Friday, December 23, 2022

Christmas 1967

 This week instead of an item from my collection, we're going to dive into pictures that I cherish from 1967. I think this was a high water mark for Christmases for me- but maybe it really isn't. Maybe because I have these photos I remember it as being more special. Regardless, here we go...

We start our tour in Denison, Texas. Actually in our living room in Denison, to be exact. The date was a few days before Christmas and the large white fuzzy object under our fully decorated 100% real tree is our cat, Snowball. He was a stray that decided that we would do as a family and, therefore adopted us. We had absolutely no say in the matter. This was taken with my dad's brand new Polaroid. I think he said he accidently got B&W film. Some shots look very artistic due to his mistake...

Such as this one! The smudges are on the print, not on the wall, by the way. My mom and I are looking at pictures which were probably taken by the same Polaroid. The large card shop bought Santa shade surrounds the lamp. They should still make those...

Here is a nice shot of me and my dad taken by my mom, I assume. I'm five years old in these, by the way. There seems to have been some gift wrapping going on. That is bowl of fake fruit on the table, although at first glance it looked alarmingly like a skull! A box of ribbon sits just beyond it. My dad was the minister of music and youth at First Baptist Church, Denison, so I was used to seeing him in suits and sport coats. 

Suddenly, we make a left turn! This is a picture of my cousin, Greg, and my uncle Bill playing football in front of our house in Denison. I have no idea why they were there, since they lived an hour and a half away. That's my mom's light yellow Ford in the driveway. The house is still there and looks pretty much exactly as it did then. The Christmas tree in the first picture was behind that window next to the porch.

My dad and I obviously were goofing off too much and were told to be serious. That's the only explanation I can think of for our expressions. Santa/Lamp is back! 

I'm pretty sure of a few things here- first, we were watching TV (this is in the den instead of the living room). This was a totally different day. The builders of our house loved paneling. Oh, and Dad got the right film this time...

I've always liked this picture. Another shot from the den, with our groovy vinyl floor! We didn't have a fireplace, so we just bought one! The "flames" had a lightbuld with a fan that rotated above it to simulate real fire. 
As an adult, I wanted to get another fireplace like this (even though I have a real fireplace now). As it turns out, this model, with the "Merry Christmas" and fireplace tools is pretty rare. Did I ever find it??? You'll have to wait to find out!

Here I am with my mom in the den. That book is "The Littlest Angel" and I still have it packed up in a box. I do NOT have that couch, although I once handcuffed myself to it. With real handcuffs. A locksmith had to rescue me. Long story.

Ah, now we're back in the living room! I think we're looking at a Christmas card...or a CD sleave. Probably a card....

Suddenly, it's December 24th and we're in Dallas at my grandparents' house! Weird, huh? That's my cousin, Tamra to the left  then me, then my cousin Greg again, then my mom, and then Uncle Bill again! We're all captivated by my new Incredible Edible set!

You've seen this shot before. Now you know, though, who is cut out of the picture. Apparently my mom didn't like how she looked, lol! That's a great looking space capsule, though!

The living room was where the real gift opening "action" happened, though! From left to right we have my grandfather, whom I'm named after. He was John Roy Stewart and I'm John Stuart Powley. Next we have my great aunt Nita and great aunt Sue. I think we have a little sliver of aunt Marilyn at the far right. I still have that china cabinet, by the way.

Ah, you've seen this one too! Here I am in gift-getting bliss! Tamra is in the background. I think she got a record player (with stand) and a Bambi record. 

My cousin, Greg, and my grandmother. She apparently got a set of pots and pans! At the time, I probably thought that was pretty boring. I gave my wife a set a couple of years ago and thought they were pretty cool! 

And finally we have Uncle Bill, Aunt Marilyn, my grandmother and my grandfather in opened gift devistation. Oh, and a pretty nice looking tree. Strangely, I know that the large opened box standing next to Uncle Bill (with a Transogram logo on it) was Tamra's gift, but I have no memory of what it actually was. There's that space capsule in the middle of the room! We really were fortunate, and I think we knew it. 

Family Christmases are different now, but I still love them.

Oh, and about that cardboard fireplace I was trying to find? What is that next to my grandmother's china cabinet???


And remember, family IS the treasure!


  1. Stu, what a fun post, thank you and Merry Christmas! I had the Littlest Angel book too, and I always cried reading it. I found it and scanned it a while back, and wept again reading it. Some things you never grow out of.


    1. Thanks.
      It really is a good book. I tear up reading it too! Of course, I've always been tender hearted, I guess. Merry Christmas!

  2. Wonderful pics, Stu! Christmas in the 1960's was always magical to me because that's when I was a child. I love that Merry Christmas "fireplace" prop. I once made a miniature cardboard fireplace by hand for a miniature Christmas diorama I made as a kid.

    Thank you and Merry Christmas!

    1. Yes, the 60's were that "sweet spot" for my childhood. It was certainly a time of wonder and magic! I bet I would have loved your diorama! I've always enjoyed things like that!
      You're welcome! Merry Christmas!

  3. Stu, your pictures and commentary are fun! Wonderful festive family memories to treasure.

    I especially love your photo with Incredible Edibles, which I also received for Christmas. That was a fun Christmas - and we didn't burn our fingers.

    Thank you for sharing your Christmas fun!

    And what about that handcuff story???


    1. Hi Sue!
      I remember liking making Incredible Edibles, but I'm pretty sure they tasted only slightly better than erasers!
      Ok, here's the story (it's actually not that interesting). My grandfather (the one in these pictures) bought some land in Athens, Tx. There were two old (very small) houses on the land that had been abandoned for years. I found the handcuffs in a pile of junk in one of the houses. My grandfather said I could have them. He probably had no idea that I would take them home and in a moment of little boy curiosity handcuff myself to a major piece of furnature. The locksmith came and since handcuff keys are pretty standard, I was free in a jiffy! I never saw the handcuffs again...

  4. Thank you for sharing these lovely memories! Snowball was a beautiful boy. There's nothing more flattering than being chosen by a cat. I love the cardboard fireplace; my sister and I have built a few of those over the years. One year we got a display picture of a fireplace fire that a local department store was throwing away when they stopped carrying gas fireplaces, and we used it in the fake fireplace for years. It looks real in our family snapshots! The Santa lampshade looks kind of ghostly, but more of a friendly ghost than a spooky one. Hope you're enjoying what's left of the holiday season!

    1. Thanks, Melissa! Happy holidays to you and yours too!

  5. Stu, I LOVE your handcuff story!

    Btw, I’ve never eaten erasers, so I can’t compare. But I still remember how a few of the Incredible Edible flavors tasted. I liked them—though they did have a strange aftertaste.


    1. Being a boy, I might have munched an eraser or two (it just sounds like something boys would do). Now that you mention it, I do remember a weird aftertaste!

  6. Wow, thanks for sharing all of your personal family photos with us, Stu! I am not that brave......yet. I always liked those cardboard fireplaces. I remember seeing them in the Sears Catalog/Wish Book. I didn't realize that they had a glowing light to simulate a real fire. Cool! In that one pic, it looks like your mom was actually squeezing the gel out of one of the Incredible Edible pouches, and into one of the molds. I still have the set from my childhood......I really need to photograph it. I came across it recently, and the box still had the original Sears price tag on it. I think it was only $3.99! And just like Sue, I never burnt my fingers! Merry Belated Christmas, and Happy New Year, Stu!

    1. That's cool that you still have yours, TM! She may have been doing exactly that!
      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too!!!


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