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Monday, 19 November 2007

Christmas Memories......



You know it's only 36 days to Christmas don't you?


Christmas was always a magical time when I was a child, in fact it still is for me!


When I was a child Christmas would start at the beginning of December when Dad would put up the Christmas tree and the decorations, Mum always said it was too early but Dad loves Christmas and would have left the tree and the decorations up all year if Mum had let him. When I think back our tree was the gaudiest tree you've ever seen - colour co-ordination was unheard of - if it sparkled it went on the tree!

The cupboards would be overflowing with extra food - tins of ham, biscuits, chocolate etc., which Mum had bought over the past few weeks, one item at a time, to ease the cost of Christmas. Then we had to be taken for our new clothes and shoes. We always had new clothes at Christmas, Easter and Whitsun, we probably had new clothes at other times too but clothes for these occasions were always a bit fancier.

I think Mum and Dad probably bought our Christmas presents through the year saving coppers here and there until they had enough, once again to ease the cost. I remember one summer, whilst playing in my parent's bedroom I noticed a box on top of the wardrobe. Being a nosey child I dragged a chair over and managed to climb on the tallboy so I could reach the box and take a peak. Inside was a beautiful bride doll - the one I'd noticed in the shop the Christmas before - it was my Christmas present. That was when I realised that Father Christmas didn't exist. I was wise enough not to let Mum and Dad know I'd found my present, but I was disappointed on Christmas Day as I knew what was in my parcel! That episode did teach me a lesson though as far as present's are concerned, I have been happy to wait until the correct day to open my presents since then so it's still a surprise.


Christmas Day was always spent at home stuffing ourselves with all the lovely Christmas food and playing with our new toys. On Boxing Day we always went to my Aunts house where all the family gathered to enjoy a delicious buffet, on which there was always a magnificent sherry trifle topped with hundreds and thousands and tiny silver edible balls! Some years later Aunty showed me how to make the trifle and now all my family look forward to the one I make every Christmas Day - though mine is a lot more aloholic than Aunty's. Aunty also used to make the most delicious Christmas Cake too with a cake frill round the outside and Father Christmas in his sleigh, reindeers and a snowman on the top nestling in the peaks of icing. The day always ended up with party games and a 'sing-song' with all the family joining in.


Invariably we went to the Pantomime early in the new year. Pantomime was magical - the beautiful dress Cinderella wore to the ball and her glass slippers were my idea of heaven. I loved the way the Fairy Godmother soared across the stage and how the pumpkin turned into a golden coach. It was so much fun shouting 'it's behind you' , 'oh yes it is' and 'oh no it's not' to Buttons and the Ugly Sisters. Yes Cinderella was my favourite Pantomime without a doubt.


Now at our house, when it gets to two weeks before Christmas the tree and decorations come out, much to Victor Meldrew's MWM's dismay, if it was left to him there wouldn't be any decorations, but I insist. I love seeing the grandchildren's faces when they walk in seeing the tree lights twinkling and their excitement as they search the tree for chocolates. As a child I hated when Christmas was over because the tree had to come down along with the decorations and the house looked dull and uninteresting. Even now I hate taking down my Christmas tree and always feel the house needs a lick of paint in the new year to brighten it up.


I know it's only November, but guess what, I'm getting excited!

27 comments:

Pig in the Kitchen said...

I bought the children's new Christmas outfits today! We always used to have new clothes at Christmas.
(I find Christmas a bit stressful tho...4 children with expectant faces, dinner to get on the table, etc. Maybe I should be a Grandmother, it would be easier!)
Pigx

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I'm always excited when it's time to put up the tree, but after Christmas I'm usually ready to take it down and get things back in order.

I know what you mean about needing to brighten things up afterwards, though. It always seems a little dim in January.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

36 days? sigh... i had no idea. it is slipping up on me. i don't buy gifts though, i give the cruise to the family and money to workers like postal people, doormen, etc. so, no shopping here.

smiles, bee

julia said...

Funny that you had a dad who would keep Christmas up all year, and are married to someone who could skip it altogether! I'm with you and your dad. Can't wait, can't wait!

Akelamalu said...

Being a grandmother is much easier Pig!

You're right Correspondent January is dim!

That sounds like you've got Christmas all sewn up Bee!

MWM Likes Christmas it's just putting the decorations up and taking them down he hates.

Akelamalu said...

Sorry that last comment was for you Julia!

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I like your Christmas traditions.

When I was a kid there were no artificial trees—at least there were none that looked like trees. Since most of the live trees began shedding their needles in about a week or so, out Christmas tree would go up on Christmas Eve, after which we’d go to the big Christmas party my mother’s family—8 brothers and sisters—always held. The tree and decorations would always come down on January 2nd.

I talked to my mom in her new duplex this morning. My sister was there and Mom was happy because she just put up Mom’s tree: all decorations are blue and silver and all of the lights are white.

For some reason, the decorations at Mom’s house just do not seem like Christmas to me. Perhaps I’m (God forbid!) a traditionalist!

Gledwood said...

Xmas can be all too much sometimes!

ann said...

being a grandmother is wonderful

Chanukah is only in two weeks time and my spare room is filled with all the gifts I shall be taking to my two little ones; I can't wait to see their faces when the Chanukah candles are lit

I think if I wasn't Jewish I would be fully embracing Christmas, since I so love all my festivals

hope you enjoy every single minute of it

Travis said...

Such a wonderful story. I love to read other peoples' traditions.

Thanks for sharing this.

Mimi Lenox said...

You've put me in the Christmas spirit, my friend. Thank you. I love this passage...." went to the Pantomime early in the new year. Pantomime was magical - the beautiful dress Cinderella wore to the ball and her glass slippers were my idea of heaven.."
Of course, she was a pencil skirt at heart.

K M F said...

nice post

MarmiteToasty said...

I wish your parents had adopted me as a kid and I had spent crimbos with you all LOL it all sounds so magical......

x

CG said...

Me too! Christmas Eve is my favourite day of the year...always feel so magical. For some reason I was often ill as a child at Christmas but I still have wonderful memories. I just wish someone would do my Christmas shopping for me!

buffalodickdy said...

Well, in America they have been playing Christmas music on some radio channels for three weeks. Ads for Christmas stuff since after Halloween! The retailers can't wait any more as Christmas sales can make or break a fiscal year. It's maddening....
I'm going to celebrate Thanksgiving before any of that stuff starts up in this house!

Akelamalu said...

You're Christmas traditions when you were a child sound good too Saintly Nick. I love a real tree but MWM says they make too much mess! :(

I hope you have someone to spend Christmas with Gleds, you shouldn't be on your own. xx

Happy Chanukah Ann I hope you have a wonderful time!

Thanks Travis I'm happy you enjoyed it. :)

Cinderella was definitely a pencil skirt at heart Mimi, such a shame those 'sugly isters'were so mean to her!!

Thankyou kmf and thanks for dropping by. :)

I'm sure you have made your own kids Christmases extra special Marmie xx

I love Christmas Eve too cg, and I've done most of my shopping! :)

It's far too soon for Christmas music Buffalo, though a lot of our shops have decorated the windows already! As soon as Christmas is over the shops will be full of Easter Eggs!!! :(
Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving my friend. x

Mother of Invention said...

I love Christmas!
It's still a bit too early to decorate the outside of houses here, but come Dec. 1st, everyone will be outside putting up the decs. I just love lights!

I have a gift section in my attic which always has something in it and I pick them up as I see them throughout the year.

My sister and I got bride dolls too one year!

Akelamalu said...

A gift section in the attic is a great idea MOI! Didn't you just love your bride doll? :)

Jo Beaufoix said...

We share so many traditions. And I'm excited already too, especially as Miss M really gets it this year. Last year she was a month off two and it was all a mystery to her. This year, well, we have a list and she thinks any man with a beard is santa.
We put the decorations up on December 1st. My girls have new Christmas outfits for the big day.
We do the Pantomime and/or Sooty.
We buy prezzies throughout the year to get ahead sand spread the cost. My mum makes the sherry trifle, yum, and we often play party games.
Oh I can't wait. :D

HAR said...

I love Christmas too. I can't wait!

Queenie said...

I'm really looking forward to the days in -between Xmas and New Year and you know why...

Akelamalu said...

Slow down Jo there's a month to go gal! LOL

Me too Har :)

I do my darling Queenie and I can't wait either! xx

GEWELS said...

I absolutely love Christmas. I do quite a bit of decorating here too. And, buy way too many Christmas gifts for everybody. I love the crazy hustle and bustle at the stores on the busiest days. It really gets me in the mood.

I've even gone back to baking christmas cookies (which I gave up for years)

Akelamalu said...

Oh Christmas is just the best isn't it Gewels!

elena jane said...

ahh, the excitement is building!! ;)

Akelamalu said...

It certainly is Elena Jane!

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