childhood christmas memories…

We were visiting with our neices and nephew yesterday and I noticed something…. Every day that passes that is closer to Christmas, their excitement levels seem to go up exponentially.  Of course, I am excited too but probably more about having the time off work than what Santa brings… (of course, presents given with lots of thought from people who care about me are always nice but a break from work is worth it’s weight in gold).

It all got me thinking about my childhood christmas memories and how I used to feel about this time of year.  So I thought I’d write down some of the things that really stick out in my head about my Childhood Christmas’ in Canada:

  • The year that Granny and Grandpa came to visit for Christmas.  Thinking back, any time they visited it was better than Christmas morning so to have the two together was just wonderful.  It’s top of my list for a reason…. (Although I think when they returned to the UK to find burst water pipes and a flooded dining room, it may not have made the top of their list….) I remember we couldn’t wait for them to get up each morning and we used to hang around outside their bedroom until the temptation to open the door and peak in to see if any eyes were open was too much.
  • The presents from Santa for me were wrapped in one pattern wrapping paper that I’d never seen before.  Janet’s were in a different pattern.

  • Waking up at ridiculous o’clock and checking out the Christmas tree to discover, “HE’D BEEN”! To be met shortly after by a bleary eyed Mum ordering a return to bed…sometimes she took pity though and allowed one present from the stocking to be taken back to bed with us!
  • Clementines in the stockings.
  • The mystery over what Dad had bought for Mum this year… He always seemed to make a big effort.  In later years we were often “in” on the decision/purchase but I guess we weren’t to be trusted when we were young.  I remember jewellery being a bit of a feature.
  • The red table cloth on the dining room table.  I wonder if that is getting an outing this year?
  • Singing Christmas carols in church with Sunday School on Christmas Eve.  “O Come all ye faithfall” starting quietly with ever increasing crescendos to the end.
  • The Christmas concert at Alliston Union.  Waiting in our classroom until it was our turn to perform…and being very nervous about the whole thing.  I also remember doing a duet on the piano before the concert started with Amy Morrison a few years running.
  • Driving back from the Christmas Eve church service and looking at the Christmas lights on the houses in Alliston.
  • Discovering one year under the tree (well in the middle of the living room), a set up table top game of rod hockey/foosball all ready to go.  How amazing.
  • Our cat Sammy sitting on top of the present for me containing a brown leather jacket….he could smell the leather.  I think I remember Mum being annoyed about the wrapping paper getting ripped before I saw the present.
  • Selection boxes posted from Granny and Grandpa the UK.  All the different chocolate that we couldn’t get in Canada wrapped up in packaging adorned with Santa was very novel and exciting.
  • When the British contingent would visit Alliston and we’d go for a meal at the Sweet and Spicy together and exchange presents.  Or some years we’d go to visit one of them.  There would always be music and sometimes a party piece from Jennifer and Aunty Audrey.  I particularly remember a Paul McCartney song getting reinacted in full scouse costume.

After thinking about these things, I got a bit nosey and wanted to find out what Paul’s favourite childhood Christmas memories were.  When I asked him what his favourite present was, he said, “Stella”.  Which is lovely but I said he couldn’t have that one because that only happened last year and I wanted memories from his childhood!  So this is what I got for his favourites….

  • Christmas dinner at his Nan’s with the whole family.  It was a big gathering and they were all very close.
  • An action man present that had a boxer dog on guard.  He went on to get a real boxer later in his life!
  • On the rare occassion there was snow, playing in it and having snow ball fights.
  • Chocolate – it was a special treat that was mainly satisfied at Christmas.  If he was lucky, Mum and Nan would share their Ferro Rocher.
  • Grandad opening his presents with a pen knife so he could use the wrap again.  He was always the ultimate reuser!
  • The family dogs occassionally getting in to “help” with the present opening…. Shredded paper everywhere.

So that’s all from both of us for now but with that I want to wish you a Merry Christmas.  Hope you create special memories of your time this year.  Keep well and travel safely.


P.S. We forgot a couple of things….

I forgot about the year I got the cabbage patch kid called Meribel Jessible which was when they were were so popular people were fighting in the shops for them…. I don’t think Mum had to go to those lengths to get one for each of us, though…. (Did she?!)

And we both forgot about pulling the wishbone.

I’m sure there are lots more things too…

P.S.S.  As predicted, a couple of more memories…. There was a train set when I was very small from Santa…definitely when I was less than 5 years old because it was in our old house in Alliston.  And there was the year (again when I was very young and we lived in Alliston) that I was very sick on Christmas day.  I kept throwing up and Mum wouldn’t let me open presents because I was so sick.  She finally gave in and let me open one – a snoopy teddy which I loved.  Because I didn’t want to leave it alone for a minute, it wasn’t long before I threw up on it!