Memories of Family Christmasses

Beautiful-Christmas-decorMy earliest Christmas memories involve a white tricycle and a budgie.  I think I was 4!  I’d received the budgie for my 4th birthday from my nan and it was the 1st year for my mum, dad, brother Fred & me in our new flat.  I don’t actually remember much before we moved to the  flat, so it was obviously not the best living  in 2 rooms at my grandmother’s house, where we all shared a bedroom!

My first Christmas memory then,  is the White tricycle & the budgie, Tommy,  sitting on the handlebars on Christmas morning.  I remember being dressed in a new red, winter coat with a white fur collar & a white muff on a string round my neck (It was always a new coat for Christmas :))

Dad carried the tricycle down the 7 flights of stairs and I discovered that I was expected to ride it all the way to nan’s house.  Suffice to say I didn’t! Don’t think I actually rode it much at all 😉

It was a traditional day that was to continue until I reached my teens & had boyfriends.

After we had opened our gifts at home Dad, my brother & I would all don our best clothes and go off to nan’s to exchange presents with other members of the family whilst mum tidied the lounge & prepared dinner.  Dad would then go to the pub (I joined him once I was old enough) but I was usually back off home to mum to help get Christmas lunch ready.

Lunch was always around 2:30 and then it was a lazy afternoon of TV & snacks and of course we always watched The Queen’s Message!

Tea was always at nan’s and always consisted of tinned salmon & ham with salad & was followed by Mince Pies, Christmas Cake & Aunt Rose’s yummy trifle.  Oh and copius cups of tea – no alcohol until the party later when everyone else turned up & the tea-table (a huge billiards table closed up for the purpose) was cleared & dragged by about 5-6 men to the corner of the room to be loaded up with bottles of beer, spirits & glasses.

Once I was a teenager, I had the pleasure of choosing all the music with uncle George and we would spent the weeks leading up to Christmas recording from his 78rpm records onto the reel to reel tape recorder ready for the party on Christmas night.

The adults would go to the pub after tea whilst the children were expected to play nicely, the older teenagers watching over them,  until the adults returned ready to party.

I remember many years of being carried home by my dad until I was old enough to stay awake all evening.

I remember my granddad or rather ‘step’ granddad (known as uncle Tom) drank brown ale, my nan drank whiskey & orange (it’s where I got my liking for whiskey) and my mum drank gin & tonic (hate gin ….yuck yuck yuck!)

They were the good old days, but then I suppose my grandchildren will remember Christmases with their nannies & granddads as ‘the good old days when they are my age (not to be spoken aloud).  But they seem to have a different kind of Christmas each year so there is no tradition building for them to remember.

I just hope they have a happy Christmas, just as I used to with all my family, and that they have some beautiful memories to hang on to.

Happy Christmas everyone.

The Wonder of Christmas

52695_441677179228158_1557653790_oHow do you keep the magic going for your kids at Christmas?

Do they really believe in Santa?

My kids did until about 8 or 9 I think – will have to ask my daughter.  I do know that we tried to keep the magic going for as long as possible.  In fact there was the year we bought a garden slide & got a friend to dress up in a Santa suit & slide down it whilst I woke the kids up and showed them out the window of their bedrooms!  My daughter looked & then went back to sleep and my son panicked saying he mustn’t wake up because Santa would take his toys away!  They believed though 😉

We never used to put labels on their presents because they were from Santa, and the big presents, like bikes, were never wrapped of course!

We would even go so far as to remove labels from other people’s gifts sometimes to make things more authentic on Christmas morning.  Or we would say that nanny & granddad had asked Santa to bring a particular toy and that’s why it said it was from them.

When a child is small, why do people bother putting their name on the present? The child doesn’t really care where the toy came from, just that it’s for them.  Is it for the child or for the parents? “This is for your child from me – look how much I spent on them” is what a label says to me.  It also says ‘I will expect a ‘thank you’ from you on their behalf”.  I don’t expect a ‘thank you’ because when Santa sends a toy to a child, he is thanking them for being good so why should they thank the giver?

Am I being very picky here? Am I a bit too cynical? Why have I just put labels on the gifts I’ve bought for my grandchildren and said: “from nanny & granddad”!?!  Oh I feel like a hypocrite now!

When do kids stop believing? And why do they keep up the pretence when they don’t believe anymore?

Is it because it’s the parents who really want to believe in Santa?  Are we all trying to get back the magic from our childhood?

What do you think?  I know I’d love to, but at my age that’s going to be a bit difficult.  Even more so now that mum & dad are gone, my kids are all grown and left the nest.  I make the most of the magic we can make for my grandkids.  Watching them on Christmas morning gives me such a great feeling.  Who cares about labels? They’re never read anyway!  Might take mine off now 😉

Pre-holiday Concerns

It was a gorgeous, sunny Sunday.  I expect everyone was getting nice & brown in their gardens.  What was I doing? Ironing, packing, weighing the case, unpacking, re-organising, packing, weighing …. and so it goes. And I was still overweight! My case, not me – OK I am too but that wasn’t the priority at the time.  Are we the only ones that have this problem?  We had an allowance of 20 kilos each & 5 kilos hand luggage.  I was obviously taking too many clothes!  But I couldn’t decide what to leave behind, I like to have my daytime outfits then change for dinner.  And of course there has to be a choice of sandals in 3 different heel heights.  Oh & shorts & T-shirts for the pool area over the 2 or more swimsuit choices.  Then there’s the toiletries, the SLR camera with spare lenses, the snapshot camera for emergencies, the iPad and the kindle (at least I didn’t have to take 2 or 3 books anymore!) How come I take the same amount of clothes when I go for one week?  Although I was, this time, going for two.  Could I take this in my hand luggage? Had the rules changed again? Wouldn’t bother with perfume I could buy some on the plane. Trying to take all the sun cream adds weight too – It’d be damned expensive over there!  But would it be cheaper to pay when we got there and not have to pay for being overweight in our luggage?

I just wonder if everyone does the same?  But then I don’t suppose everyone takes as many clothes as me.  I like my choices you see?  Dresses, Skirts, Trousers, Leggings, Shorts. And then there has to be  Stylish, casual, & of course a couple of cardigans just in case of chilly evenings & tops to match all the bottoms!  It was so much easier going on a cruise, no baggage restrictions except they had to be easy for the porters to handle. Take as many cases as you like, no worries about putting hairspray in the suitcase & not in the hand luggage.  I knew there was a reason I liked cruises.  Anyway, packing done, and we weren’t over!  I just panicked as usual.  Then I was hoping that the UK didn’t have too much sunshine while we were away or I may as well have stayed home and not worried about the damned luggage!

This was in June of this year (2012) when we went away for 2 weeks & to be honest could have easily have fitted the island of Santorini into one!  It’s not really all it’s cracked up to be, the picture postcard images are all taken in one town, the only really pretty town on the island!  Perhaps I’ll write another post on that one soon.

Anyway, we are off to Cyprus in September for my daughter’s wedding.  Going for a week.  Should be easy I hear you say! Maybe you should read the above again 😉 We have to make sure the wedding outfits are safely packed, Dresses, Suits, Shoes, FASCINATORS!! (holiday clothes will have to take less priority this time)   I’ve also taken it upon myself to pack my daughter’s wedding dress! It will be placed in a special box & travel as hand luggage – Oh joy – what a challenge that will be!  I’ve been studying a video on You Tube so it will be fine :S

(I feel another blog coming on!)

Dress in a Box Video

%d bloggers like this: