Our (Shirl & I) childhood was build around the church because our dad was a pastor. Every church dad pastored the parsonage was next door. For my entire child hood our churches gave out what we called ‘Treats’. It was a brown bag that contained two apples, an orange, a tangerine, a hand full of mixed nuts (in the shell) a small bag of hard candy and possibly a small candy cane. These were handed out to all church attendees following the worship service the last Sunday before Christmas.
Of course bags were set aside for the ‘shut-ins’ (members who were bed fast or too old or sick to attend church services). If a family had four children and two adults they had plenty of fruit for Christmas. It was a blessing for many mill workers who never had the extra money to buy fruit.
As preachers kids we were always expected to be present on Saturday night before the last Sunday to help ‘put the treats together’. It was a simple assembly line process. A bag opener, who slid the bag down a pew to the apple person, who put two apples in and slid it to the orange person etc until the candy that went in last. I had so much fun on that night and the workers got to eat the odd and ends that were left over. Ever since my youth, the citrus smell has been a Christmas smell.
I guess that is no longer needed but our church still gave out a gift. This year it was a neat little package of a yearly planning calendar and a little flat pen to go with it. The flat pen is neat because it can stay with the little planner without a lot of bulk.
I do not know if all churches do this, but I thought it was neat. I didn’t ask if they did anything special for the kids, I don’t think they need a yearly planner. But who knows nowadays. LOL
Anyway, the ‘treats’ have always stuck with me.
(Do churches take pictures anymore, this is Sherry and her brother Johnny before I knew them)
Thanks for reading this, and I am sorry If I am repeating myself. One of those ‘OLD TIMERS’ thangs.
RED SKELTON'S RECIPE
FOR THE PERFECT MARRIAGE
***Two times a week we go to a nice restaurant, have a
little beverage, good food and companionship.
She goes on Tuesdays; I go on Fridays..
*** We also sleep in separate beds.
Hers is in California , and mine is in Texas ..
(This is a random picture from the web, I don’t have any of ours but churches used to do this, I don’t think they do it anymore!)
Thanks for the great post, Jack. Many churches no longer give out treats for the kids. I noticed that ours at Tellico Plains only gave out a "Bible Reading" Calendar - a calendar with a Scripture location printed on each day so that if you read them every day you will have read the Bible through by the end of 2011. I miss those things! I have noticed that our grocer has had 10 pound bags of nuts in the shell for sale this year for several weeks now. I've been tempted to buy a few - but then we don't want to throw the hulls into the gas fireplace. ☻ As the teacher of the Sanctuary class I bought 25 pieces of home-made peanut brittle and gave each class member one. All my old folks seemed to enjoy it. After all, IT'S CHRISTMAS!!!
Oh - I meant to say - on the Church Group Pictures subject, Many now have personal pictures of each family done, then compile a book with a good photo of each attendee together with their families placed in the book. Photographers make a living selling special pictures to the families.
You know Jack, you really brought some memories back and now churches have to lock their doors and even if locked they get broke into and vandelized. I have an alias now. See an old dog can lears new tricks.
I love filling the treat bags and the smell was
heavenly. It was so nice eating some of the nuts and fruits as a reward for helping. It was
exciting to see the children when they received their treats. Things have really changed.
I have a picture of Dad's first church 1934 but the photography was not very good It was a large crowd 3 or 4 hundred people. I was out front sitting by Dad my guess I was 2 or 3 years old. Yes Jack I was not born this age.
I could use one of those planners with a pen to take with me to a doc's office. I put the appointment days on a calendar when I get home. Not having it with me I have had to change appointment days for either Ken or me several times.
You bring back many memories. Each Sunday School class used to hand out treats to the kids. The parents usually leave with a handshake now and a Christmas Blessing. God and I have been doing a whole lot of churching in the wilderness lately, so I'm not sure what they did this past Sun.
Our church does individual family shots now and compiles them in a booklet for the congregation, like Fred says. They do it about every 5 years.
I do like the idea of everyone standing out in front of church tho. Nostalgic, it is.
We used to get fruit in our Christmas stockings, all 9 of us youngins...that had to cost the folks a fortune, but how we looked forward to it. Thanks for the sweet scent of Christmas.
Our church handed out those treat bags with the things you mentioned last Sunday night. Would you believe I was the first angel and John was the second wiseman?
Probably one of the best ever mean to measure time and life. Please have you all a wonderful Wednesday.
I've gone to church most all my life and never once got a treat bag from them. Once I worked at the church and they gave treats to all the staff as a thank you every year at Christmas. I guess the bags of graceries they gave away were saved for the poor and needy. I know they gave plenty of them out.There was and always has been though plenty good will and cheer. I love your pictures. They remind meof the little church my grandmother attended.
I enjoyed reading this, Jack; I bet it was fun to assemble the gift bags, especially since it was done in an orderly fashion like you guys did with the assembly line. I can't imagine our church of 5000 trying to get together to take a picture!
I like the Red Skelton quote. When my husband and I had our first date it was to see Red Skelton. (I didn't even know who he was; I told my sister we were going to see Red Skeleton.)
I've never received a treat bag from church. I find it a wonderful idea.
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