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The Last Yule Log: 1984

December 24, 1984. My father's last Christmas Eve, twenty-five years ago this week. View full size.

December 24, 1984. My father's last Christmas Eve, twenty-five years ago this week. View full size.

Merry Christmas, Dad

Wish you were here. This man, Tterrace's dad, looks so like my dad I did a double take. Both Dad and kitty content before the fire--how could life be any better. I love this photo, thank you for posting.


Just WOW! Oh, and wonderful, too! How amazing it os to be so touched by strangers. But then, they really aren't by this time are they!

thank you both tterrace & Dave, TY a million times

A Life Well Lived

I only hope that this is me someday ! I could see this on a Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover. At least he got to see his last Christmas alert, aware and sitting up looking at the fire around loved ones ! I want my last Christmas the exact same way. Thank you for this !


Thanks for sharing. A lovely memory of your dear Dad. I admit to spending too many hours on this site looking at the many photos people post. Have posted a few myself. Photos are SO precious and are the only things I would try to save if I ever had to make a quick exit from my home.

Thank you

Like rubysshoes, I just found this site following a link to Off. Rainey. Thank you for sharing your history. I've got some old family photos that I might put up, following your style.

Lost my mother in law in 2008, father in law in 2007 and father in 2006, so this brought up memories.

Dave, thanks for this site.

And goodnight, Shorpy, wherever you are.


The picture of your father is art. Really. But the shot of you mouth-breathing (because you are probably so tired from waiting up for Santa) in your anchor blanket and your airplane wallpaper! Wow. I know others have said it before me but -- I will say it again -- thank you so much from the bottom of my anonymous heart for sharing your memories and all of these wonderful images of a world gone by.

What a wonderful tribute!

A beautiful and warm tribute to your father's last Christmas! My mother died December 21, 1998. That year we looked back to the previous Christmas's photographs. It was very nice to reflect on her life looking at the pictures.

At precisely this moment

December 24, 1984, my daughter, then 5, and our precious 88 year old Great-Grandma were attending Christmas Eve services at our rural country church, as was our annual tradition. Exactly 8 years to the day later, in 1992, we said goodbye to our beloved "Mom." Thank you, tterrace, for the touching memories. How lucky we have been to have loved and been loved by such wonderful people, would you say?


Very interesting how little this place changed from here:

Thank you.

Thank you. This reminded my, very fondly, of my beloved grandfather. Thank you very much, and a happy new year for you and your family.

Merry Christmas Mr. Terrace!

It's been a pleasure getting to know you. You have a fantastic boy!

Another charmer

I'd like to add my thanks to you again tterrace, for sharing your memories with all of us. Also, I spied with my romantic eye--the heart shaped flicker in the fire and the wedding portrait on the bookshelf. Is that your mom and dad?

From a newbie

I have only just discovered this site this weekend. I've spent two days neglecting housework and proper grooming, totally immersed in the sheer wonderful-ness of this place! As I often do at Christmas, I've been feeling very nostalgic, and have been moved by dozens of the photos I've seen, but none more than this one. My own dad passed away in 2002, and I miss him so much. This photo reminded me of him, sitting in his green recliner (genuine Naughahyde), reading the paper or one of the five or six library books he brought home every week, and my mother bringing him coffee and a dish of ice cream. Memories are warm and wonderful, but I'd rather have the man. Thank you for sharing this.

Thank you.

Like many folks, we played down the commercial aspects of Christmas this year, focusing on the deeper meanings of faith and family. Presents for grown-ups were few, but treasured...and it's obvious that I'm not alone in counting this photo as one of this year's special gifts.

What a treasure Shorpy has become to so many of us. (God bless you, Shorpy Higginbotham! I bet you'd get a kick out of the site you inspired.)

It's been said...

I was going to comment, but it's already been said. Thank You!

Lovely repose

What would do without Shorpy? It is such a treasure. Thank you, and Merry Christmas!

Like so many others

I find that this picture engages me in an intimate way. I think it has something to do with my recently turning 65. Though I'm probably several years younger than the fella in the picture and I hope I've got several more years to go, I may know his frame of mind and, whatever he was thinking in that moment, what he knew and understood by then.

tterry xmas

Wow, this actually made me get a little chocked up.

Which says a lot about how much I've grown attached to your photos. Merry Christmas.

And to All a Good Night

Now that tterrace is safely tucked in, I want to thank him and Stanton Square and Joe Manning and all the other Shorpy contributors and commenters for another wonderful year. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


As many others have said, this beautiful, poignant photo made me a bit misty. My father's last christmas eve was just a few short years ago, and while not spent before a fireplace fire (he was in assisted-living) it was spent with his family and a cold, minty grasshopper. (Grasshoppers on christmas eve...a family tradition older than me!) He hated cats, but I love them and will give mine a little hug tonight in honor of your father's little friend and raise a green glass in memory of my dad.

Merry Christmas, and thank you tterrace for sharing your wonderful photos of your family.


Visions of sugar-plums

Thanks everybody, and Merry Christmas!

I'm off to bed early - that way Santa Claus gets here sooner!


...of a life lived fully.

Thank you SO much for sharing this! It's a perfect holiday photo, which will linger long in my memory. The best of holidays and New Year to you & yours!

Last Christmas

Thanks for sharing all your wonderful pictures with us! I lost my Grandfather just before Christmas 1978, the holiday has never been the same.


Merry Christmas tterrace.
Another great image to go into my "tterrace" folder.

Las Vegas


You know, I get why people are nostalgic for encyclopedias instead of Googlem but this picture wouldn't be in an encyclopedia.

I love the Internet for just this reason: It lets people who have never met each other reach out and share thoughts, moments, images with each other.

Merry Christmas indeed!

Me Too

It's amazing how this photo has moved so many of us. It speaks volumes. There is so much more here than meets the eye. For me it brings back thoughts of a safe and happy place. As always, thanks so much for allowing us to share in your memories. I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Of Christmas Past

It brought tears to my eyes too. It represents more than I can tell.

Larger version of rework?

My partner loves cat pictures and I collect them for her screensaver whenever I find them. Is it possible to get a large version of the brightened image? It is lovely!

Wonderful shot

Thanks for all you've shared. Jumping out at me from the bookshelf -- not only first Peoples' Almanac, but its yellow-covered sequel, #2. I loved flipping through them back then (and now). Maybe the Book of Lists is buried in there, too?

That shirt!

It looks as if Dad is wearing the same shirt in 'Christmas Break: 1958,' 26 years earlier.

Thank you TTerrace for sharing your blissful life

This snap makes me cry. Here is a man with a life worth the living. I'm so overcome I cannot find words. TTerrace, I hope you had a son or a child who took pictures of you in as loving a manner as you did of your parents.

Blesings. Thank you.

So peaceful...

Everyone already expressed my thoughts! So I will just say, "Thank you for this peaceful picture and all the other wonderful pictures you've posted...and Merry Christmas!"


What a poignant photo, for you...

I didn't know much about my birth father most of my life but one of my earliest recollections of my step-father (The Dad in my life) and I was getting the decorations out of the boxes and putting them on the tree.

He had these old strings of Noma lights with the heavy wire covered in woven fabric (old style electric cords, in other words). He let me plug them in to test them while he changed the bulbs. One of the first strings blew me across the room because of a short. Every year after that he would ask me if I wanted to test the strings with him. Once bitten, twice shy, I let HIM test the strings and I would change the bulbs.

This was a long process and since Dad always insisted on getting the tree on Christmas Eve, so it was almost bedtime before we got to put the other decorations on. Dad had to place the lights "just right".... "COME ON DAD!"

Some time in the late 70s we got a tree where all the needles fell off before morning so from then on the tree was bought the week before Christmas.

Dad died in 1988 (a month to the day after my birth father). What I wouldn't give to have Dad with us, now.

Re: Floored

If you will look at the baseboard behind the chair, you will see that the carpet was not wall to wall. Mother had it cut-to-fit. It had to be bound on all the edges with carpet binding. It gave a wall to wall look without ruining the hardwood floors.

This is the first time I have seen this photo myself. I am just as touched as all you are. Thanks for all your nice comments.
-tterrace's Sister.


I miss wall-to-wall carpet. It has been falling out of style in most American homes for the last 10 or 15 years, in favor of hardwood floors and rugs. But there is something SO great about the acoustics, warmth and cohesiveness of a room with wall-to-wall carpet that even the nicest rugs fail to duplicate. Without having ever been in this room, I know exactly what it feels and sounds like. It looks like the contented cat knows what I'm talking about.

Best Holiday wishes tterrace!

Holiday Wish

Merry Christmas to you and yours, tterrace! Thanks for sharing your mom and dad, sibs, cousins, Godmother, cars, et al. with us.


A Life in Review

In all the pictures you have shown of your father, tterrace, I am struck by how happy and active your family was, and the important roles your parents played. I imagine he is thinking about his life, with all the reminders on the bookshelves in front of him. What a beautiful photo.

Memory Lane

What a great picture. Setting by the warm fire in the twilight of his life. Surrounded by pictures of his family. Perhaps thinking "Life has been Good"

Yule log

Nice memories there. My "fireplace" was WPIX channel 11 on TV. Where the yule log was shown for Christmas. Down side was there was no heat from it -- upside was that dad paid the utility bill so we had heat! ;-)
I want to thank Dave for this wonderful site and TTerrace for the lovely trips down memory lane. Merry Christmas!

Thank you...

Excellent photo. I lost my Father-In-Law this year at 89. He always added to the festivities and will be missed greatly. Your photo made me think back to last Christmas.

Mike in Dayton, Ohio

Could have been our living room

My father, who also died in 1984, spent many hours sitting on the floor in front of a fireplace just like this one. We had some of the same knick-knacks, like the elephant - ours was bright 1970's green, painted by my mother as fired pottery in a craft shop. We had the ginger jars, the matching bowls on their stands - even the same chair was in my parent's bedroom in green velvet, and the same dictionary with our set of encyclopedia was in a different corner of the living room.

It's amazing how much our lives intersect through the stuff we all choose in our homes as we pass through them.

Brings back

memories of my house! Great photo of your dad and the cat. Thanks for posting. Merry Christmas.

A Rich Man

In more ways then just wealth. Lovely.

Just perfect!

Touching and beautiful. Thanks for sharing it!

He looks so tired.

You, your brother and sister must miss him terribly. We've looked at so many pictures of him, still young and active, that we tend to forget that these photo memories of yours are from so long ago. Thank you for making us a part of your family. Have a wonderful Christmas.

Very nice photo.

A man alone in his thoughts. Perhaps thinking of Christmas' past, or just how many more will be in his future. Little do any of us know about when our time will come.

He seems content and I'm sure secure in the knowledge that he provided his family with love and a good home. I'm sure he is still missed and remembered fondly.

That brought

Tears to my eyes.

Twas the night before...

What a wonderful and peaceful picture. You can only immagine what thoughts were going through his mine as he looked back at the Christmas' past while watching the blazing yule time log. He looked liked he had enjoyed his life and was happy with his contribution.

Such a calm, cozy image.

I hope that his last Christmas was a peaceful and happy one.

Very special

What a great photo, you must treasure it.

My own dad had his last Christmas eve last year, as he passed away in September at age 89; it will be a bittersweet holiday for us this year.

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