A Christmas Kee-Kee with Lisa, her mother, and her sisters!

Toys Mentioned in the episode

Cabbage Patch Doll

Easy Bake Oven

Baby Alive

 

 

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Lisa: (00:14)
Hello Stitchers. Welcome to Stitch Please the official podcast of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where black lives matter. I'm your host Lisa Woolfork. I am a fourth generation sewing enthusiast, with more than 20 years of sewing experience. I am looking forward to today's conversation. So sit back, relax and get ready to get your stitch together.

Lisa: (00:41)
Hello everyone, today is December 25th 2019 and that mean it's Christmas. So I wish a Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and for those who don't, Happy Holidays or just Happy Days. This is a special episode of the Stitch Please podcast and this is an opportunity that I had, to sit down and get on a call with my mother, my middle sister and my youngest sister. So these are the girls that I grew up with and my mother of course. Just the chance to kind of have these reminiscences about Christmas, about the sewing that my mother did is really a special time. So this episode is that conversation and we recorded it a few weeks ago and I thought it would be a perfect thing to show or to play for Christmas. As hopefully you all are enjoying time with family or just enjoying your regular sewing day or any day that is. I do wish everyone Happy Holidays and here is my family. My chat with my mother and my sisters. Thanks.

Lisa: (02:14)
Alright, good morning everybody. Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas. We are here today. Oh my gosh it's Christmas I'm exhausted. It is December 25th, 2019 and we have a very special episode here today at Black Women Stitch. I am talking with my family, my mother and my two younger sisters and we are joined here today to just talk about some Christmas creativity and some Christmas memories. I'm really fortunate to be from a family of wonderful women, and to grow up with these girls and to just help to know myself through knowing them. I'm delighted to welcome to the podcast today my mother, Ianthia Woolfork. Mama say hi.

Ianthia: (03:02)
Hi everybody. Merry Christmas.

Lisa: (03:07)
Who is cackling? I'm the oldest of three girls. My next middle sister is Sybil. Say hi Sybil.

Sybil: (03:17)
Hi. Good morning.

Lisa: (03:20)
My youngest sister, Stephanie.

Stephanie: (03:23)
Hello.

Lisa: (03:24)
So we are coming together to just talk a little bit about some Christmas memories and as you all are getting ready, for those who celebrate Christmas, who are getting ready for the holiday, this episode releases we know at seven o'clock in the morning and who knows, you all might be up, if you have little ones, you are up early in the morning. Some of my fondest memories are getting up early on Christmas morning when I was little and just seeing the splendid array of all the toys and magic and magnificence of Christmas. That's one of the great wonders I think of the holiday. So mama can you talk a little bit about like anything you remember from us, from early Christmases, some of the sense of surprise and wonder that you might remember from that time from us.

Ianthia: (04:18)
I know that you all would get up very early in the morning. It didn't matter. I would try to be real quiet and keep the house still and you still would get up at the crack of dawn. I think everybody, I don't know who got up first, but everybody would be up and on the floor at five thirty in the morning. 5:30 was good, sometimes it would be four thirty and you're telling them no, you need to go back to bed. Santa hasn't come yet. That's so that we could sleep in just a little bit longer, because we had been up the night before getting everything together.

Lisa: (04:54)
What do you mean?

Ianthia: (04:55)
Putting, making sure all the toys were where they're supposed to be. We have picked up things from different houses that we had dropped them off, because I couldn't leave it in the house, because you guys would just plunder and go through and look for everything.

Lisa: (05:14)
What!

Ianthia: (05:14)
Oh yes.

Stephanie: (05:14)
I think that was probably Sybil.

Lisa: (05:17)
I agree. That sounds like Sybil, but that sounds like something Stephanie would do for sure.

Ianthia: (05:21)
So I would have to go, if I had anything I would go and pick them up and then sometimes I would leave them in the trunk of the car until you guys would go to sleep. Where you would go to bed really early. Didn't go to sleep necessarily, but you would be trying to go to sleep. So that's what I can remember.

Lisa: (05:42)
First of all, I thought black Santa bought all that stuff, so I'm really shocked.

Ianthia: (05:47)
Yes. Well, voila! It was us.

Lisa: (05:56)
Oh, I remember. Do you all remember we grew up everyone, we grew up in South Florida, in West Palm Beach. Some of the kind of traditional Christmas stuff that people have about snow and fireplaces and stuff didn't apply to us, because we didn't have any snow and we didn't have a fireplace. So we did have the weather service would do a Santa tracker. Do you remember that?

Ianthia: (06:21)
Oh yes.

Lisa: (06:22)
They would have like they would say that Santa, it was the same system they use to track hurricanes, remember? The weather people would come on and say Santa is now heading this way from The Bahamas toward us. It just occurred to me like, now 30 that was actually the same like the system that they use to tell us how close a hurricane was.

Ianthia: (06:48)
Hurricane was coming.

Stephanie: (06:53)
I never really knew that. I just learned that then. Hmmm.

Lisa: (06:59)
Yes. They sure did. They had that tracker.

Ianthia: (07:02)
Yes, I knew I would see it and they would show like on the TV. It would show like they would have like this little star or this little, they would have the sled going across. I don't know, where he started from and then where he is now. and how close he is.

Lisa: (07:19)
How it was time to go to bed, because he was heading this way. Heading in, pulling in from the East, heading up the Coast. I was like, "oh, okay. I guess it's time."

Ianthia: (07:33)
Yes.

Lisa: (07:36)
I wanted to add, one of the things that I was thinking about since we had been talking this month about different, like I did a Holiday Gift Guide a few weeks ago and was talking with someone else about Christmas crafts in general. But one of the things I most remember about Christmas sewing from mama was when she made us this trunk that was a doll, and imagine everyone. I'm trying to describe it now. It was a trunk, like imagine a large rectangle with a handle at the top, I believe, and latches on the side and you unlatched it and it opened like a book. On one side the doll stood there and on the other side was a trunk, which had these little hangers and these clothes that were hanging on the hangers. I don't know if they had a drawer at the bottom for little socks and shoes. I'm not sure, but one of the things I remember, I vividly remember that. Do you all remember that? Sybil, do you remember that?

Sybil: (08:40)
Oh yes. That's one of my fondest memories of Christmas is just thinking about that box and just how amazed we were when we opened it. What was inside. It was just, and then there were three of them. There was always three of everything.

Stephanie: (08:52)
Right.

Sybil: (08:52)
It was, yes like amazing.

Ianthia: (08:55)
Yes.

Sybil: (08:55)
Everybody had the same thing.

Ianthia: (08:59)
I would sew on doll clothes when you all went to bed. So you never really saw them until I got them in the trunk. Then I made, I did the same thing for Diana, next door. I made her a trunk, with the doll clothes, because it was hard to find doll's clothes. Especially like for the dolls that we had, you could find some stuff, may be for Barbies or something like that or that type though. They were very expensive. Every now and then you might find a dress or something for the dolls that I would buy. So, I started making them and I would make like the same outfits. I could remember it took a lot of time to make the doll clothes. It was easier to make a dress for the kids, than it was for the dolls, because they were much smaller and more intricate details, just trying to get it all together, but it was fun too. It was fun.

Stephanie: (10:08)
But visually it was really appealing the way she had them, remember she had them all standing up and all in order and everybody had their own little stuff and it just looked, once you opened everything up, you're like, wow, all this stuff matches. This took a lot of time. At the time I didn't realize how much detail and how much work was involved. You always think your parents can do everything pretty fast and you don't think about how much sacrifice it takes.

Sybil: (10:38)
Well, and the thing I think, first of all, I never realized you made them for Diana who was actually significantly older than us and that's probably a teenager or young adult.

Stephanie: (10:46)
I too am now learning of this news and slightly jealous. What does that say about my personality?

Sybil: (10:55)
But no, I think it's just beautiful that Diana was an only child and she, didn't probably have, I know Ms. Wallace didn't sew, so she would do that for Diana that she would have a surprise too. Like that's really beautiful.

Lisa: (11:08)
Yes.

Ianthia: (11:10)
Yes.

Sybil: (11:12)
And she probably appreciated it more than we did, because she was older. Whereas we would play for a while and then we go do something else. But what I remember the most is just when I realized that about myself now. Like I love the spectacle of merchandising and that's one of the reasons, because mom would always make things very beautiful and she would make them, it would be organized and it was just, the attention to detail was always there. As an adult, that's who I am. I'm in marketing and I really love the attention to detail and things come together beautifully and that's because of momma. That's the way she merchandised those dolls.

Ianthia: (11:47)
Yes, but I enjoyed doing it. It was just fun. I could stay up and stay awake until like I would, I didn't start sewing on that kind of stuff until everybody had gone to bed and they were really asleep. So once you guys would go to sleep then I would sew until maybe about one o'clock in the morning and then I would put everything away, everything so that you couldn't see any of the stuff that I was working on. Not that you particularly, I don't know. I didn't want you to find anything until I got it all together.

Stephanie: (12:21)
So would Nana ever help you, since she was such a great seamstress as well?

Ianthia: (12:26)
Nana would make different things. Like she would sew on mattresses in the projects, but she would make sure that you all had special little dresses to wear or things like that. Or she would find like a teddy bear and make an outfit for a teddy bear and give you all or aprons and she did that kind of stuff.

Lisa: (12:53)
My mother is talking here about her mother. My grandmother Edna Walker. We called her Nana. Nana was born in 1913 which is the same year that Harriet Tubman died. Nana passed away in 2018 at the age of 104. She was an amazing sewist. She could sew without patterns. She could look at a picture of something and make it. She was a wonderful woman and we do really miss her.

Stephanie: (13:23)
When you sew for Christmas, that was kind of like your labor of love for us, that she would just do all of that by yourself?

Ianthia: (13:32)
Yes, I would do that. Nana liked making, she would make, she made all the little stockings and she made stockings for you all, for every [inaudible 13:39]. She made stockings that could be used as ornaments for our Christmas tree. So she would get like, not just, they would be small, but as you all got older she put money in it. So she would have and then print your name on it. So each person had a style of stocking with their name on it, that Nana would make. She would make those for all the kids, anybody that she gave a gift to, they would get a little Christmas stocking and it would have that person's name on it. I think in my Christmas decorations now, I think I have, I know I've seen one that has Lisa's name on it.

Lisa: (14:28)
Woo-hoo!

Ianthia: (14:28)
So I don't know about the others, but I haven't seen, I didn't see the others. I don't know whether they got lost in the shuffle or what?

Stephanie: (14:38)
I call Lisa's. I called it.

Lisa: (14:39)
No you don't, you can't call mine. It has my name on it. That's why my name is on it.

Stephanie: (14:44)
I call Lisa's.

Ianthia: (14:45)
But I remember the best thing about it is that you all would make handmade gifts at school and you would come in with, these ornaments that you made out of...

Lisa: (14:55)
Macaroni?

Ianthia: (14:57)
No, construction paper. I didn't think about, I kept them for years. I've kept them until they literally fell completely apart. It didn't dawn on me that I could have taken them somewhere and had them laminated. It did not cross my mind until it was just gone. It was every year.

Lisa: (15:22)
Mama, you weren't thinking about those ornaments. Those ornaments were made out of macaroni and garbage.

Ianthia: (15:27)
No, but I always kept them.

Stephanie: (15:30)
She says, she probably thought "this is going to give us roaches".

Ianthia: (15:30)
but you all would make stuff and then you would bring it and I don't care how you had the tree decorated. You would bring ornaments that you made and they would be on the tree, wherever, anything for the tree.

Lisa: (15:49)
We could never have no nice tree. That was all thematic.

Stephanie: (15:55)
Ours was definitely tacky.

Lisa: (15:57)
I want to put my trash ornament from school up here please, it's made out of popsicle sticks and yarn.

Ianthia: (16:05)
It was made out of popsicle sticks and yarn. The yarn stars are built with the star, right? It looked like a Klan cross, but it was red and green, so we put it right on.

Ianthia: (16:21)
We put it on there.

Ianthia: (16:21)
Whatever you guys made.

Lisa: (16:27)
When are they going to become more competent artists, Lord? Goodness gracious.

Stephanie: (16:32)
I remember the ornaments. Remember the ornaments with the fiberglass in them and Lisa made us put them on? Lisa convinced us to take it, take the fur out and put it around our necks, put it on my ears, like earrings and we were itching and burning.

Sybil: (16:49)
It itched for days. She lost a lot of credibility.

Stephanie: (16:49)
That's when I stopped listening to her.

Sybil: (17:03)
She is evil. First of all, she didn't do it to herself. She only did it to us first of all.,

Lisa: (17:18)
First of all, who would put fiberglass in a freaking Christmas ornament?! They know how stupid kids are.

Ianthia: (17:24)
Yeah. But they say do not open. You aren't supposed to take it out.

Ianthia: (17:28)
Well, I had to stop. I stopped using, it used to be angel hair that you would put over the tree because it would give the appearance of snow or something. When the lights went through it, it would just reflect it, make a real pretty colors and stuff like that. I had to stop using it because these kids are going to be dead or I'm going to have this medical bill because I'm about to take them to the dermatologist and everywhere else. I think finally they stopped making it.

Lisa: (18:08)
Well I'm sure because it was poisoning the children. That's terribly, I can also tell you now, I was so imaginative, so I thought that was really fur in there. I could also say in my defense, I also, I might as well just tell you this now since it's too late to do anything about it. I think that I had a dollhouse and you bought me a gumball machine for the dollhouse and I cracked it open and cracked it open to eat the gum.

Ianthia: (18:35)
Take the balls out, yes..

Lisa: (18:35)
And it wasn't even gum, it was just like paint, dots and wood. I was so disappointed. I was like, this isn't even miniature gum in here. This is just some wood, it's so stupid.

Ianthia: (18:50)
Yes, they were good.

Lisa: (18:52)
Yes. I really had a very vivid imagination, which is why I thought we were going to be having fur when it was actually fiberglass in those stupid ornaments.

Ianthia: (19:03)
Yeah. And they used to give out like the, the fiberglass and it's hard now. I used to buy ice, the, you know, like the silver icicles. I don't even put any of that stuff on the tree anymore because number one, you can't find it and it's just, it's really pretty if you can find it. But you know, I don't even think they make it anymore, but, it was fun when while it lasted.

Lisa: (19:30)
You're listening to a special episode of the Stitch Please podcast or Christmas Kee-kee where I'm talking with my mother and sisters and we're just reminiscing over holidays, Christmas pasts. Up next, we will have a quick break and then return to the conversation with my family. Stay tuned.

Lisa: (20:05)
Stitch Please. The black women's stitch podcast talks a lot about sewing, but if you would like to see some of what we're discussing, we invite you to follow us on the socials. On Facebook you can find us at stitch please. On Instagram you can find us at Black Women Stitch. On Instagram you'll find a lot of great pictures and compelling social commentary. In addition, you can participate in a weekly live Instagram chat at 3:00 PM on Thursdays at Eastern standard time. So follow us on the socials, Facebook, at Stitch Please. Instagram at Black Women's Stitch and get your stitch together. Welcome back to the Stitch Please podcast where we're having a special episode talking with my mother and my two younger sisters. I'm the oldest of three girls and it's a great opportunity to have a conversation between the three of us and, and our mother. Up next we're going to talk about this very creative alternative to traditional gingerbread house that my mother invented for us. So here she is.

Ianthia: (21:19)
One of the things that I remember is that, uh, you all wanted to make gingerbread houses and we would sit down and we would make the gingerbread house. Well, you're supposed to, it's edible. You know, you're supposed to be able to eat it afterwards. But the cookie, the base of it was so bad that nobody wanted to eat it. So I decided that instead of making a gingerbread house that nobody could eat or nobody wanted to eat, I thought of making a candy house. I do, I startup with a box as a base and then I cut the roof out of another cardboard box and put it together. And then I would fill it all in with different kinds of candy bars, Hershey bars, Snickers things that are edible. Then if there were any empty space, empty spaces, I would fill it in with that royal icing.

Lisa: (22:16)
I loved royal icing.

Stephanie: (22:17)
I remember that.

Ianthia: (22:19)
Yes, and we would fill it all in and it was just and then it was pretty, and I would put it on a tray and then I would have all of the different kinds of candy bars, miniature candy bars all around it, so that you can hopefully take it off of, not off the house itself, but all you know, off the tray. But most of the times somebody would eat, inevitably they would eat, the ones off the wall.

Stephanie: (22:44)
I would take it off, that was me. Also, they're too hard to get off.

Lisa: (22:55)
I took pulled it right off the roof and we'll leave behind. They would be like the, the, the foil wrapper would be left behind it. I would be like munching like crazy on the chocolate bar.

Ianthia: (23:06)
Yes. So I said, but why wouldn't you just get it right off the tray? The same thing was on the tray.

Lisa: (23:14)
That wasn't appealing in the same way. I don't know.

Stephanie: (23:16)
That didn't even dawn on me to get it from there.

Lisa: (23:19)
Yes, no,

Ianthia: (23:20)
Go figure.

Lisa: (23:22)
no did that, that did not occur to me either. That that would be a good place to get it from. I wanted to instead destroy the house,

Ianthia: (23:29)
But it was fun. It was fun and so actually by the end of about three or four days after that you put the display out, the house the house was...

Lisa: (23:41)
It had been hit by a tornado.

Ianthia: (23:45)
Looked like a broken down shack. But when we first did it, it looked good.

Lisa: (23:53)
Oh my gosh, that was so funny. I remember used to make those Royal icing flowers because you did cakes and you would make these flowers, a bunch of flowers in advance and then you would put them on the top of the chifferobe or whatever in the dining room. Then, and then also since we're confessing now I would, I would eat them.

Stephanie: (24:12)
Me too.

Ianthia: (24:13)
Yes, because you're going back, you go back and you say, well God, that's ours. I come back and say, well, I should have had, at least by now, 300 and it may be you would have 40 or 50, maybe.

Stephanie: (24:27)
I would spread them out. So it looked like nobody took, they didn't take anything.

Ianthia: (24:31)
They would climb all the way up. I would put them all the way on the top of the buffet, the China closet, where all the China is. It didn't matter where you put them.

Lisa: (24:50)
Nope.

Ianthia: (24:50)
Well you got ready for them.

Stephanie: (25:00)
I could always get them. I would be like why she put them all the way up here?

Ianthia: (25:04)
Yes. It was fun. It was really fun.

Stephanie: (25:08)
I am about the fall off this chair and I break my neck trying to get these flowers.

Ianthia: (25:13)
Everybody would have like your different where you would have this different things that you wanted and Brenda and I. Then we would just go from one place to another through the different stores trying to find whatever the hell it was that you wanted at the time. Remember Baby Alive?

Lisa: (25:30)
Oh yes. I remember that.

Stephanie: (25:32)
Oh God, that thing was gross.

Ianthia: (25:34)
We had to go to my aunt. We had to go to Miami, I think Wally. Aunt Wally found them. So she got them and then I had to go to Miami and got them to bring them back and I would tell you, Listen, they can may be can only eat this special stuff. Well...

Lisa: (25:57)
You don't know my baby mama, like that you don't know Baby Alive like that.

Lisa: (26:01)
Yes.

Lisa: (26:01)
I believe in her.

Ianthia: (26:03)
After a while the Baby Alive would smell like garbage.

(26:08)
I'm telling you that baby stunk.

Ianthia: (26:12)
It was just gross and you couldn't clean it. So I don't know. I said boy, stuff would be coming or running out of the crap was down the hall and well, what did you put in it?

Lisa: (26:30)
Part of the problem was I ate some of Baby Alive's food. She didn't have her special food, because one of her special foods was this like, how I hate bananas because they're disgusting, but I really like banana flavored things and she hadn't this banana flavored pudding, which was so good and I ate all of it. So she didn't have anything else to eat.

Ianthia: (26:57)
well I don't know what you fed her , but I don't know. It would be something like it would be, and it had to be like maybe something that had like a meat base. I don't know what it was. And then it would say you had to wait for it to decay completely. Then when it ran out, no it was just nasty. I mean it was bad, I said "no more Baby Alive".

Lisa: (27:21)
But our Baby Alive was better than the new Baby Alives. The updated Baby Alive now has some kind of ridiculous like marionette slot in the back and you have to like pump it up and down to get the baby, to like chew and our baby alive, like it has some kind of motor. Remember you would put water in its mouth and you would put the spoon in it. It would actually eat the food. It was so cool.

Ianthia: (27:45)
Yes.

Lisa: (27:52)
We really did enjoy those Baby Alive dolls. Another toy that we had that we had actually quite a few pitched battles over was the Easy-Bake Oven. So stay tuned to hear about how the Easy-Bake Oven played a role in our sibling conflicts. Stay tuned.

Ianthia: (28:15)
Remember the Easy-Bake Oven?

Lisa: (28:17)
Oh yes. That's Sybil's toy. Sybil would make like a four layer cake and be like, you all can't have none. Sybil do you remember that? You remember your Easy-Bake Oven Sybil?

Sybil: (28:29)
I loved that. I still love it. I mean who knew I light bulb could bake cakes. I mean I love cakes and sweets but I would bake those little cakes and it would take me hours, because it make like several layers and then put the little icing in between and then I cut it and have the very little slices and after all that work you all be like, I want some. I was like no. I spent hours making this. Hours.

Lisa: (28:55)
So you confirmed that you would make these elaborate cake. Four layers of a doggone cake and we would come to ask for some. You would be like, no fam, you got to get your own.

Sybil: (29:08)
It was the size of my fist. It was so small. I could barely get a bite myself.

Ianthia: (29:09)
The pan was about three inches.

Sybil: (29:16)
Yes, that is so small. You should be embarrassed that you are asking.

Lisa: (29:26)
No, I don't think that's true.

Stephanie: (29:34)
I just remember the Easy-Bake Oven, if you didn't cook that stuff all the way and it would burn you. I was like, this is dangerous. I wasn't going to use this thing.

Ianthia: (29:48)
Yes. The only person that did the Easy-Bake Oven thing was mostly was Sybil. She had the patience has stay there and wait to sit there and wait for the bulb to bake the cake.

Lisa: (29:58)
I guess it did take a long time.

Lisa: (30:02)
I just wanted some cake.

Sybil: (30:04)
Right, because they would have like little bubbles in it and I had to get it just right. Then you would have to remember, mama used to make wedding cakes, so she had a pretty discriminating standards. So I was like, I want to make my cakes like she makes hers, but it was much harder to make in my cakes.

Lisa: (30:18)
With a light bulb.

Lisa: (30:23)
You know what, I remember we had this, we had this some type of, this set, this cleaning set or something that came with like a broom and a dust pan and an iron. And I remember taking the iron and setting it on the light bulb to get it hot, so I could iron the doll's clothes.

Stephanie: (30:41)
Oh wow.

Ianthia: (30:42)
Oh yes. You guys did some strange, some funny stuff. Straight, but funny.

Stephanie: (30:52)
Mama remember that time you made us a little dolls. We were supposed to put our pajamas in.

Ianthia: (30:57)
Oh yes.

Stephanie: (30:57)
Those were adorable.

Sybil: (30:58)
Yes, those were awesome.

Stephanie: (30:58)
Lisa still has hers.

Lisa: (30:58)
I still have mine.

Stephanie: (30:58)
I know.

Ianthia: (31:07)
Yes.

Stephanie: (31:11)
That was amazing.

Ianthia: (31:11)
Because it would have the doll's head.

Sybil: (31:14)
What's it like Raggedy Ann? Who was it?

Ianthia: (31:17)
It was made out of a yarn. The face was just a regular face, but I think I must have bought those because I had somebody else and then it had little legs to it. The back, it was like a pillow. The body was rectangle that had a split in the back and that's where you put your pajamas and then you just put it on the bed as a decorative pillow. Yes, so we had those, remember those dolls, I bought from somebody, they were scary. I mean, I bought them as, they were like Raggedy Ann dolls.

Stephanie: (31:57)
Huh?

Ianthia: (31:57)
They were made of wool. They were like long and skinny. The appendages were real. It looked like they were just freaky looking.

Lisa: (32:12)
I have no memory of this at all.

Stephanie: (32:15)
Me either.

Ianthia: (32:16)
To do these. I paid for them. So you know, you've already paid for them. So what are you going to do? You brought them on home.

Lisa: (32:24)
Traumatize your children.

Ianthia: (32:26)
They weren't a big hit.

Sybil: (32:30)
I remember the Cabbage Patch craze and I remember our older cousin, Jeffrey, who was probably, what, three years older than Lisa, a boy, a man no less. He had a Cabbage Patch doll named Rufus Leroy.

Lisa: (32:46)
Yes, and he had a gold chain.

Sybil: (32:49)
Mama used to make clothes for Rufus Leroy so that he could have...I think Jeffery was like in high school, he was embarrassingly old and he would have that doll everywhere.

Ianthia: (33:00)
Yes.

Lisa: (33:01)
He had a gold chain. I remember Rufus had a gold chain.

Lisa: (33:04)
Yes.

Ianthia: (33:07)
Chains were in. That was the big thing.

Lisa: (33:09)
Good old Rufus.

Sybil: (33:10)
Chunkies. Big Chunky.

Speaker 4: (33:12)
Yes.

Ianthia: (33:13)
Yes. Big chunky chain. I had forgot about Rufus. Yes, I used to enjoy sewing. We always had Christmas dresses, some kind of Christmas dress. Either I would go to Miami and find them at, Doreece's, after you guys outgrew Polly Flanders. Remember Polly Flanders with the smocking and stuff?

Lisa: (33:36)
Yes.

Ianthia: (33:37)
Yes, and so I had those forever. Then when you all got too big for Polly Flanders, even though they made it in a size 12 I didn't buy. I figured like once you pass that age, like when you were like seven or six or something, you're cute in them. Like up to about six or seven years old, but by the time you had to wear a size 12 you didn't need the smocking and what have you.

Stephanie: (34:02)
Thank you...

Ianthia: (34:02)
So I would either make a dress or I would go somewhere and buy one and I always bought them just alike. Remember that?

Lisa: (34:10)
Yes.

Ianthia: (34:10)
I would buy them and they only drawback to that is that Lisa would have, it would be three of them to start with. Then we had Lisa outgrew hers I pass it down. Stephanie kept the same dress until you just got sick of looking at it, because it would just go on and on. Finally, I decided that that was not a good idea to buy three of the same thing because it just lasted way, way too long. So then I would get different colors or something in the same dress or something very similar. But it was all fun. All fun.

Lisa: (34:46)
I'm not sure if this is as if I'm misremembering this, but I'm remembering we had gone to some type of. Christmas pageant or some type of thing.

Ianthia: (34:57)
Yes. I carried them to what was it? The Nutcracker, ballet. I mean this is really a dress up affair and I come in and I look around and they have gone to the concession stand. They bought popcorn and crap. I said, I didn't even know the concession stand would even be open. So they're sitting there watching this formal ballet eating popcorn and [inaudible 35:24]. I am saying oh my god.

Lisa: (35:32)
Was that during the phase with Stephanie, where the popcorn bucket on her head after we all ate all the popcorn.

Ianthia: (35:38)
Oh yes. That was something to look at. We would go, Oh God, I carried you all to the movies. We would go on like on a Saturday afternoon or whatever. The people at the concession stand, they would go back, you over just go back long before they would give refills. When they finished eating, they would go back up to the concession stand and say, "we're finished with this. Can we have a little bit more please"? They would just fill it up again. The kids, they would fill it up again and they would come back and we could clear a whole side of a movie theater. If they looked up and saw us sitting in a place. We came in and sat down. We had people that would just get up automatically and move to the opposite side of the movie theater, and I said that I knew why because we talked out loud because you over the whisper, because whispering meant that you put your hand in front of your mouth and then you would speak in normal tone.

Stephanie: (36:47)
Why don't you let Lisa and Sybil act that way in public?

Ianthia: (36:54)
I don't know. But you know, like by the time you were, it was just easier to just let it go. Than make a big production or scene, because Lisa was, "why?" Well, "why not? They sold this." Of course you would go into the restroom. You went to the bathroom. That's where he was supposed to be, but instead you were at the concession stand buying crap. I remember that at the Nutcracker. Oh boy.

Lisa: (37:33)
We were so refined, from an early age. Just elegant.

Ianthia: (37:33)
You were such an elegant little lady.

Stephanie: (37:37)
Your should have left your kids at home mama. Lisa and Sybil were awful.

Ianthia: (37:40)
Awful, yes.

Lisa: (37:43)
Especially Stephanie with my popcorn bucket hat.

Ianthia: (37:47)
Because whenever you got enough popcorn.

Sybil: (37:53)
Yes, I remember more doing with that hat than having a bucket.

Ianthia: (37:54)
Oh no, but I know she wore it as a hat. As soon as she finished that, when she was full, when they saw her again, she would be walking out the theater with the bucket over her head as her hat. Got that I forgot about that. You all were some funny little people. Funny, funny, funny!

Lisa: (38:17)
Oh my gosh!

Ianthia: (38:18)
People would just come and just the whole, I mean we would have the whole to ourselves.

Stephanie: (38:25)
It was like a private theater.

Ianthia: (38:27)
Yes. Everybody else would be on the opposite side or as far away from us as they possibly could get and still be in the movie. So even if we got, we got there late, it didn't really matter. We get us a seat and as soon as everything else would open up right then we would have a side. You just get there early and get your seat. Well, we didn't have to get there early, because whatever seat that we took, we would have that section through ourselves shortly thereafter. That was fun. That was really funny though. Funny, funny, funny.

Lisa: (39:12)
Yes.

Ianthia: (39:12)
You all were funny. You all were funny little people.

Lisa: (39:16)
Yes, that was good.

Ianthia: (39:16)
Funny little people.

Lisa: (39:18)
That was good. Well yeah. I think I'm on a wrap up, but is there anything else you wanted to add? Any other last bit of Christmas cheer or Christmas advice or anything like that? So much has changed now with us being adults and having kids of our own and now we're on the supply side of the Christmas trade.

Ianthia: (39:41)
You all have saved, you have traditions that we keep, you had this. I can't get an artificial tree, with all the pretty lights already on it and stuff, but I had a tree.

Lisa: (39:56)
Oh no.

Ianthia: (39:56)
I have to get a live tree.

Sybil: (40:00)
That's the smell of Christmas.

Ianthia: (40:00)
I have to do to use the same decoration.

Lisa: (40:03)
That is I agree.

Ianthia: (40:04)
The mess that it makes the after it [inaudible 40:08]. So things like that. I have ornaments that I've had for years of years that I have to bring out. So I have that.

Sybil: (40:21)
I think about too though, just being together.

Ianthia: (40:23)
Yes.

Sybil: (40:23)
I mean that to me, that's the biggest tradition all these years later. I mean we're talking about memories from 30, 40 years ago, but here we are 40 years in and I don't think we've ever missed a Christmas together. Marriage, work, school, no matter what that thing was, where life has taken us all over the world, Christmas is always together. It's always the four of us vow with husbands and children. Christmas means together and to me it's that tradition that momma really instilled in us.

Ianthia: (40:58)
Yes. Well it's all about family.

Lisa: (41:04)
That's true.

Ianthia: (41:05)
All about family, not the gifts, not the presents is just being together and just family.

Sybil: (41:12)
I like presents.

Lisa: (41:14)
Same.

Lisa: (41:15)
I like presents as well.

Stephanie: (41:16)
I want presents. I mean, what are you trying to lead into?

Ianthia: (41:20)
I don't want any stuff.

Sisters Unison: (41:21)
Okay.

Stephanie: (41:21)
But I do.

Sybil: (41:21)
You better buy me something.

Stephanie: (41:27)
I want some stuff.

Ianthia: (41:29)
Yes. I don't know want any more stuff, because I got way too much stuff now.

Stephanie: (41:35)
No problem.

Ianthia: (41:37)
We just being together as enough for me.

Ianthia: (41:42)
I enjoy going back about going to Charlottesville, is that usually it's so cold.

Lisa: (41:51)
It does get cold.

Ianthia: (41:51)
But camarderie warms everything up.

Lisa: (41:57)
That's true.

Ianthia: (41:57)
I pray God, don't let it snow or have icy rain. Either one of those I've had.

Lisa: (42:03)
That's no good.

Sybil: (42:06)
You know what I think about too? I can't help but think too, like how your tradition spawned other traditions. A couple of years ago, I have a silver Christmas, a picture from when we took a picture with Santa with our boys and Stephanie's son, Devin had two friends come with him. Stephanie, bought matching sweatshirts. I remember it was the Drake.

Lisa: (42:29)
Yes.

Sybil: (42:29)
Hotline Bling sweatshirt. We all had all Hot Lab Bling sweatshirts on. So that Christmas, I mean it reminded me of these three little girls on the piano all dressed alike, but it became Hot Lab Bling for everybody. So it was very contemporary pop culture, but it was still that tradition of solidarity of looking alike. I just feel like mama planted that seed.

Lisa: (42:55)
I agree.

Stephanie: (42:56)
Me too.

Ianthia: (42:56)
Christmas is great. I really enjoy it. I love being with family. I just love that. Even the cold, I don't mind, I put up with the cold. I complain a lot, because it is some kind of cold, but I still love it. Love it. Love being together. I agree. Maybe we could move Christmas to July, but nobody has gone for my idea. Christmas in July might have July weather. That's all good. It's still all good. It's all good.

Lisa: (43:38)
Well thank you all again so much for taking the time out and this has been a wonderful Christmas special episode featuring my mother and my sisters. I am wishing and we are wishing you the happiest of Christmas wishes for those who celebrate and Happy Holidays and Happy Days for everyone who doesn't celebrate and we will see you on Stitch Please in the new year. Happy Holidays everybody. Merry Christmas.

Lisa: (44:12)
I hope you enjoyed listening to this special episode of this Stitch Please podcast. As much as I enjoy creating it with my mother and my sisters, we will see you in the new year. Thank you so much for listening and I hope you enjoy the rest of 2019. Bye bye.

Lisa: (44:31)
Thank you for joining us for this week's episode of this Stitch Please podcast the official podcast Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where black lives matter. There are a variety of ways that you can support the program and you're doing it right now. By listening to the podcast it does help us grow. Another way to do that is to rate the podcast and review it, subscribe to it. All of these things are ways that you can support the podcast without having to spend any money at all. If you would like to spend some money to support us, there are ways to do that as well.

Lisa: (45:07)
You can make direct donations to our Patreon site for monthly contributions, as well as one time contributions to PayPal, Cash App or Venmo. Finally we have another cute, very adorable way for you to support the Black Women Stitch project. It's a pin, P I N enamel lapel pin. That's very cute. It's about two inches wide and one and a half inch tall and it's of the black women's stitch logo, and that is $15 with free shipping to the US and so if you drop $15 in the PayPal, Venmo, or Cash App accounts, and then send me your mailing address to my email, either at blackwomenstitch@gmail.com or you send me a direct message on the Black Women Stitch Instagram page. We will put the pin in the mail to you, again free shipping, $15 for the pin, and all of this goes to support the Black Women Stitch project. Thank you again for joining us this week. Come back next week and we will help you get your stitch together.

Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.

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