Our Blog - Rosedale Swing Company

December 12, 2014 • Myka Jelier

Christmas1968 - Christmas Present


Christmas 1968: Christmas Present

December – a warm blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It weaves a spell of nostalgia.

Every year when I flip the calendar to December, I smile in recollection of my first Canadian Christmas.  Still today, the smell of fresh cut trees takes me down memory lane to a tiny two-room school house only 2 miles down the road from Rosedale Swing Company’s workshop. 2 rooms and 6 grades all under one roof.

 I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, Just like the ones I used to know. Where the tree tops glisten. And children listen. To hear sleigh bells in the snow. ~ Irving Berlin

December 1968 ~ After biking a mile into the cold wind with my siblings, I arrived at school with the anticipation of another regular ABC day.  Instead I opened the door and stood transfixed at the transformation that happened overnight. Breathtaking beauty: A ceiling high evergreen tree adorned with twinkling lights, tinsel and garland greeted me in all its colorful glory. Standing tall and proud in the hallway: It wasn’t just the colors. It wasn’t only the lights. It was the scent.  The deep rich pungent woodsy fragrance.

My sweet teacher smiled down at me like a madonna. She knew I did not have a tree in my childhood home, and I’m pretty sure my face was one sheer look of admiration and joy.

Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles.

I was hooked. Little red-head pigtailed me couldn’t get enough of the sparkly, glittery ornaments and twinkling lights. I stared at them from all different angles to observe the light prisms. And, I would inhale, deeply inhale, the delicious smell of dense green fir boughs.

That day we made cut-out paper Santas, snowmen, snowflakes and candy canes and strung them around the room on white yarn. And, I learned my first Christmas carol: Away in A Manger.

The next week, on a snowy day, we made REAL candles with crayons and hot melted wax poured into various little vintage molds. I chose a Christmas tree, of course. The tiny candles in their molds were placed in a bucket of snow to cool and to set the wax. All 15 students in that little room went home that day with a candle in their pocket. I didn’t want to leave school that day. I lingered around the tree a little longer. Sweet teacher let me make an extra candle with the leftover wax. Oh the joys: another little wax tree.

It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air. ~ WT Ellis

Teacher not only dressed the school hallway in festive décor, she made sure a nicely wrapped box mysteriously appeared under the tree. One for each student.  The last day before Christmas vacation she sent us all home with a hug and a gift. My first ever Christmas gift. The best teacher ever. I loved her to bits. She taught me the gift of giving and love. That was nearly 50 years ago.

I still haven’t lost the magic that December brings. Now I pass it on to my grandchildren and relive the magic and the spirit of love through their shiny eyes.

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~ Burton Hills

I’ll be back with a special Christmas blog on Christmas Eve.

Blessings to all.

Myka and the Rosedale Swing Company Team

* * *

photo credits:

White Album Photography 



Benson Jelier 

Rosedale Swing Company www.rosedaleswingcompany.com

Snow Globe purchased at: Target Canada

Fraser Fir tree purchased at: Pine Meadows Chistmas Tree Farm, Chilliwack BC



Thank you so much my friend for that lovely story! I hope your teacher knew how much she meant to you...you are such a great writer, all the blog posts should be put in a book.. I would buy one.. Love Sheila
Beautiful posts with photos and you took me way back. We are so happy with our swing and brings back many childhood memories as I look at it every day as it hangs from the tree. I need to stop by in the New Year!
Thank you Marg! I'm glad you enjoyed reading this post and I would love to have you stop in for a coffee in the New Year!
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