First when I was married I made dozens of shortbread cookies topped with red and green candied cherries. I was queen of the easy fruit cake, too. I made the cakes months before Christmas and froze them in saved cookie tins. Turkey was and still is our favorite meat, with the traditional jiggs dinner of cabbage, turnip, carrot, potato and peas pudding. My mother always fixed raisin and molasses pudding in large juice cans. We found that our children preferred peas pudding.
Now many decades later I make snowballs and date squares. This year I made an apple pie for dessert on Christmas Day. My sister in law gave us a lemon pie, so we are eating it today, Christmas Eve.
Years ago we hung up stockings to be filled with small treats from Santa. Christmas songs played on the radio as they still do today. Lights are put on the front of the house to put everyone in a Christmas mood. Yesterday we took a drive around St. Shotts to admire all the beautiful lights. Mummers would be on the go during the 12 days of Christmas and on occasion I would join some friends and go to a few houses.
Going to mass on Christmas Eve is customary. It wouldn’t be Christmas without the full church and beautiful choir hymns. And the smiles on children’s faces.
Christmas Eve was always my time for watching Scrooge and eating Pot of Gold Chocolates. When our three sons were small I dressed them in the same color cozy sleepers and took photos. We read The Night Before Christmas and then the three went to their rooms to stare at their small Christmas trees until they fell asleep. A note and lunch was left for Santa earlier in the evening.
Now our sons live in other provinces with their own families. We send gifts to the children and phone on Christmas morning, except for the lucky Christmases when we travel to see them, or they get to come home.
One small tradition that I’ve started after the birth of our grandchildren still continues today. I buy a special ornament for each child during the after Christmas sales and give it to them the following Christmas. It brings a smile to their little faces. This year I went through all my ornaments and picked out 15 for each son, some were made by them when they were young, some bought and placed on their own small trees in their bedrooms.
Just another small write up to remind us of the Christ child, who lives among us in the faces and hearts of our children and grandchildren. May you all have a happy,healthy and peaceful holiday season. Pay it forward this year by helping a friend, or stranger who might like a kind smile or a meal.
Felix navidad! Joyeux Noël! Merry Christmas!