Bing Crosby, Peanut Brittle & Cigarettes | Danny's Universe

When I was young, I looked forward to Christmas from the time our school year started, until the big day finally arrived.  
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That period of time seemed to take


I loved Christmas.  There were lots of reasons for this.  Like most kids, the gifts under the family Christmas tree were at the top of my reasons to love Christmas list.  

Of course there were many other things I liked about the season, most of which I took for granted at the time.   It seems like part of the human condition to not fully appreciate things until they're gone. 

Today the fond recollections of my childhood Christmases reside only in the memories I share with a small handful of other people who were there for that ever so brief period of time. 

Unfortunately that number of memory-sharers is diminishing as time goes by.   I do my best to make new memories, but somehow things just aren't the same; some things are better and others, not so much.  Like Frank said, That's Life.   

This may be one of the biggest reasons I love old movies and music so much.  Seeing Bing Crosby dressed as a priest and hearing Dean Martin sing The Things We Did Last Summer, take me back to that carefree time of my youth. 

By the way, my favorite Christmas movie is It's A Wonderful Life followed closely by Holiday Inn.  My favorite Christmas songs are Silent Night and White Christmas.  How about you?  

I would love to read your favs in the comment section below.

Some of my favorite Christmas memories are of when Mom & Dad took us kids to visit our relatives.  Mostly, these were the same folks that we always visited.  

However, with Christmas music in the air and twinkling lights on the many homes we passed on the way, things were different.  

All of my grandparents, aunts and uncles had their Christmas trees up and fully decorated.  Some had garland and tinsel strung up around their homes, and a few outdoor decorations too.  

I loved seeing the large manger scene in my grandparent's yard.  It was so long ago that I don't remember exactly what everything looked like, but I do remember the way it made me feel.

Peanut Brittle
During the holiday season, one of my aunts always seemed to have peanut brittle sitting in a big tray on the coffee table when we visited she and my uncle.  

The peanut brittle was where the lemon drop candy would normally reside. The tray sat right next to the remote control, her lighter, and cigarettes.  

Sometime I may write about the cigarettes, but not today.

Anyway, if I remember correctly, that table had a big piece of glass on it with pictures placed underneath.  I remember being happy to see my picture placed there.  For some reason, I was always just a little bit afraid I would break that glass.  

It's funny how we remember things, that we haven't thought about in decades.  Who needs a therapist, just blog!  

Although I wasn't necessarily a fan of peanut brittle, I would catch myself sampling a piece or 2 each visit.  It was sort of hard and soft at the same time.  

That same aunt liked to make fudge and other delectable goodies.  She and my uncle were really something special.    

They would do what I considered at the time to be arguing.  As I look back, I realize now that was just how they played with each other.  They would go back and forth, cussing about something one minute, and then laughing together the next.

On our family visits the adults would talk, and we kids would mostly listen unless they brought us into the conversation - which they did often.  I would occasionally chime in with some comment I thought was funny.  It was a good feeling when everyone laughed.
Today, I would give a lot of money to sit on that florally printed sofa and enjoy a piece of homemade peanut brittle candy with them!

I was blessed to have several other aunts and uncles.  I plan to talk about them in the future.  God has blessed me in so many ways.

Now that I have quite a few nieces and nephews of my own, it seems life has come full circle.  Well, maybe not exactly full circle, I'm not a grandpa!  

Thank you for reading,
Love one another

Disclaimer: I believe the philosophy I put forth here.  I believe my points are valid.  However, all situations are not equal.  If you are in dire need please speak to a respected faith leader or professional counselor in your area.  The thoughts and opinions here are my own and should not take the place of professional advice.



  1. Let's see.....hard to decide what my favorite Christmas songs are because I love them all. However, I think It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, Silver Bells, We Three Kings and Joy to the World are probably my favorites.. With that being said, a few years ago Mary Did You Know became a big favorite.
    Peanut brittle was not one of my favorites until I started making it when I worked at Russell Stover Candies. Fresh brittle (made in a huge copper pot and poured on a marble slab, so brittle it breaks like glass) still warm is delicious. Of course, I had to do a quality taste on every batch to make sure it was good enough to sell. Not only peanut, but cashew and pecan brittle are very yummy as well.

    1. I don't think I have ever had cashew or pecan brittle. If I tried to make those myself, I would probably eat all of the nuts as I was making it!

      Thank you for taking time to comment here and on Facebook!

  2. My grandparents always had everyone out to their farm for the holidays. It was a 15 mile drive and I can remember times when snow drifts were higher than the car! Most of the time it was nice enough that we all played outside around the place. But, when it was nasty out we'd go up in the hay loft and swing on the ropes. Or had fun with the Various games kids played back in the 50s and 60s. My grandmother was an awesome cook and so were my aunts. Grandad put up a tree and one string of lights outside. He refused to loose the farm to a huge electricity bill he said. LoL There was no end to the candies. Divinity and the peanut brittle you speak of were my favorites. Grandma had this charming little plastic tree with branches on it that she put spice drops on. It was my job to keep it filled between runs to the root cellar to fetch the wonderful canned goods from her garden as she needed them.

    When the weather was decent the hunters among us would go out in the morning and hunt until dinner was ready. Then stuff themselves while watching football. No big table for us! There wasnt room in the farm house. The little kids sat at a card table and the non football addicted folks used the small dining table.

    Later in the evening Grandad would hitch up either the sled he made for large groups or the haywagon depending on the snow and take us for a 4 mile ride around the countryside. We picked up the neighbors as we went along and enjoyed Thermous jugs of hot chocolate for warmth. We sang Carols and listened to the bells on the team as we enjoyed the company of our family and friends. It was sooo much fun!

    My favorite movie was also Its a Wondeful Life with White Christmas as a close second. But, I could watch The Bells of St Mary's all year long! :)

    When they retired and moved to our small town nothing really changed except the new house was very tiny. The root cellar was the garage and I was still the gofer. The teenagers would dress warmly and go walking around town looking at store window displays. We were lucky enough to have a theater owner who opened for a matinee on Christmas day. So we usually wound up there with our crisp $5.00 bills we got from the grandparents for Christmas. Somewhere along the timeline one of my bachelor 40 something cousins bought a 65 Mustang convertible. We'd put the top down on a 35° day and load that up with little cousins pretending it was a hay wagon ride. The Shouts of " YOU'RE CRAZY" from passers by made us laugh till our sides hurt!

    It truly was a wonderful life and I'll never forget those golden times.

    1. Thank you for sharing these memories with us here. You are a very talented writer. Do you blog? If not, you really should think about it.

      Also, thanks for taking time to comment. I greatly appreciate it!

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  5. My favorite non-religious Christmas song is Silver Bells, and my all-time favorite Carol is What Child Is This? I love the old Christmas movies and like you my 2 favorites are It’s A Wonderful Life and Holiday Inn. I, too, had lots of aunts and uncles and we always got together at Christmas either at Grandma’s or one of the others’ homes after she passsrd. awww-precious memories do linger and roll down my cheek often. ❤️��

    1. Thank you Elizabeth. I especially like where you said, "awww - precious memories do linger and roll down my cheek often.