A Merry Christmas to all of my family and my friends and colleagues and the entire Medford Leas staff, and a happy holiday season to all!



Christmas has come once again to BergiesPlace thanks to my family’s and Barbara’s support.  It’s my 88th Christmas and though I don’t remember the first few that’s a lot of Ho-Ho-Ho-ing.  Bobby, Sigrid and Gretchen showed up with the tree the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  Otherwise I’m not sure there would be one this year.  That would have been a shame because I can picture  a tree and Christmas Garden in all of my eight homes over the years, and the tree carries many ornaments from those years and those of my parents and grandparents before I came down the chimney in 1932.

The family erected the tree, strung the lights and then hauled all of the annual stuff from the basement to decorate the rest of the townhouse.  For days after their visit I would be startled seeing an old friend which had migrated from the basement to some shelf or corner, from office to living/dining room, to TV room and to the kitchen.  Within a week Barbara and I had all of the ornaments placed on the tree, followed with strands of tinsel.  It all makes for a beautiful, soft scene during my morning coffee.


The tree’s ornaments are both ancient and modern.  On the left is the sea captain given to me by a dear friend after several years of cruising with us from the Chesapeake to New England.  On the right is an ornament from my parents’ tree, lovingly tagged by my late wife so the kids will know from where it came.


Even my late wife’s greenhouse had some additions for the holidays…a lighted miniature acrylic tree, a snow-tipped spruce, and a Department 56 wreath over the doorway (from my train layout days; nothing gets thrown away).  I built the greenhouse near twenty years ago, and Marty Lou had fun furnishing it.


Another pretty that emerged is this wreath after the style of Thomas Kinkade.  With enough years together Barbara has come to know my fondness for his work.  Yes, it’s schmaltzy but this beholder is warmed by the feelings that his work evokes.  And so this became a Christmas present to me from Barb a few years ago.  Love it.


Enjoying a continuing life is this centerpiece that Sigrid made for the tables at Barb’s and my birthday party two years ago.



Finally, this old friend joins me in this holiday greeting.  Enthusiasts will recognize this rare Christmas Heron.


 Together he and I wish you all a happy holiday season and a great year ahead.


For more of my Christmases past look up Christmas in my index.  There are eleven posts and they range from singing Silent Night at the Oberndorf Chapel in Austria where it was first sung, to SIlent Night in Antigua, to Philadelphia’s Christmas Markets, to Nuermberg’s Weinachtsmarket, to Wanamaker’s Grand Celebration to……and, of course, more at BergiesPlace.



12 Responses to “A CHRISTMAS GREETING”

  1. Ken Curtis Says:

    Merry Christmas, Ralph. Hope your holiday includes family and friends and perhaps a few good eats. It will be interesting to see what good things 2020 brings.

  2. Page Sutherland Foster Says:

    Merry Christmas 🎄🎁 Hope you will find happiness and joy😘

  3. larryalyons Says:

    Terrific memories! Have a Merry 88th Xmas Nd a Happy New Year!

  4. suskain Says:

    Thank you for sharing your memories. It’s a nice reminder of what the season is really about.

  5. Joe Perno Says:

    Merry Christmas to you and yours Ralph. I miss seeing you at the club. I love your stories and only wish I met you sooner. It’s apparent you have a life well lived with many adventures. I hope I get to see you and talk to you in the coming year. Merry Christmas and enjoy all those amazing memories with your morning cup o’ joe

    Joe Perno

  6. Bruce & Judy Says:

    Many thanks for including those of us who cannot make our way to sing Carols with other, more fortunate, friends of Bergie.

    The mementoes of past celebrations, and their jheritage, brings the ambiance of this year’s alive for us to savor as we sing along with gusto in celebration and appreciation of the many blessings we are privileged to share . . . most especially being among the many friends of Bergie ! ! !

  7. Jeanne & Matt Says:

    …a lovely post. 🌲
    Merry Christmas to you & your family also!

  8. EA Jackson Says:

    Merry Christmas and the Happiest New Year to you. I really enjoyed reading this blog. Of course I always do love your photos and blogs. The nostalgia that comes up those steps with the special trinkets warms one heart. Best to you in the up coming 2020. Wow 2020…..

  9. fiebs Says:

    Loved seeing your beautiful decorations and knowing the history of some of your treasures. Merry Christmas to you & yours, Ralph!

  10. Jo Ann Morris Says:

    A belated Christmas Greeting from the Connecticut Morrises. How generous of you to allow this peek into your holiday heart.what a treat for us.

    May 2020 bring to you an abundance of health, healing, happiness and peace.

    Biddle and Jo Ann

  11. Diane C Morton Says:

    This is beautiful Ralph!

  12. denisebushphoto Says:

    Checking in to see what is new and not sure how I missed this lovely nostalgic post. Wonderful decorations and write-up. Hope all is well as can be!

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