The other day a blog post caughte my eye. It was about Christmas past, present and the furture.
When I was a child we celebrated our Christmas as a big family. Stockings were hung at the end of the bed and in the morning there would be an apple, orange, a little toy and some chocolate inside. The chocolate was particularly nice when eaten at 6 am!
We went downstairs when told, and there in the lounge was a pile of toys, all unwrapped waiting for us. It was a treasure trove as our eyes grew wide with excitement. Mum or Dad would tell us which chair or end of the settee was ours. The toys for many years consisted of the same the things, but we loved them just the same. Always a spinning top that hummed like crazy the faster it got. A tea set with cups and saucers, a tea pot, milk jug and sugar bowl was a firm favourite as I used to have a lot of tea parties with my dolls. And yes, a beautiful doll, whom I always adored. I still remember counting them one day, and I had twenty eight of all different shapes, sizes and colours. I loved choosing names for them. One year I even had a hamster in a cage. We were lucky, and we all loved Christmas. This cumiliated in a big Christmas dinner with crackers, hats and silly jokes.
When I met my husband, his family did something different. They didn’t open any presents until after Christmas dinner had been eaten, cleared and washed up. He had a big family, and they went to different relative’s houses on different years. There used to be up to twenty two around the table. The presents, all wrapped sat like a mountain around the Christmas tree and took hours to open. It was lovely. Gradually as the years went by the elderley relatives passed away and the people round the table got less and less.
When we had our own children, we kept that tradition although we did have some toys to open on Christmas morning, with many more later. There is something special watching little children getting up when it was still dark, desperately trying to be awake to seeing the glee in their eyes. I remember one particularly year we bought our son a sit-upon-digger. It was too big to wrap so I placed a balloon in the digger bucket and covered it with a table cloth. In the morning, he pulled off the cloth and exclaimed loudly with a sharp intake of breath. ‘A balloon, a balloon!
We moved to Angelsey a few years ago and Christmas’s changed again with us going back to Manchester on the day, and the children and their families coming here another. Next year it will change again as our daughter moves to Anglesey in a house that will accomodate us all.
So things evolve all the time and you do have to work at it, not just the preparation but making it as enjoyable as possible by doing the things you love with the people you love.
The blog I saw which inspired me to write this was by author Chantelle Atkins. It’s a lovely read and she puts it so well. Pop over here to have a look.
Before you go, get yourself in the mood for the festive season with my novelette One Christmas.. It’s funny and sad, happy and very Christmassy. It’s also short. So you don’t have to commit to a big read. I’d be grateful of a review too, just a few words to tell me what you thought.