As #TBT was busy yesterday with quilting (!) I thought we could do #FBF (Fling Back Friday!) and talk about Christmas long, long ago. Well not that long ago, but when I was little.
Okay perhaps not as long ago as this, but it is what Christmas is about. As a family we went to church every week and even more in the run up to Christmas. On a Sunday we attended Church as a family and then I went to Sunday school after the service and then my Dad would come and collect me to go home for lunch. I loved the Christmas services, especially the carols which were always easier to sing than most of the hymns and Sunday school was always fun at Christmas decorating the church for Christmas and doing the Nativity, although I always seemed to be the Angel Gabriel (my Mom said I was playing against type; I don’t know what she meant!!!!)
Dad, Mom and I always decorated the house for Christmas usually the first Friday in December. We had a tree in the sitting room and my Dad absolutely loved the Christmas lights, which is probably where I get it from. We had lights above the window (there was a shelf above the curtain rail) and they were covered carriages with lights in and they looked wonderful standing there. There were lights around the windows on the inside in our hall which looked lovely from the outside. One year my Dad bought this gaudy Santa face inside a ring of coloured lights which flashed on and off very fast! My Mom banished it to the hall where we only saw it when we walked through!!! Our dining room was decorated with holly from the garden and pine cones and the table was set with the best china, cutlery and crystal glasses.
We always went to Church on Christmas Eve for Nine Lessons and Carols at 6.00pm and then for Morning Serivce on Christmas Day. Fortunately the Church was not far from where we lived so if it was snowy we always walked with my Grandparents and Great Grandma.
Christmas Day was always spent at my Grandparents home which again was not far from where we lived so we always walked. Their dining room had this lovely dark wood furniture and there was always a fire in the fire place with candles in the windows which overlooked the garden. We sat round the table like above and I always sat on a stool so I was the right height to eat at the table.
My Mom worked, which was unusal when I was growing up in the 1970’s, but I had my Grandma and Grandad who looked after me during the school holidays and I got to help out with the Christmas preparations. We usually finished school a full week before Chritmas but it was a busy week. We always had goose for Christmas dinner and my Grandma would pluck it herself. She had a sitting room off the kitchen and we would close the doors and she would pluck and I would pick the feathers up and put them into bags for stuffing pillows. The whole room was filled with feathers but I have never had an allergy to anything like that!
Grandma also let me help with making the mince pies and finishing the Christmas cake off and making the chocolate log which was great fun and how I learnt to bake. We would also sew stockings and Christmas ornaments during the day and I got roped in to helping with the big clean before Christmas, including the polishing of the silver and brass ware.
Although we lived near the city we were involved with the local community through the Church and occasionally went Carolling in Christmas week, along with helping at the Christmas events at Church including the Fair selling baked goods, homemade items, Christmas cards and holly wreaths.
Christmas morning Santa had delivered the gifts to my stocking by the fireplace in our sitting room and we would stay in PJs and Dad would make cups of tea whilst I opened my gifts. We had gifts round the tree which were opened after Christmas lunch. We would then walk to Grandma and Grandad’s for Christams lunch around 1.30pm and then we opened gifts there. We then played board games, my favourite was Monopoly and I was always the dog, and as I got older and better at spelling we played Scrabble. We always had Christmas tea about 7.00pm of a piece of Christmas cake or a mince pie and tea to drink, by which time I was usually scooted off to bed, but as I got older we would watch a movie in the evening and about 9.00pm Grandma would offer to get anyone any snacks and an alcoholic drink! We usually got to bed around 11.00pm having had a wonderful family Christmas.
Boxing day in the UK was very much a day when everyone just chilled, people ate when they wanted out of the fridge which was stuffed with food. We always took the dogs for a long walk and then came back for hot chocolate by the fire and then we would play another board game or cards or I would take myself off to my Grandma’s small sitting room and read one of my many books I had been given for Christmas.
Sadly the family Christmases got smaller as my family passed but when I met DH, who has a large family, I was very much welcomed into it and got back to those family Christmases and I have tried very hard to continue our traditions when our Boys were born.
Anyway sorry for the long post today but I hope you liked the little trip down my Christmas Memory Lane!
We have the swimming club Presentation Evening tonight which will finish around 11.30pm but our Head Coach has decided not to have two weeks off at Christmas now only one, which means they are all supposed to be at swimming tomorrow morning at 7.00am!!! Youngest is coaching but I suspect here won’t be many there!
Tomorrow we are visiting family in Nottingham during the day and in the evening we are going to the Boys’ Godparents for dinner, as we won’t get to see them over Christmas, can’t wait.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Christmas Hugs & Love