Tuesday, December 15, 2009


It was just perfumed talcum powder.

Three small, round, cylinder shaped containers, decorated with foiled candy cane stripes of red, green and blue. A gift given to me, on a long ago remembered Christmas morning at my paternal grandmother's house.

It's been at least 46 years ago and every Christmas I still think about this sweet little gift that was given to me by my Aunt Mildred. And yes, this Christmas, I summoned every ounce of creativity that I could muster and recreated these little vials of powder just as I remembered them and took the picture that is posted above.

I remember them fondly as being one of my most favorite Christmas presents of all time.

You may ask me why. I wish I knew. I've asked myself this question many times throughout the years. It wasn't expensive. My aunt perhaps got them at a local five and dime store or from Avon. Was Avon even around 46 years ago?

Christmas at my Granny's house in Mexia, Alabama was always a special event. To say that New Orleans , where we were growing up at the time, was a different world, would be a understatement of epic proportions.

Granny's house was a house of kindness, serenity and calm. I always felt safe there and especially at Christmas time. If I closed my eyes and went back in time, I would still smell the Christmas tree that always stood over in the left hand corner of her living room, in front of the window. I never knew it to be placed anywhere else. I would hear how the hardwood floors creaked when you walked across them and how the front screen door made a slapping sound when you came in and out.

Because Granny's house was a gathering place for all of my Dad's extended family members, on Christmas morning there would be just a ton of Christmas presents! What a delight to us kids! Most of the time it would be practical gifts like socks or tee shirts with a few small gifts of toys or talcum powder! We didn't get to go there every Christmas, but when we did go, it was a special treat!

It never ceased to amaze me that Granny always seem to have warm food in her oven. You could get to her house late at night and she would start pulling delicious food from her stove. To this day when I smell bacon frying I think of Granny. Eat speckled butter beans that turn grey in the pot, takes me right back to her dining room.

So, maybe it was never about the little gift of talcum powder after all, but the memories of which the gift represented. Those memories that forever left its impression in the heart and mind of a 10 year old child.

I'm reminded of the greatest gift that was ever given. That sweet little Jesus child, born in a manger. What a special gift His birth represented, the gift of eternal life!

Earlier this afternoon, I got a call from my sister. My sweet Aunt Mildred passed away in her sleep last night. She was 90 years old and loved Jesus. She'll be at home with Him this Christmas.
I lovingly dedicate this post in her memory,
and the memory of that long ago Christmas present of talcum powder,
and the fond memories of which that gift represented.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

My Granny's house the way it looks today. Funny thing is, it doesn't look a whole lot different than it did 46 years ago! Behind the window, just left of the front door, yep, that is where you would find the Christmas tree!


Susan said...

What a sweet post of remembrancee and how special that you recreated the talc vials so we could have the visual. A wonderful tribute to not only your Aunt but your granny.

Rose said...


Isn't it funny what things we tuck away in our memories and the thoughts they evoke when we bring them to mind. We return, in our minds, to that moment in time when something special happened that touched our hearts. Lovely story!
I love the house photo. Boy those types of homes take me back a few years too.

sonja said...

I think your aunt would have loved your tribute, especially the striped talc containers. It is never the big fancy gifts that leave the deepest impression, it's the striped containers... lovingly shared from the heart. My aunt Ada lived to be 100 and died a couple of years ago, and her gift to me one year as a child was the one I've never forgotten.
Precious words, and heaven becomes more real each time of of these loved ones precedes us there.
Maybe Aunt Mildred and Aunt Ada will meet this Christmas!

Anonymous said...

What a sweet post - fitting for this time of year. Thanks for a glimpse into your memory album!

Amrita said...

Hi Debra thanks for sharing such a sweet memory

Maxine said...

Debra, I know exactly what you mean about those memories of smells and sounds and warmth. I can certainly understand your heart as you remember your Granny's house and your Aunt Mildred. So glad she knew the Lord.

Brenda said...

I loved this post. Glad to know your sweet Aunt Mildred is Home now. What wonderful memories to cherish.

Anonymous said...

I love the way specific patterns, shapes, sounds and smells bring to surface those comforting moments in our past.
I know your aunt would feel blessed at knowing something so simple impacted you so much - even after all these years. And what a greater blessing that you choose to recreate that memory for others to enjoy today.
Thank you so much for sharing.

Art said...

That's sweet! But Sorry to hear about your aunt.

Buttercup said...

My Aunt Miriam passed away this July. Her memory is with me, especially at holiday time. Wishes to you and your family for a blessed Christmas! So enjoy your blog.