Sunday 9 December 2018

Christmas memories on a Sunday morning . . .

Todd and I were talking about the Christmas's of our childhoods last evening as we sat here admiring our Christmas Tree , , , they were both very different, some of that due to the different times that we were children in and some of that due to different family traditions.

Todd was born just prior to World War 2, and so for the first 7 years of his life, his dad was not around.   His mother and he lived with his maternal grandparents in their home just North of London.  It was a suburb, where it was considered to be a lot safer from the Hun's bombs.  He does have one memory of an incendiary bomb coming through the roof at one point, but mostly nothing happened at all.   He thought it was an adventure to sleep in the bomb shelter in the back garden and he had a Micky Mouse gas mask he took to school. 

 After the War things were quite different.  He got a baby brother and they of course were not living with the Grandparent's anymore.  Todd's father was a window washer and so there wasn't a lot of money, but Christmas's for him were quite magical nonetheless.  They awoke in the morning and found that Santa had been, and stockings were laying at the end of their beds.   Only once everyone was awake were they allowed to venture into the lounge.  Nothing was wrapped.  All would have been laid out and on view as if it was a department store and on display.    He said that his parents would have taken great pains to make the displays as magical as possible.   A book, laying open . . . a fort set up and ready for play, etc.    He remembers his father making him a wooden castle one year and it being his favourite gift of all.    There were smaller gifts, wrapped and laying on the tree, and off and on during the day, he or his brother would be invited to go and get one and unwrap them.   Nothing big or expensive, perhaps a small dinky car or some such . . . a very different Christmas to the ones I was brought up with, but no less magical.

We did not have stockings, although I always wished for one.  Instead we had coloured melmac bowls, which were normally our Cereal bowls.  (At Easter they became Easter Baskets)  Each bowl would be set at our place at the table and in them we would find a few hard candies, some nuts and a tangerine.  We were always happy with them.  All of our gifts would be wrapped and sitting under the tree, each person's gathered in one pile.  We were not allowed into the lounge to have a look until we were all up and had gone to the bathroom . . . then my father would go in and turn on the tree lights.   We would be held back in the hall, our excitment so thick you could cut it with a knife.   Once the go ahead was given the three of us would rush into the room . . . mouths opened in awe at what we found beneath the tree.   Each gift was wrapped and labeled.  The next half hour or so would be a mix of the sounds of rustling paper, ooohs and ahhhs and look what I got's!  We never got an awful lot.  My parents were very modest in their expenditures, but then again, they never went into debt either.  We were always happy, and that's what counted. 

A bowl of candy and another of nuts would have magically appeared on the coffee table overnight.   The candy bowl was a divided dish, with two halves joined together in the middle with a handle.  It was made of pottery and one half was coloured pink and the other yellow.  There were the traditional hard candies .  .  . little peppermint pillows and cut glass squares, vari-striped satins and rock candy slices, with little pictures in the centres . . . a piece of ribbon candy or two.   On the other side there would be small pastel coloured creams, pink, green, yellow and white . . . soft centred, square ones and round ones, some rolled in sugar.   None would be allowed past our lips until breakfast had been eaten.  The nut bowl would be overflowing with walnuts, filberts and monkey toes to crack throughout the day. 

The rest of the day would pass quietly as we played with whatever Santa had brought, while my father dozed on the sofa . . . Christmas Carols playing softly over the radio.  As the morning progressed, the smell of roasting turkey would soon fill the air along with the mouth watering anticipation of the Christmas dinner to come!   I always loved my mother's turkey dinners.   Her turkey was never dry and her gravy was always rich and delicious.   As an adult I cannot for the life of me understand why, as children, we fought over who would get the drumsticks . . . but we did.   I loved my mother's stuffing . . . it was made with bread and potatoes and onions and sage.  No matter how many times I try to replicate it myself, it never tastes the same as my memory of her's does.  For dessert . . . mincemeat pie, fruit cake, my mother's war cake, her date or feather squares . . . not that any of us had much room for dessert.

They were simple times for both Todd and I, but they are filled with wonderful memories for each of us. It didn't really matter what Santa had brought . . . what mattered most was the love of family and being together.  Nothing has changed, it still is.  

Its my youngest daughter's birthday today.  She is turning 39.  Hard to belive.  I am very proud of her and the woman she has become. Wife to Tom, mother to two lovely children, practicing nurse, with two degrees, published papers. She's a star athelete and keeps a lovely home.  I love her very much and I hope that she has a beautiful day filled with all that she loves.

A thought to carry with you  . . .  

*.˛.° ˛°. .
˛*"Hope is like snow.. it beautifies all it covers。
˛ *˛° with magical possibilities."
~.¸¸.☆ ❉
.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★ 

I will definitely not be here tomorrow. We have to be at the hospital for Todd's operation by 7:30.  Keep him in your prayers!  Thank you! 

Cranberry Breakfast Cake 

In the kitchen today a delicious Cranberry Breakfast Cake.  Its moist and stogged full of lovely fresh cranberries and toasted walnuts!  

Have a wonderful Sunday filled with loads of blessings, hugs and love!  Don't forget!!

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And I do too!


  1. Hi Marie, what lovely Christmas memories you both have. Although we didn't have any money we did have lovely Christmases and, like you, now have wonderful memories. I love it when my daughter talks about her Christmas memories and I know, God willing, she will take these memories into her old age and tell them to her children and grandchildren.

    Sending lots of prayers and love for Todd's operation tomorrow. I'll be thinking of you xxx

    1. Thanks very much Kate! We appreciate all the prayers! Happy Sunday! xoxo

  2. I will be praying for Todd. xxx

  3. You do have sweet memories:)I have a few but mostly just of my mom and I..yet I had 2 brothers..both had moved out by the time I was 10.One when I was 6 I think..and my dad..was a nice dad..but everything was my mom.
    Thinking of Mr T for tomorrow!!!

    1. Thanks Monique! I think that mom's make Christmas for the most part. And I think especially when we were growing up, Dad's were not so much hands on! xoxo

  4. I loved reading Todd and yours sweet Christmas memories. It is true the presents aren’t important at all; it’s family, loving, caring and enjoying precious moments together. The Traditions are wonderful and help in building the strong memories and love that abounds
    I too have sweet memories of Christmas’s past. I wish I could remember more details but I can’t.
    Todd will be in my prayers that the surgery goes well and you wil be too.
    Sending loving thoughts, wished for blessings and hugs!

    1. Thankfully I have a wonderful memory for nonsense and minutia LeAnn! Thanks for the prayers. Love and hugs, xoxo

  5. Love you both!! Love your Christmas memories - I haven't thought of them in a while, so it was very good - I could almost smell those lovely childhood Christmas smells.

    Thank you for sharing both of them.

    Praying for God to guide and bless the doctor as he does Todd's procedure and for you both to blessed as you return to your home.

    love you both so much!!xxoo blessings and love, your friend R in Alabama, USA.

    1. Thank you so much Ruth! He is home and in bed now resting, which is a blessing as he was driving me a bit crazy prior to that. Following me around and yammering away. I think it was adrenaline! Love and hugs! xoxo

  6. Both of you have some wonderful Christmas memories for sure. We seem to carry them with us through the years always. I'm praying all goes well with the surgery. I have a friend who recently had it and she said it's wonderful to be able to see things so clearly. Hope Todd does too.

  7. Most likely you are busy taking care of Hubby...but hope all is well!!
    Elizabeth xoxo


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