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Thursday, 8 December 2016

Another Time

A few years ago I wrote to my Aunt (moms sister) and asked her about Christmas when she and mom were kids.  Mom never really talked about Christmas as a child.  This is her response.


Sorry to take so long to reply , -- about Christmas. Yes we always had a tree, a real one of course since the artificial variety hadn't happened yet.I can remember coming home from school, stepping inside the back door and yelling "I smell Christmas tree".  Mom had bought it from someone who came around door to door through the day and put it in the basement thinking she could surprise us later.  But the nose knows.  The tree went up just one week before Christmas & came down on Jan.2nd.  There were always gifts - about 3 each if I remember correctly, also,  usually,  balloons fastened to the tree that morning just to make the occasion more festive. Helen & I didn't sleep much that night & had to wait until the alarm went off before we could get up.  We then rushed down, collected our gifts & went back to bed. That was necessary because the house was cold.
     Grandma & Grandad Black usually came for the day.  We usually had our dinner at noon , which was chicken with all the trimmings including Christmas pudding for desert.  [I still make that every year as well as the sauce & give some to family & close friends]  After dinner Helen & I would go outside to play , maybe sleigh ride, depending on circumstances..The adults settled in to a few games of cards.  The candies, nuts and oranges weren't brought out until a reasonable time after dinner so we were back in for that. Then all the goodies were put away in good time to preserve our appetite for supper, never to be seen again until New Year's day.
    
     Yes, Christmas was a good time as I remember it as a child, but for the life of me I can't remember much about it as we got older.  There was no gift exchange between Mom & Dad & the Grandparents that I remember . I know Mom must have saved all year just to provide what they did.  Money was tight in those days.  We were all poor but didn't know it

Do you have an older relation you could ask about what Christmas was like in their day? 

18 comments:

  1. Not that different, just less stuff and a cold house. Interesting for sure.

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    1. Seems they looked forward to and enjoyed Christmas just as much under those circumstances as we do now.

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  2. Replies
    1. I'm glad I was able to ask her. It gave me a little snapshot into my moms life.

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  3. Everyone is gone now. My last aunt died last year. Unfortunately my grandmother passed away when three of her children were teenagers and another an adolescent. My mom's family went through tough times after that so they probably had some very difficult holidays. My dad's family sent him, at about age 12, to the other side of the country to live with a very mean aunt who treated him like an indentured servant. His parents had too many children that they could not afford and he was the eldest and therefore expendable. Life for him was hard and he did not see his family till he was past 30. When my parents met and settled down to have a family, they made Christmas very special for my sisters, brother and I. Despite their difficult lives, they were warm and kind and held no grudges.

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    1. Back in our parents and grandparents day it was a whole different world.

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  4. No family left to ask.
    I suspect the 'less stuff' and cold house theme would have predominated though.

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    1. If anyone out there still has parents and grandparents...ask them....write it down.....

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  5. I've tried asking other family members about events and help varied from a lot to a little. My father's siblings came up rough and most of my cousins said their parent spoke little or less about their childhood.

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    1. For the older generation, some of their memories were not the happiest. There were some tough times 'back then'.

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  6. Christmas memories become "golden oldies" as we get older.
    I enjoyed this lovely post and trip back to the past.
    Thank you for sharing~

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    1. Memories from before my time. I enjoyed hearing about them and appreciated my aunt taking the time to respond.

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  7. Now I will have to ask my mother about her Christmases. My dad talked about his on his own initiative, so I know that side. Good topic for Christmas day when our two moms are here.

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    1. Just keep in mind that not everyone's Christmas memories are good and she may not want to share......

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  8. Sounds as if they certainly enjoyed the excitement and joy of Christmas. What great memories.

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    1. Even the simplest of celebrations can bring joy if there is lots of love.

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  9. Thanks for sharing memories here ... always good to read.

    All the best Jan

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It's lovely to know someone else is out there. Please leave me a comment...pretty please.