We loved to go to see all the lights and decorations when they appeared. Lights were not very common in those days, and I can still remember the few houses in the Mission where they first appeared. In the downtown area, the lamp standards in the middle of Bernard Avenue were graced with wreaths. Santa and his sleigh sat atop City Hall, and the manger ( the same one the city uses today) was also present.
In the early days, Santa always tied a big ribbon to our living room door so we could not get in there on Christmas morning. Our stockings were hung at the end of our beds and we would find them there in the morning. I remember my mother telling us that we shook with excitement as we delved into those stockings. There was always aJapanese orange at the bottom, except for the one year when we had been naughty and each found an onion at the toe. I guess Santa couldn't find coal that year.
Family and friends got together for a lot of old fashioned fun. Times were indeed much simpler. On Christmas Eve, my father often arrived home late after he had been celebrating the "season" at some of the businesses he dealt with and dropping in at family and friends too. It was not uncommon for my cousin to follow him home to make sure he got there. Dinner was late, and my mother may have been rather cross at times.
it was her brother, out from Saskatchewan for the holidays, who was responsible for that game.
At school and church, we sang carols and had special performances. Often those, along with the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Leather church's Christmas bazaar were held in the Mission Community Hall.
cause of much laughter, so much so that my grandmother had to turn her hearing aid off as she couldn't stand the noise. It seems to me that Omega Watches Leather
In those days, there were not many stores in downtown Kelowna. I remember Fumertons, Meikles, Woolworths, Stedmans and Long's Drugstore. No wonder those catalogues were so valuable. My mother always made her own Christmas cakes, and we had the honour of stirring the batter and making our wishes. She also made her own plum puddings, and all these goodies were generously soaked in brandy, wrapped and stored away. Of course, there was other baking and recipes passed down that are still in use today. We always had a big bowl of mixed nuts in the shell and the special nutcracker used to open them.
As a family, we always went off into the bush to select our Christmas tree. My father was very fussy, and so it often meant slogging through the snow until he found just the right one. Then there was the competition with my uncle, who always seemed to have an even better one. Our tree was not decorated until just a few days before Christmas, and came down shortly after New Year's, earlier if the needles started to fall. The decorations were quite old fashioned and the lights were a real hassle at times, as the entire string would go out if one single bulb did. Once the tree was up, we were allowed to put the English parcels under it and take off the brown wrapping paper. It was then that the poking and shaking began.
who made the best gravy and the best hard sauce for the pudding.
I remember thatI usually did, and my sister procrastinated over that job. The rest of the day would have been spent outside in the snow or on the backyard ice rink, usually with the other kids in the neighbourhood, while the turkey dinner was prepared.
My mother and aunt traded each year, one of them cooked on the 25th and the other on New Year's Day and the next year it was reversed. There was a friendly competition between them as to Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-axial Review
There was always great hilarity at those dinners. I remember the silly game of Tipit we played at the table being a Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Nato
In our home, it was shopping for gifts for our relatives in England, wrapping them up and getting them in the mail sometimes before Hallowe'en. There were hours spent going through the Christmas catalogues from Sears and Eatons and changing our minds over and over again.
We had to have breakfast, clean up and get dressed, and my dad had to light the fire before we were allowed to sit near the tree and open our gifts. Then my mother would make a list of all those gifts and who they were from, and we were expected to write our thank you letters as soon as possible.
Back then, there was no Black Friday, and there were nonoisy TV commercials to signal the start of the Christmas season.
As these memories come flooding back to me year after year, I am reminded why Christmas was such a special time for us. I can remember the traditions and I can remember the people, but I cannot really remember the gifts.
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