“The Memory Shop” by Carla Olson Gade

Greetings from Carla Olson Gade! I’m so excited to be included once again in A Cup of Christmas Cheer from Guideposts Books. I’m moving from the past to the present this year, but with a little nostalgic twist.

The setting:The Memory Shop
“The Memory Shop” takes place on Main Street, Woodbine, Iowa – this Christmas.

The story:
There is a little shop called “Memory Lane” in a revitalized mid-western American downtown. You know the one. It was one of the last hold-outs of the formerly dormant Main Street. Affectionately called “The Memory Shop,” folks reminisce about past times as they peruse all manner of gadgets, household items, entertainment and sports memorabilia, and holiday décor. Mr. Preble, the older gentlemen who runs the shop, encourages conversations and listens to his customers share their experiences and memories and consider the important stuff of life. For in this place, we see Christmas miracles of reconciliation and love that never forgets.

natboxThe inspiration:
I’m so nostalgic. Perhaps that has left me longing at times, but reminiscing can also help build a bridge from one heart to another. I have seen and experienced reconciliation in my own family, like that in my story, and observed the unconditional love of caregivers that are truly miracles of God’s love.

fhlThe takeaway:
My hope is that as the reader visits The Memory Shop they will think about their own personal history — the things that are important to them, what helped shape them, the relationships that matter. Because it’s not just about stuff. It’s about the people in our lives with whom we have shared memories.

Blue Christmas LightsChristmas traditions:
When I was a kid, for some reason we always had blue Christmas lights in our windows and sometimes on our tree. When I had my own family, there have been many years that we displayed blue lights in our windows and Christmas tree. The color has always warmed my heart and given me the glow of nostalgia in my heart.

Your turn:
What item of Christmas memorabilia might you find in a “memory shop” that would remind you of Christmastime during your childhood?

Wishing you all a nostalgic Christmas filled with warm memories, old and new!

My Giveaway:

Spode Tea Mugclick to enlarge

I’m offering a beautiful
Spode Christmas Tree ~ 12 oz Tisaniere
(tea mug with infuser and cover/coaster) to one winner!
(US residents only please for this giveaway.)

Click this link to be taken to the Rafflecopter drawing.

Congratulations to Connie R., winner of the mug!

For your protection, do not include personal information in a comment.

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Check out the Giveaways page on our site to learn about our  Goodreads giveaway.
We’re offering five sets of A Cup of Christmas Cheer Volumes Three and Four.

(Note: If comments aren’t visible below the post, click the green circle under the post date.)

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The storyteller:
Carla Olson GadeCARLA OLSON GADE writes adventures of the heart with historical roots, including novels Pattern for Romance, The Shadowcatcher’s Daughter, and best-selling Mistletoe Memories. Her story, “Upon a Christmas Tree Schooner” was included in Volume One of the 2013 A Cup of Christmas Cheer from Guideposts Books. A native New Englander, she writes from her home in rural Maine where she looks forward to celebrating a white Christmas with her family. Be sure to connect with Carla online by visiting her website at http://carlaolsongade.com.

See my Pinterest Storyboard for “The Memory Shop” here.

Nativity image courtesy of Oodles at Etsy.


26 thoughts on ““The Memory Shop” by Carla Olson Gade

  1. Your story sounds wonderful, Carla. I look forward to reading it.

    If I were to wander in a place like The Memory Shop and come across a box of vintage glass ornaments from Shiny Brite, I’d be whisked back to my childhood in the span of a heartbeat. I remember hanging those fragile beauties and being so afraid of dropping one. A few did end up as casualties through the years, which is understandable in a house with four kids and a dog, but the majority of those frosted orbs survived. I don’t know what happened to those treasured ornaments, but I found a similar box of them when I cleared out my in-laws’ house. Knowing that Gwynly and I hung similar ornaments growing up is special.

    • Thank you! Isn’t it fun how certain objects can be the vehicle to take us back in time? So much fun! I agree with you, Keli, that it is so special to connect with someone (especially our spouses) who shared a similar memory even though we weren’t with them at the time. It somehow allows us to share the memory with them.

  2. I’m not sure that there’s one item that would make me feel nostalgic for my childhood unless I found the exact angel treetopper that my parents had for years. I do still have my stocking, though!

    • Me too, Connie! My mom made mine when I was a toddler. It’s heavy red felt with my name and a 3 tree and holly shapes, all made of white or yellow felt. She sewed thick plastic inside because our stockings held unwrapped hard candy, nuts, and a Christmas orange. That stocking is over 50 yrs old now. I made similar ones for my hubby and kids, but they don’t equal the thickness and quality of my old felt one.

    • Connie, those treetoppers seemed magical, didn’t they? I still have my stocking too. Just a plain red flannel one with my name on it, cut from white iron-on tape. My Nana made one for all of us.

  3. A few things immediately came to my mind when I thought of what items would remind me of childhood Christmases. One thing would be the giant glass bulb type of Christmas lights we used on our tree. Eventually, because so many shattered over the year and we could no longer find replacements, my parents had to switch to newer lights.

    • Those precious big bulbs (the C7’s that I feature in my story). I remember when we made the switch to the smaller lights. Though it was a new thing and sort of exciting, it was a little sad, too.

  4. I remember a Swedish candle holder. The heat of the candles made the little brass things hit the bells making a tinkling sound. The other remembrance I would have is if I saw a shiny white Christmas tree with the revolving light shining from the floor to change the tree color. REminds me of Charlie Brown’s Christmas – shiny aluminum Christmas tree.

  5. Carla, other than my stocking that I mentioned above, 3 ornaments come to mind, 1 of which is probably the Shiny Brite that you mentioned… it was lopped off on one side with a concave starburst inside, often called a reflector. Oh, and some of them were pointed at the bottom.

    The 2nd ornament which brings a smile were these 3 inch glass pine cones, single colored, that mom had put heavy red string on for hanging.

    The 3rd treasure was these 6″ metal solid-colored icicles. They were twisted so that one touch would send them swinging, with the lights reflecting at every twist. I found similar ones in a dollar store recently. They are longer, lighter and are very malleable. Mom’s old ones would have needed strength to bend and once bent, would we hard to straighten. The new ones bend too easily and are still hard to straighten. But both are very reflective. 🙂

  6. I can’t wait to get my books so I can read your story! It sounds wonderful. You know I hadn’t really thought about what makes me feel nostalgic until now. And I realized it is the little elves my mom used to put on arrangements and set around the house. I played with them each year that they came out of the Christmas decorations. I actually have a couple of them and use them for decorating. These elves were around long before the Elf on the Shelf. My elf is probably the Elf on the Shelf’s grandfather. LOL

    • Those mischievous little elves! I bet they are hiding around the house all year long spying on us and finally make their appearance plane just to celebrate Christmas! We have a few of those generations old, too!

  7. Hey Carla, Your story sounds like a delightful one. I really enjoyed all the sweet stories in the set from last year!

    I’m always nostalgic at Christmas as Christmas Eve was my mom’s birthday and Christmas her favorite holiday to celebrate. There are many things that bring back fond memories, but I would have to say two particular ornaments I have from the 1950s. They’re a strange shape ( at least to me) and covered in multi-colored glitter. My mom had about six of them and we divided them between the three of us after her death. But…a couple years ago I saw some similar ones in Hobby Lobby and almost squealed with delight! I didn’t purchase them, as I felt it would take away from the special significance of the two I have. Crazy, huh? 🙂

    • Thanks, Anne! I’m so glad you enjoyed last year’s A Cup of Christmas Cheer and do hope you’ll get to add this year’s 2 volumes to your collection. It’s nice that you and your siblings now each have a pair of those ornaments. I hear you on the not wanting to purchase the new ones. The originals will always be set apart, since you can’t buy a memory!

  8. I love this concept of a Memory Shop! It sounds like something I need to read, Carla. If this place were real, I would look in it for certain special dolls that came to me on 7 Christmases …

    • Ah, those special dolls! How I looked forward, *wishing*, Santa would bring that special one. I can name a few that I received: Baby Secret, Velvet, Little Kiddles, Dawn, and of course Barbies. I have a feeling a few of these might be the same ones as yours, Laurelle!

    • Oh, those are great! We had a little record player thing that you cranked it up and it played The Night Before Christmas and you read along with the book. My favorite!!

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