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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Past Memory

Christmas Past Memory best forgotten

Jimmy of “Jimmys opinion” @  post on his Christmas’s of past years, jogged this memory.
My first home as a young father did not have a fireplace.  Growing up we always had a fireplace, and on Christmas we always had stockings hung on the mantle.  I wanted to preserve this tradition for my children.
These days you can purchase a fake fireplace and mantle for a few hundred dollars.  I don’t think that was an option in the 70’s, but no matter, no way could I have afforded a few hundred dollars those days, even in 1970’s dollars.
I decided to build my own fake fireplace.  I wish I had a picture, it was pitiful.  Being left-handed (that is my excuse and I’m sticking with it) I have never been any good at carpentry.  This fake fireplace probably consisted of five pieces of wood, all carefully measured once and cut twice to create a wobbly crappy fake fireplace when joined with glue and nails.  To complete the illusion, I covered the structure with a brick pattern crepe paper.
I pulled this piece of crap out from a filthy crawl space storage area every Christmas for several years.  To my former perfectionist wife’s credit, I don’t believe she ever complained or made fun of it.  The children, I am sure, did not know any better, to them it must have just been a Christmas tradition for all families to hang stockings on a piece of crap that almost resembled a fireplace.
Eventually we were able to afford a real fireplace with a real mantle and I threw out the piece of crap fake thing.  I have since lived in three different homes, and it is a requirement that any home have a genuine fireplace and mantle.
This is as close as I could find to the fireplace.  THis is what it was supposed to look like, sadly mine was not as good.

Merry Christmas everybody!!


  1. "Being left-handed (that is my excuse and I’m sticking with it) ..." Yeah, I hear it's near impossible to find a lefty hammer, let alone a lefty screw driver! ;-)

    It's amazing what tradition will do for us, or in some cases to us. Queenie and I have made our own traditions, few as they are, as our familial traditions were not nearly as touching or enticing as the norm ...

  2. I think it's great that you made a fake fireplace that became a traditional part of Christmas.

  3. Merry Christmas! When it comes to that fireplace, it was the thought that counted.

  4. I felt annoyed with you for calling that creation of love a piece of crap this is very rude .

    You were are very loving and responsible father to create something by your own means for the happiness of your children believe me everyone is not as caring !and i am proud of you for this !
    Wishing you a very happy and prosperous Christmas Joe :)

  5. It's the thought that counts... and I'm pretty sure your children loved your fireplace display, after all you did it for them. Wishing you lots of joy this Christmas.

  6. I'm sure that fake fireplace provided wonderful memories for your children. Merry Christmas, my friend.

  7. • ★ Merry ★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
    •。★ Christmas 。* 。
    ° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
    ˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
    ˚ ˛ •˛• ˚| 田田 |門| ˚And a Happy New Year
    * Joy to all! ♫•*¨* Peace on Earth ♪♫•*¨*

  8. I bet your children remember that fireplace as being perfect. Merry Christmas Joe and thanks for the shout out.

    1. Actually, I think they were probably too young to remember it, and I've tried to forget it.

  9. We had one of those cardboard fireplaces at out first apartment.

  10. Your Uncle Tom fireplace memory..... involves a roaring fire used to burn the wrapping paper, ribbons,cardboard boxes, warranty information, Instruction manuals for toys and other gifts,Christmas cards that contained checks from Grandma, packages of parts for games. get the picture! We may have been better off with the fake fireplace! Merry Christmas Joe and family

  11. Aww, I think it was cool that you went out of your comfort zone to give the kids a "normal" place to hang a stocking. You da man Joe.

  12. We have a small built-in gas fireplace now and I love it.

  13. We had a cardboard fireplace when I was a little kid in the late 60's. I liked it, so I'm sure your kids loved the one you made.

  14. Congrats on your fireplace creation. It's the thought that counts, and you thought enough of your kids to do that for them. I'm sure it DID seem like a normal family tradition for them.

    We have a fake electric fireplace in our basement. Mainly for when the power goes off. It's easier to run it from a generator than a whole furnace. Actually, we have one in the living room, and one in the bedroom, too. Same reason.

  15. What they will remember is the loving papa who wanted them to have a fireplace on which to hang their stockings.

  16. Your kids may have had a fake fireplace, but it made for a REAL Christmas!!

  17. What a cool idea! When my kids realized that we didn't have a fireplace or chimney, they asked with quivering chins how Santa would be able to deliver presents. I had enough wits about me to say, "Well - he's magic, isn't he? Santa knows how to do it!"