It’s Monday again and so to the Share Your World Challenge from Pensitivity101
Do you have any family traditions?
Our family traditions have changed over the years. When I was a child growing up in the sixties, Christmas was a big thing. We did not receive expensive gifts but it was certainly a magical time. Every year our grandparents took us to the city and to at least three different department stores to visit Father Christmas. At each store, we received a Lucky Dip filled with the junkiest toys ever. Each year our grandparents complained that the toys became nastier than the year before but we adored them – puzzles that fell apart after putting them together just once, tiny plastic dolls whose limbs were off in seconds for the girls and even tinier cars with wheels that broke even faster for the boys. The colouring books with very breakable crayons were the best treat ever. So what if they were binned within the week – we loved those toys while they lasted.
In spite of it being in the middle of summer, we would sit down to a hot Christmas lunch with all the traditional fare – cooked by Granny with helps from Mom and aunts of course. Grandpa would decorate the huge pine tree in the garden with the most colourful and twinkly lights ever. In the evenings the neighbours would come to the gate to stare and exclaim in delight. Nobody else did anything like it in that neighbourhood. We had a very big extended family and so our Christmas gathering was very exciting with lots of inexpensive presents being exchanged and rowdy games played in the garden while the adults napped after over-indulging in lunch!
In our teens, we would go to bed early on Christmas Eve and then wake up at 11 pm to attend Midnight Mass. From 11:30 we would sing all the traditional hymns before Mass began at midnight. When we got home my mother would read, “A Visit from St Nick” by Clement Clarke Moore and we would be allowed to open one gift before going to bed and only rising much later in the morning.
By the time I was thirteen my mother and a cousin would alternate hosting Christmas as it became a bit too much for Granny. We continued to have great fun though.
With December on its way, have you ever been carol singing?
I have not gone carol singing door to door but I have attended carol singing services at schools where I have taught. In fact for a few years, my school, as an end-of-year function, had a sing-along of all kinds of well-known favourites, ending with a few carols, and I was the one to lead the proceedings!
Do you decorate your home for the Christmas holidays?
When our kids were growing up we certainly did. I haven’t done so for quite a number of years. Our daughter now hosts Christmas and she does a tree and decorations etc. This year I will be providing new table decorations.
Do you enjoy the Christmas rush for preparations and shopping?
Not like I did in my youth. Christmas is lovely but now that our grandchildren are grown we do not buy gifts for everybody. We have Secret Santa and buy only one gift for the chosen person. The whole family is together for two to three weeks and our Christmas gift to each other is to do special things as a family. We spend money on one or two special outings and treat each other to a restaurant meal or order in Sushi.
Our friends in the US have just celebrated Thanksgiving.
I think we should follow the example of the Americans and set aside a day to be thankful. If I was sitting around a Thanksgiving Table and had to share what I was thankful for, my list would be very long and the other guests would probably tell me to sit down and be quiet!
I am thankful for my amazing family. I am thankful that they are safe and pray that will never change. I am thankful that my grandchildren still want to spend time with their grandparents even though their friends are more fun. I am thankful for my lovely husband who still wants to have adventures and refuses to sit still and rock in a rocking chair! I am thankful that I live in a cosy, comfortable house in a beautiful part of the world that is still relatively free from crime. I am thankful for amazing friends who I can rely on when I need them. I can go on. Let’s just say that Life is Good and I am so grateful that I can still enjoy it.