Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday, 15 December 2014

The Ghosts of Christmas Past

And so it is only just over a week and a bit to Christmas. Our last "homework" for our writer's group was to write a memory from Christmas.  And this is what came to me..... I thought I would share it with you.

Christmas comes but once a year
It brings with it joys and tears

As I go through the motions of gift buying, decorations and planning menus..... 
Please click on "read more" to read "The Ghosts Of Christmas Past" ....

The Ghosts of Christmas Past
Christmas only comes but once a year
It brings with it joys and tears

As I go through the motions of gift buying, decorations
And planning menus
I am thinking of those who will be missing from my table  for the first time this year

They are the ghosts of Christmas past

 My father hanging Christmas lights in the pine trees at our front gate
The carol singers under our corner street light

I lay in bed wondering how Father Christmas could possibly come down
our kitchen chimney and through the little doors at the front of our Metters Stove.
But he did – because the carrots and cake were gone in the morning.

The excitement of seeing my new big doll Lucy under the Christmas tree

My mother dishing up the Christmas pudding with the threepences hidden inside
Her Christmas carols that filled the house.

The long Christmas table at my Aunts
With aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents
And silly hats

 Summer heat and laughter,
Playing under the sprinkler on the back lawn,
And laying on the cool passage lino with a new book

The simple pleasure of humid summer evenings on the back lawn
     looking up at the stars.

As I hang the special Christmas baubles on my tree
And light the candle of remembrance
I look into the eyes of my grandchildren
And I see the ghosts of Christmas past

 Jill Harrison
2 December 2014

These special glass baubles came from a Christmas tree at a memorial service I went to last week with my friend, for people who had lost someone this year. The one on the left is the one for my Dad this year. The one of the left is for my Mum two years ago.

The family photo above was taken in 1961 when I was six with some of my aunts, uncles, cousins... I am in the front row with my cousin David who is closest to me in age. That is my Mum on the right front, my Dad in the suit at the back right with my sister in front of him.

Below is my my sister and me ready to go to my grown-up cousin's wedding. That's me in front - do you like my frilly dress and the curls? I don't have curls naturally. I remember going to bed with curlers in my hair.  The middle photo is of me playing "dress-ups" with my big doll Lucy (mentioned in the poem above). And the last one is in 1959 when I was four. I can distinctly remember this. I didn't want to sit on this man's knee. I don't know if you can tell I am trying to pull my hand away. 

This is the house where I grew up.  The first image would possibly be in the early 1950s not long after they moved in. You can see the pine trees by the front gate are very small. They grew huge, and Dad used to string Christmas lights on them. You can also see our chimney that Father Christmas had to come down! Our house was on a corner, where there was a street light. Every Christmas the Salvation Army would go around our area singing Christmas Carols and they always stopped under our street light and sang a few carols. It was so lovely. 

The second photo is in the early 1970s just before we moved house. Dad had the pine trees cut down at some stage. I guess they got way too big. 

Last weekend we went to Lava Glass on the waterfront in Bunbury. They make and sell beautiful glass artwork from various Western Australian glass artists. You can have your hands imprinted in silica sand into which glass is melted to create a piece of wall art as a lasting memento of a moment in time.  It was our son and daughter-in-laws tenth wedding anniversary in September and we bought this for them as a gift. They are creating their own memories. I will write about Lava Art Glass Studio and Gallery in a future post.  In the meantime you can find out more about them by clicking here - Lava Art Glass

What are your special memories of Christmas past? Perhaps you would like to tell us about them in your comments.

How devastating today to hear about the deaths of two innocent people in Sydney by the hand of a terrorist in a hostage situation. I cry and pray for them and their families. And for the three children who will be without their mother this Christmas.

I found this beautiful song from Enya today to share with you. It's a reminder for me, especially this year....

The Spirit of Christmas Past.....
When tears are in your eyes, it's time to look inside, your heart can find another way
Believe in what I say, don't throw this time away,
Tomorrow will be Christmas Day, Christmas Day

So, let the shadows go, and drift away like snow,
Tomorrow will be Christmas Day, tomorrow will be Christmas Day

So dream until the night becomes the morning light
Tomorrow will be Christmas Day, tomorrow will be Christmas Day.

You can hear the music track by clicking here (skip the advert) -   The Spirit of Christmas Past

Thanks for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. Have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to Mosaic Monday, Our World Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World,  and What's It Wednesday.  Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday
Our World Tuesday
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
What's It Wednesday



  1. Wonderful story and great memories...love old pictures and finding out about family traditions....your pictures remind me of ours...

    1. it seems that many of us "of a certain age" have similar memories. I feel that life was much simpler back then - or was it because I was just a child?

  2. What a lovely walk down the family Christmas memory lane. I have similar memories with my large extended family and some black & white photos that look similar to yours. This year it is just going to be hubby and I plus our two children and girlfriend. I am looking forward to a quieter day and less mess!! You looked very cute in your frilly dress and curly hair Jill! Merry Christmas

    1. ours will be small too, just my two sons, daughter-in-law and 2 grandsons. I am hoping to catch up with my sister and her family a day or so after Christmas though. I need to be with her this year.
      Have a lovely Christmas Kathy.

  3. Looking at your photos and reading your story of The Ghosts of Christmas Past sure got me to thinking about my own childhood Christmases. The doll I remember came with a red velvet coat trimmed in white fur, I named her Ruth. The paper hats from the crackers that mother insisted we wear and the big shiny apple and nuts that were in my stocking - a real treat back then.
    The glass poured hand prints would make a lovely gift and I'm sure yours was appreciated.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Jill.

    1. our dolls had summer dresses because they were given during the Australian summer Christmas.
      I thought the glass pouring handprints make such a unique and lasting gift.

  4. Enya's music is always so wonderful ~ Lovely post and photos and warm memories of Christmas ~ Memories is mostly what I have now ~ grateful, though, for brother, sister and son and his wife and of course my doggie ~ Looking forward to the returning of the 'light' Winter Solstice ~ Wonderful ~ thanks,

    Happy Week to you,
    artmusedog and carol

    1. Yes Enya's music is beautiful. I have her Christmas album - so lovely. I wish you happy memories Carol.

  5. Hello Jill, what a lovely post and wonderful images of your family.. I enjoy looking back at Christmases past. It is very sad about the hostages, my prayers go out to the victims and families..

    1. I cry for those 3 children who will be without their mother this Christmas.
      Have a lovely Christmas Eileen up there in the snow!

  6. Christmas is bittersweet. It was always my favourite holiday because it was all about family. Now they are all gone. But I take out bits of the old to remember the good times. - Margy

    1. I understand this feeling very well this year. Be blessed with good memories this year Margy.

  7. There was even LESS chance of a white Xmas in Fiji, where I spent much of my childhood, than Australia - but I always wanted one. It's funny how us Aussies cling to the traditions of the 'old country' - even in Fiji, we always had a Xmas tree and presents, a special Xmas feast and Xmas carols that bore no resemblance to the tropical paradise around us!!! Those days are gone now, but I've still got the photos!! Thank you for sharing your story and pictures - it's going to be a sad Xmas for so many people, but it's also a chance to reflect and remember how lucky we are in this country.

  8. That piece of glass with the hand prints? I LOVE that! I'll have to source locally to see if there is someone who can do that for us. What a wonderful anniversary gift for your son and daughter-in-law!

    Thanks for sharing your memories of Christmas past with us.

  9. I love to remember Christmas past. Every time I hang an ornament I relive a memory.

  10. Love all the vintage images, my Mum is the keeper of the family albums at present.

    And in answer to your comment on my blog, yes I am carrying on with my 365 Project next year. It has really changed my photography and I seem to be a little addicted


  11. What an interesting and fun memento! It seems to be an upgrade of the plaster handprints we did as kids .

  12. What a lovely post and such nice memories! Little girls in pretty old dresses (how I've dreamed about it!)
    My memories of Christmas in the former GDR are quite different. I will tomorrow post a short memory-story in my blog and give you a link in a comment here.
    Have a great time, greetings from Germany

  13. Beautiful,cherished memories shared Jill. I know it has been a difficult year for you and sharing the stories, remembering those very special times, in a sense, keeps our loved ones alive, so long as we are left to remember. The adornments to remember the lost with is a very thoughtful thing to do. Hugs to you~

  14. Beautiful words Jill, I love the photos and the theme, thank you xxx

  15. Hi Jill,
    I had a look at your web-site.......lots of memories there, it is strange to see family photo’s on the web and read all the lovely comments, and isn’t it interesting to study the dress, the cardigan was really a ‘must have’ then..........lol.
    Seasons greetings to you and yours and best wishes for 2015.
    Cheers now,
    Your “Grown up cousin” Margaret

  16. Here is my Christmas Memory story
    Happy fourth Advent


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