Carolyn Anderson Parker, Jane Anderson Autry and Ken Anderson all grew up in Dunwoody in the area where Mount Vernon Road and Tilly Mill Road come together. The family and their grandparents lived on the south side of Mount Vernon Road, while their uncle’s family lived across the road, during a time when houses were few and far between.

At Christmas time, the family would search their land for the perfect cedar tree. Carolyn recalls that after a long search the family often returned to the first tree they had seen and cut it down.

Christmas usually meant a skirt and sweater for Carolyn. Most of Carolyn and sister Jane’s clothes were sewn by their grandmother, including their coats. Carolyn remembers getting her first store-bought coat at age 15 and what a luxury that was.

There were only two churches in Dunwoody back in the first half of the twentieth century. When these three siblings were growing up, there was Dunwoody Methodist Church and Dunwoody Baptist church. Some years the two churches would come together at Christmas time for one celebration. There would be a bushel basket of oranges and one of apples to be given out to the children. For some of the children whose families were struggling, this was a big treat.

As a child, Ken Anderson used to look through the Sears catalog and dream over the presents he would like for Christmas. His mother worked at Sears and would bring the catalog home from work. Ken’s memory brought back my own memories of looking through the catalog and marking the pages with toys on my wish list.

According to the Sears archives, the Christmas Wish Book was first issued in 1933. A highly unscientific survey reveals that searching the Sears catalog for toys is an experience shared by many.

Think back to your childhood and find your most beloved memories of Christmas. The Sears catalog is one childhood memory for myself, but large family gatherings, decorating the Christmas tree, singing Christmas carols and visiting downtown Rich’s and the Pink Pig are some of my favorites.

Share your memories of Christmas from a simpler time at pasttensega@

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