of nowhere, having accessed her hidden stash of chips and dump two fresh bags into the bowl. It was a Christmas miracle!
My other Grandma had a cold room in her basement where she stored all of her homemade treats.
She made everything herself. There were German cookies, shortbread cookies, gingerbread men, cakes and squares. It was sugar and butter nirvana in that dark little cold room.
As soon as we arrived at her place we said a quick hello and then it was a quick bee-line to the cold room, often times my Dad in the lead each of us hoping to get there first to find where the best cookies were hidden.
Grandma would yell down,
“Don’t go in the cold room and eat everything! You’ll spoil your appetites!”
My Dad would yell back,
“Don’t worry! We’re just looking Grandma!”
Meanwhile we’d be opening up all the ice cream buckets that held different cookies grabbing a couple of each, shoving them in our mouths and passing them around to the next kid like the sugar junkies we were. It was all so naughty and nice.
And finally, because it isn’t a personal style blog without a bit of personal style here I am wearing one of my Christmas outfits with my sister looking rather pissed.
For 99% of my life I hated having my photo taken, and you can see just how pleased I look here. I can remember being told to smile for the photo. Look at what an obedient kid I was! Ha ha!
Of course it might have something to do with those horrible home perms we were forced into that stank for days. Or maybe it was the fact that my Grandma always sewed the exact same outfit for my sister, thus proving that I was not a unique individual with my own tastes and desires, but simply a kid that had to dress exactly like her sister because my Grandma didn’t want to waste fabric and we couldn’t afford otherwise.
At the age of eleven my family bought an ice cream shop and I began my first job scooping ice cream and selling hot dogs, popcorn, malts and milkshakes. From that day on I’ve never worn the same thing as my sister or anyone else for that matter. I was able to buy whatever I liked with my own money. I’ve never looked back!
As far as outfits for Christmas this year, I may wear this dress on Christmas Eve…
It is a far cry from my pantsuit and ruffled lace blouse.
The dress is wonderfully comfortable and soft but isn’t exactly food friendly.
There will be no sitting by the chip bowl eating till my lips turn blue in this dress.
Also this dress may be a pug hair magnet as it is velvet.
What isn’t a pug hair magnet at this time of year? It’s dry, it’s cold and my pug is shedding her weight in fur daily. I think I could make two brand new baby pugs from the fur she’s shed in the last week.
I need teflon antipughair coated clothing.
I wish this dress had long sleeves. It’s a bit chilly to go without sleeves.
It works very well with my floor length velvet duster which adds the sleeves I require at this time of year, but covers up the awesomeness of the dress.
There I am doing my best version of a statue that is trying to stand very still to avoid contamination by random pug hair.
As long as I don’t sit down anywhere in the house I should be fine.
This is another one of those great vintage pieces I’m undecided about selling. I think I need to take it out on the town at least once before it finds a new owner.
What about you? What are your favourite Christmas memories? Food or fashion wise?
I will be taking a bloggy break until after the holidays.
I will still be updating Vintage By Suzanne and posting randomly on Instagram but otherwise I will catch up with you again in the New Year.
From my heart to yours, wishing you a wonderful holiday filled with
chocolate covered wreaths happiness and endless bowls of chips love.
You may also like Christmas Dress, Sparkly New Year’s Eve Dresses, Cocktail Party outfit ideas.
Linking up with Visible Monday, I Will Wear What I Like, Shoe and Tell, Turning Heads Tuesdays,
That is such a “VA VA VOOM” dress! I think it needs a faux fur stole. The Christmases of my childhood were spent with my cousins at my Grandmother’s, with my grandmother telling my mother that I was too thin and not eating enough. I wasn’t a big dessert eater as a kid but it appears that’s changed in the last decade. I haven’t really celebrated Christmas for many years, aside from having dinner with friends but I do look forward to having the time off work. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Suzanne!
Merry Christmas, Suzanne and Family (pug included, of course)! I loved reading about that chocolate wreath and the chip bowl. Prior to your post, I had never heard of a chocolate wreath, but I do think someone could make a fortune making them again! I would buy one for all my family members because they all LOVE chocolate!
Your dress is STUNNING. It’s one of those eye-popping, wowsa, once in a lifetime dresses! If I were you I’d keep it. But if you’re not going to keep it…you think it’d fit me? 🙂 hee hee.
Cheers and happiness to you and yours, my friend!
Aww I love your Grandma stories, and the idea of a chocolate wreath . . . We don’t normally celebrate Christmas but I could be convinced. The dress is WOW and you look gorgeous wearing it (love the long coat too). And pug hair – we should write posts about eliminating pet from our stuff. Wait, huh? That will never happen. Best holiday wishes to you and your loved ones, xox
Marilee Gramith says
Your stories are just delightful and you told them beautifully. The pictures of you looking naughty and nice were the perfect addition to your holiday musings. SWEETS are such an important part of holiday tradition and I think everyone shares some crumb covered Christmas memories.
You are a knockout in that red and black velvet dress and your velvet coat is perfection with it!!! If you don’t have a holiday event to wear that outfit to, I suggest you crash one!!! How could they turn you away looking so damn gorgeous! !
Happy Holidays to you , your handsome husband and sweet, little hairball , Zoe!
Cynthia Peterson says
Suzanne, I had forgotten those chocolate wreaths! My mom bought them at Christmas and we were allowed one chocolate each day. We took turns choosing first, so it was fair 😉 As I am an identical twin, and my monm sewed all our clothes, I too dressed just like my sister. Thanks for those great memories. Have a wonderful Christmas.
What a wonderful post, this brought back so many fond memories for me. We seriously are too much alike. My grandmother (on my dad’s side) also had a cold room and it was the first place we would sneak to. I am now craving her homemade carmels as I type this. Dang you! I do have her recipe and I just might need to attempt them on Thursday.
As for the sweet chocolate wreath, we definitely need to create one of those!!! Remind my why we’re not neighbors? Maybe you should seriously think of moving here, we could have so much fun!
Your photos are priceless and also brought back fun memories, my sister and I are 19 months apart so we had our share of being dressed head to toe alike (in homemade) outfits.
As for favorite traditions now, well I love our Family Christmas Eve get together and I have absolutely no idea what I’ll be wearing. Guess I better figure it out real soon.
Rachel G says
Loved reading your Childhood Christmas memories. The treats my grandma made are a big part of my memories too–particularly a white chocolate peppermint bark she always used to make. My grandma has Alzheimer’s and is no longer able to cook the way she used to, but her food made an impact on several generations.
Your Christmas dress is extremely classy and lovely–but no, it doesn’t look like the kind of dress I’d be most comfortable wearing when sitting down to a meal full of Christmas treats!
Dear Suzanne, I am a bit emotional, a bit more this time of the year. I try my best to be “numb”, or whatsoever close to it, but as time approaches, 4 – 5 days to Christmas now, things take a toll on me 🙁 I think of my parents (I wrote that they passed away a few years ago, together) and how much I would like to be with them – enough, I don’t want to cry 🙂 I will comment about your memories, how cool they are – the grannies with the candies and the cold room “we are just looking” 🙂 I loved your pictures! After all, life is about families, friends and love. And this time of the year we see this even more, I think. You did it well never wearing the same things 🙂 But you and your sister look so sweet! This amazing pug magnet dress you are wearing is fantastic, you look so great! Traditionally I wear black on Christmas, with some pop of color (normally dark, green or something else). So I would love to wear this dress! You look stunning! Hope you have a great Christmas, with new memories every year! Bisous!
What a wonderful read! Your Grandma stories are just lovely, both gorgeously glam women and the chocolate wreaths and infinite crisp bowls make me love them even more.
The photo of you and your sister made me laugh. The outfits are insane and your little grumpy face is adorable. My brother was the miserable one on our childhood photos (he’s not much better now!)
That dress is incredible on you. Wow! I love the long coat but yep, it’s a shame it hides those sexy stripes.
Have a brilliant Xmas and a joyful reunion with the handsome husband. xxxx
I loved reading about your Grandmas and their treats at Christmas, and that photo of you and your sister is fabulous!
The dress has to be a keeper, surely – it looks just wonderful on you, sexy and chic and VELVET! All outfits should be accessorised with pet hair, I reckon, it adds class.
Have a very happy Christmas, Suzanne. xxx
Merry Christmas to you to Suzanne!
I loved hearing about your favourite memories, and that picture of your matching outfits is the best! 😉
My favourite tradition (which is still going on to this day) is the Christmas party my mom’s side of the family has each year the weekend before Christmas. It’s a potluck, and sometimes we go tobogganing and we always do a silly gift exchange, and eat too many sweets. It’s a lot of fun. 🙂
Hope you have a lovely holiday season!
Anna Parkes says
I love your childhood tales Suzanne, especially your Christmas ones. Your velvet gown is pretty amazing and looks even more so with the velvet duster over it. Surely you’ll have to do a fair bit of swanning about in it before you can sell it on? Taking a Christmas break sounds very healthy, well done you! Wishing you and all the family a wonderful Christmas x
Veronica Cooke says
What wonderful memories, Suzanne!
I love your claret and red dress and the duster coat is great, but as you say it hides the beautiful dress. What about a bolero jacket instead? Or a shawl?
I hope you have a lovely holiday and enjoy your blogging break!
This dress is super gorgeous, even though you feel self conscious! Maybe add a pashmina for when it is cool. Love the story of grandma and her cold room. She looks like my grandma, but mine did not allow sweets! ( here sisters did, my great aunts!)
Love the leopard shoe with the dress .
I know how you felt being dressed alike, I am a twin with a baby sister less than a year apart, so we three, and then my older sis of 1&1/2 years all wore the same velvet dresses, So four of us dressed as one. Adding insult to injury, they always included itchy crinoline.
I can also see a beaded or faux fur bolero jacket with that.
Happy and Merry!
You were an obedient and lovely little girl! ( and now a wonderful and stylish woman! )
Best wishes and … a kiss to your sweet pug!!
Theresa Campbell says
Your family photos are adorable. I love how you have those Bettie Page bangs going on in the first one. And I totally remember those stinky perms. My mom used to have my friend’s mother perm my hair. Don’t ask my why, as I already have curly hair. So I would look like little orphan annie when she got done. Not a look you want when you’re 12.
I think your dress is gorgeous and very sophisticated, pug hair infested or not. The way it is color blocked is very figure flattering. How about a shrug? That would cover the arms, but you’d still see the great design detail in the dress.
Whatever you decide, I’m sure you’ll be the best dressed no matter where you go.
Have a wonderful holiday.
I loved seeing your pictures and reading about your holiday memories! My grandma put all of her cookies into ice cream buckets too – and then into the freezer. I was the queen at sneaking them! What a lovely dress, and so flattering on you. I laughed about the dog hair – I always say I could make another dog out of the hair that is shed by my two labs on a daily basis! Suzanne, it’s been such a pleasure to read your blog this year. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a very Merry Christmas!
That dress is sexy, sexy, sexy!! And holy cow…do you look a whole lot like your grandma or what?! Hope you had a fabulous Christmas my friend!
I thought I commented already…holiday brain.
I LOOOVE that dress with and without the duster. Wow. You could wear a dry-cleaning bag over it and that would protect it from pug hair. Attraaaactive, yesh.
And the pissed off photo cracks me up!! Perfect really. It was worth the suffering if only to get this photo to use in this blog post.
The chip bowl and the cookie snatching. Hahaha!! No chips for me, or at least no at Christams! – which explains my current love of them. But there were pies aplenty and we’d fight over the biggest piece. I never had my photo taken when I was a kid so of course I shunned the camera whenever it came near me later on in life too. My life is one gigantic hissy fit. Heh. Good thing we have blogs to vent on.
Happy Holidays, you!
No Fear of Fashion says
Suzanne…. MY DETAILS are prefilled in the comment box. YAY.
As for the best Christmas… that was with at the house of Ron’s best friend the year everybody of their firends (who we know for a long time) and family gathered and everyone brought food for the very long table. I love these Italian chaos gatherings. At home it was my father, mother, brother and me. That was it. We never went to family at Christmas and I didn’t have any grandparents apart from one grumpy grandfather who lived with his daughter. Hence my craving for big family gatherings.
And you look amazing in that dress. The coat is of course a match.
Happy holidays dear Suzanne.
That is a stunning dress! I always feel a bit ,,down,, when Christmas is over. But hey, we still have new years eve!
w o w! You rock in this dress!!!
Happy Holidays Suzanne. A wonderful post of sweet memories. And the dress is killer! Looking forward to following you in 2017.
You are looking absolutely magnificent darling! What a striking dress and you carry it off with such style!
Such a lovely read as well my dear!How lovely were the magical memories your grandmother’s made for you! One of my favorite Christmas memories … rearranging the presents under the tree … as each new one would arrive under our tree … I happily rearranged them all to make the whole assortment look their very best!
Happiest of New Year’s to you and yours darling!!
cherie james says
Such a stunning dress Suzanne, it fits like a glove! Gorgeous!! Love the old photos, brings back wonderful childhood memories for me.
Elizabeth g. Arthur says
After a month away from the blogging world, I’m just going back, catching up and enjoying reading my favourite blogs – and this one is great, Suzanne! You are certainly an individual in every way now! I wonder, did you wear that fabulous slinky dress on Christmas Eve? xx