As we are nearing Christmas Day, I thought I would share something a little different today. I recently found a box of home videos, which David and I have been watching. Each year, growing up, my Dad would get the video recorder out on Christmas morning and we would film throughout the day. Having not watched any of these since they were probably recorded, it was wonderful being able to watch them back, and just reliving those Christmasses. Plus there were many laughs! It was so lovely to be able to also see family members again who are sadly no longer with us, and to hear their voices again. Plus thankfully, there weren’t too many embarrassing moments!
So I thought I would share with you some fun Christmas memories that I have. (Along with some photos)!
The first memory I have is coming back home from primary school and finding the Christmas tree up and decorated. I loved seeing all the same little ornaments that were on the tree each year. I also had tiny stockings on the tree, which I think my mum filled with those Cadbury Dairy Milk mini-chocolates in the purple paper wrappers and gold foil. I think she also put some chocolate coins in them, and placed on the tree the chocolates that you could get on string. Although, we did have to be slightly careful, as my dog Kipper at the time knew that once the tree was up, it meant chocolate!
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Throughout December, we would always go on an evening drive to go and look at the Christmas lights. As I lived in a small town, we would drive round the villages to find the houses who had their annual Christmas lights up. I can still picture the houses, and us along with many other cars, pulling up to look at all the lights. This was a little Christmas tradition that I really looked forward to each year and one that we carried on even years after.
We also used to decorate our home with Christmas lights on the outside each year and other decorations too, such as the giant inflatable Santa that kept deflating! (Maybe it was all the mince pies, or perhaps a bit too much whiskey as my mum would say!) We actually won a certificate for the best lit-up house in our town which was a lovely surprise. The local MP was driving around viewing the local shop displays I believe, but as he went past our home, he wanted to give us a certificate too.
My favourite thing to do when I got into bed at night throughout December, was to watch and count the twinkling lights on my window before the timer went off, which meant it was definitely time to get to sleep!
On Christmas Eve, I would leave a mince pie, a carrot and a glass of milk out for Father Christmas and his reindeer. I’m sure my Mum and Dad enjoyed their midnight snack (I think there was also a glass of sherry sometimes too) whilst I was asleep, and at least the carrot was probably put to good use in the Christmas dinner! Although I still couldn’t get my head around how Santa could eat so many mince pies in one night! I’m surprised the reindeer could still pull the sleigh with all those carrots! But on Christmas morning, the plate and glass were always empty, and I felt satisfied that I had helped Santa and his reindeer on their journey.
On Christmas morning, as I got up (which was probably around 6am as I couldn’t contain my excitement – I’m sure my Mum and Dad were just hoping for that extra hour in bed) and opened the door, I was greeted by balloons on the landing. It became a little tradition that my Mum and Dad did each year (probably after the mince pie) so I knew that Father Christmas had been! As the balloons slowly made their way around the house, it was just a matter of time before my Mum and Dad (or another family member) became the unsuspecting victim of a balloon thrown at them!
One of the first things I was excited to look for on Christmas morning was the card left next to the fireplace from Santa. I’ve still got them somewhere! I think by the time my Mum and Dad had eaten their midnight snack, blown up the balloons and made the card, they were probably already looking forward to getting to bed the next night!
Another memory from Christmasses gone by, which has turned into a Christmas tradition, and is one that I still like to do today, is to start Christmas morning off with a few (or sometimes a box) of chocolates! It would be sad to just let the box sit there and not be opened, don’t you agree?!
I thought I would leave you with this final Christmas memory to picture in your imagination. It made us laugh! It’s one that my Mum used in a newspaper article called The Last Word, when she wrote for the local paper:
“Ten days before Christmas, as my four year old daughter was playing with a stable and nativity set on the floor of our living room, I discovered that ‘someone else’ had visited the baby Jesus in the stable at Bethlehem! My daughter knows the story of the birth of Jesus from beginning to end and she probably thought (while she was playing) that she would alter the storyline ‘just a bit.’
Starting off with an empty stable, she put in Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus, narrating the story to herself as she played. The next person through the stable door was a shepherd, complete with sheep. My daughter introduced the shepherd to Mary as he went in to visit Jesus. All right so far. Then, as I glanced down at the paper that I was reading, I suddenly looked up again as I heard my daughter say, “Hello Mary, I’m a Power Ranger.” There, going inside the stable was a small Power Ranger figure that she has amongst her most treasured possessions. I had to smile and I thought to myself, thank goodness she doesn’t have the Power Rangers’ archenemy, (Rita Repulsa, I think her name is) or the Christmas story may have had a very different ending indeed.”
What are some of your favourite Christmas memories? Do you have any Christmas traditions that you do each year?
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