just a little warning: this post contains a lot of christmas memories and things that may only mean something to me -i just felt the need to get it out there. if you are not into reading about people’s live’s, please come back soon for a future post! :)
i also wanted to take a moment to remember all of my loved ones who are no longer around celebrate this time of year with their family. christmas for me has always been about traditions - but over time, i have lost them. this has been due to marriage which comes with a new family and new traditions, my parent’s separation, and of course, the loss of loved ones. this post is a way for me to bring my childhood and my loved back to life for a moment. you may not see the tears, but they are falling and the nose is definitely running.
in the spirit of the season and reminiscing, i wanted to share some of the traditions/ memories that i will i always cherish!
1. going out into the woods by our house with my dad and one or both of my brothers and cutting down a pretty ugly tree (my dad didn’t have the best taste).
2. fighting over who’s turn it was to put the angel on top of the tree with my brothers - which, by the way, that thing was treated like it was this amazing and delicate piece of art with it’s own box and tissue paper but it was plastic and looked so worn out but nevertheless, we fought over it.
3. going along with the tree, it would always be my brothers, my dad and i who would decorate the tree. our tree would always be covered in silver tinsel, homemade ornaments dating back to the late 80’s, and then just a bunch of random ornaments that we would receive as gifts or just liked. there was no colour scheme or theme which i kind of like better than the “perfect looking” christmas tree, if i’m being honest (no offence to the people who have perfect beautiful trees!).
4. christmas eve - my favourite day of the whole year! this was the day that, annie, my best friend in the entire world, and her family would come for christmas eve supper and we would eat, exchange gifts, and just spend an evening all together. fun fact: my mom and annie’s mom, pam, are best friends and that is how we met - annie was there the day i was born (that is 27 years of best friendery - that is now a word if it wasn’t already!) and the rest is history!
5. on christmas eve, most years, channel 37 (back in the day, haha!) would run the movie a christmas story for 24 hours. this, my friends, is my absolute favourite christmas movie! so, i would turn the tiny tv i had in my room to channel 37 and watch that movie at least 3 times, falling in and out of sleep. this tradition is still going strong but i bought the movie, haha!
6. christmas day would start off early, like crazy early. my oldest brother was notorious for waking up around 4am or even earlier some years, and he would come wake my other brother and i. we would walk out to see that our tree was hidden by a wall of presents - we were definitely spoiled children that didn’t realize it. we were not allowed to wake our parent’s that early, nor would we ever dare wake my mother up that early - she was like a sleeping dragon, and you never wake a sleeping dragon! so, while we waited for a reasonable time to wake them up (between 6am and 7am…) we would open our stockings.
7. after early morning presents - we would normally be done by 8am… - most of us would nap while mom and dad would slave away getting food ready for the woodworth’s annual christmas potluck lunch (it wasn’t officially called that but that’s what it was, haha). luckily for my family, we lived next-door to my grandparents! we always ate well there, it was always warm in their house and they had a big screen tv (like the chunky ones that first came out)! i loved my grandparent’s house - i would crawl under the table to get to the other side and always sit next to my poppy. whatever i didn’t finish, he would pick up and put on his plate. we were a pretty good team. my grammy, who was a beautiful and kind little lady (she was shorter than i am) who always wore dresses and made sure that her family was fed before she would sit in her little rocking chair on the other side of my poppy and eat her food. side note: we would have lunch at my grandparent’s house every sunday and it was the best thing ever!
8. boxing day in the east is treated like an actual holiday where most people do not work (not like here in onterrible… i mean, ontario, haha!) so we would hit the highway to the city (halifax area) most years and have boxing day supper with my mom’s side of the family. my nan, who i am named after, was a strict lady but she always treated me like a princess. she was a bit scary - my brother’s and i would say that she kind of looked and acted like ursula from little mermaid, but she was much more beautiful! she had a presence and i am lucky that my mom, who i used to scared of (refer to memory #5) is a lot like her mother. so, even though my nan is no longer here, i still have a little bit of her in living form through my mom!
i am sorry if this post seemed pointless, but every year, i think back to these memories that i have and hold so dearly in my heart and think of how many of these traditions will never happen again. but that is why traditions are also great - when some have to end, new ones can be made with new family and friends. traditions are what make christmas so special for me - it’s not the gifts or the giving (i LOVE giving gifts but that’s not my favourite part. please don’t hurt me!), it’s the old and new traditions that my husband, my family and his, and my friends have. this time of year for me is about loving who i have in my life and who i have lost. it’s about family and community.
i would love to know what your favourite tradition is or was! have you made any new ones? please share because i love hearing what other’s do around this time of year! :)
happy christmas, merry holidays, and happy december everyone! i hope that you are all making the most out of what time we have left of 2018 and be sure to hug or call your loved ones!
and remember, you do not know what others are going through, especially at this time of year, so please be kind to one another. <3