With our compliments of the season - we have been waxing nostalgic of late, and reminiscing about our family holiday traditions.
Julie reports: "When I was a little girl, we didn't have special Christmas stockings - we hung out our own stockings that we wore! Now, we didn't just use our socks, though! I think we used my long stockings (even my two brothers) that were like the full legs of tights! So it seemed like a very BIG stocking! We didn't have a fireplace, so the stockings were pinned to our blankets in the morning, and they'd be overflowing with small gifts and treats. One of the things I loved most was that, right in the toe - at the very bottom, was an orange! Not just ANY orange, but the strange, delicious fruit only available at Christmas time - a mandarin orange, or tangerine, as we called them. I realize that all this dates me, hahaha. But it's a favorite memory. I realize now that this was all a ploy to keep us kids in bed another hour, as we were strictly told to first open our stockings and play with those toys in bed until Mom or Dad came to get us!
Another cherished memory is that every year, one Friday evening, early in December, we kids would be picked up by our parents in the car at school - something that NEVER happened! We would all go downtown and have dinner in a restaurant - something else that NEVER happened and seemed so special and exotic. Then we would do our Christmas shopping. I grew up in Port Arthur, Ontario in Canada, where we had only two "department type" stores to shop in - Eaton's and Kresge's. The restaurant was between those two stores, so we piled out of the car and handled everything in about an hour and a half. Then we went home for hot chocolate, while we listened to the radio playing Christmas songs and wrapped our gifts, at the kitchen table, all while attempting to hide our purchases from everyone else!
Santa didn't wrap our presents, and when we were little, all our presents were from Santa, so in the morning, you could look under the tree and see everything at once. I remember one year, when I was about three, it seemed like every gift under the tree was for me. It probably seemed like that to my brother, too - he was nine and I guess a little old for the Santa routine, and my baby brother would have been just a month old. When I looked under the tree, there was a small table and chair, just my size, with a blackboard propped up, and with "Merry Christmas" written very prettily in chalk. A doll about the same size as me was sitting in the chair at the table and a little "TV seat" was there - my Dad had made it out of wood - in the seat was a compartment where I could keep my pajamas, and then I could sit on the seat to watch tv. It was shaped like a racoon, and I loved it!
Becky's family also has some lovely traditions. Tim started the kids sleeping under the tree on Christmas Eve. He said they had done it when he was young, so when our kids were little, we would all sleep under the Christmas tree in our sleeping bags. It made it very hard for Santa to deliver his gifts and fill stockings!!!!!!!!
We open gifts on Christmas Eve with Tim's family and on Christmas day with our immediate family, so the kids never missed out on anything.
One Santa the kids visited when they were small, told them how Rudolph loved onions - so please leave out an onion for him on Christmas Eve, when you leave my milk and cookies. For many years we would leave out an onion for Rudolph, then in the morning there would be a few onion skins on the plate with the cookie crumbs, showing both Santa and Rudolph enjoyed their treats!
Now, we'd like to hear about your holiday traditions! This contest is open to any followers, so be sure you sign up to be one of our followers - and then leave a comment on this post, telling us one of your holiday traditions, or a treasured memory. We will choose a winner from the posts and announce the winner of a special holiday present next week!
Til then, we hope you and yours are enjoying a wonderful holiday season!