When I was young I didn’t have a lot of fond memories of Christmas. My parents did a lot of arguing. And it seem to come to a peek at the holiday season. Threats of Christmas being canceled, were always thrown about. Mind you it never was. But just the words being said were enough to bring tears to your eyes. I’m the youngest of four, I have two sisters 12 and 10 years older. And a brother that is 5 years older. So needless to say I knew that Santa wasn’t real, at a very young age. Ooops sorry if I’m letting the cat out of the bag to anyone reading this. Yes Yes the man in the red suit is real.
As I grow older, and now have a child of my own. I want to rekindle my Christmas spirit. I want to see her eyes shine in the lights of the Christmas tree. And teach her that giving is WAY better than getting. So I’ve been thinking back to what I did enjoy about this time of year. The traditions that I want to carry on with my little family.
Something that I miss more than anything is my grandmas baking. A huge holiday tradition was the making of the fruit cake. I know what you are thinking, hockey puck break your tooth kind of fruit cake. The kind you regift and then regift again. It was nothing like that, sure it had the sickly sweet green and red cherries. That I’m sure sit in your colon for years, like gum. But it was a light-colored cake. And it wasn’t so much eating it, it was the whole process of making it. The whole family extended and all would gather at my grandmas house. It was an ordeal you see because a cake would be made for every family. Us kids liked it because if you were good you got batter. Mmmm batter, we would all fight for the beaters. But there were so many kids it was a fight. So you would end up with a beater, a small spoonful, or the dredges from the mixing bowl. I loved when my grandparents were alive. Christmas dinner was always at their house, there was upwards of 30 to 35 of us. It was never the same once they passed. I miss that a lot.
Another tradition that I have no idea where it came from, or how it started. Was the Christmas present left on the end of your bed Christmas morning. It might be one from Santa, or any other present. This was meant to keep us in our room longer in the morning. You know kids up at the crack of dawn. I don’t think it ever really worked the way it was intended. But it was something that we all looked forward to. As soon as I would open mine, I would go to my brother’s room and wake him up. Then we would rush out to the living room. We were allowed to go through our stocking. Another thing meant to keep us busy, and mom and dad sleeping. Once they were up it was a fight… Presents first or breakfast, presents always won out when we were young. But as we got older, breakfast won out.
As I got older and I moved out. It became less and less important to me to decorate or really celebrate. My idea of celebrating was waking up Christmas morning popping open a bottle of champagne and a jug of oj. Making breakfast, chugging back all the mimosa’s. And being passed out by noon. And when I moved out to the west coast, I rarely did anything. I pretended that it was just another day. It’s a great day to go to the theater and watch a movie.
In a couple of days we are heading back to the homestead in Alberta to have Christmas with my family. I haven’t done that in years, so we will see how this all pans out. I know little Miss wont remember this one. But I still want to try to make it special. I mean it may be her first Christmas, but it is also my first Christmas with her.