Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas is different now....

For years and years we had our family traditions. Christmas Eve was a big deal in my home. My Mom would make either clam chowder or oyster stew and she would serve it on the tea wagon in the living room. The tea wagon had collapsible sides and when it was open it was like a small round table. She would decorate the table with lace and the good china.
After dinner we would open gifts. Some one played Santa, (usually me) and handed out the gifts. One gift at a time, one person at a time. So each person could enjoy their moment in the spotlight as well as the giver could enjoy seeing their gift opened.
There would be egg nog made by my Great Aunt Ethel and we would have home made fruitcake. I love fruitcake, always have so if you get one and don't like it, send it to me.

When I had my own family I followed the same tradition as closely as possible. See, I was an only child and I had four rambunctious boys so it didn't always go as smoothly as my childhood ones did with only one child. But that was our tradition and we did it.
Fast forward to the early 90's and I found myself at my first single lady Christmas Eve, with only two of my grown sons dropping in for a little while to see me. Not the same and hasn't been since. I tried to get some of my married children to do it the way we always had but they have wives with their own traditions. Going to Vegas even became a consideration but since I don't gamble or drink, what was the point?
I have had a few Christmas Eve's that have been close to the old days but it has been kind of hit and miss. It seems to me that this sort of thing is really personal and how do we let go of the past. How do we deal with the fact that things change and we can't even control our traditions? Make some new ones? Just remember the old ones as a fond memory?
Any suggestions????

AND.....on a lighter note here is something I enjoyed doing.

Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy it onto your blog and change the answers where necessary.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial

3. When do you put up the tree? A couple of weeks before Christmas

4. When do you take the tree down? January 6 th (also known as 12th Night)

5. Do you like eggnog? I like eggnog, with a little 7-Up in it.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? A Toni doll

7. Hardest person to buy for? Mark, he already has everything

8. Easiest person to buy for? Todd

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes

10. Mail or e-mail Christmas Cards? Both

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Dishes from my 'wasband' and I didn't have the courage or the sense to tell him I didn't like them so I got add on pieces for the next 10 years. Blech....

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's a toss up between It's a Wonderful Life (like I want life to be) and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (more like my life is)

13 When do you start shopping for Christmas? I shop all year long and more recently I added online shopping

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Those little round cookies with all the powdered sugar on them and Hollie's home made fudge and Clam Chowder or Oyster Stew on Christmas Eve

16. Lights on the tree? Pre-lit tree.

17. Favorite Christmas Song? Aaron Neville Christmas Album

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay Home

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Sure. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Doner, that it?

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel on a star (new this year) before a tall spiky thing

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Eve

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? People saying Happy Holidays instead of Happy Hanukkah or Merry Christmas.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I love white lights and the crystal, silver, pale, ice look on a tree

24. Favorite for Christmas Dinner? Prime Rib and mashed potatoes, and other trimmings.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? A fruitcake


Kathy said...

P-Dot - Thanks so much for stopping by Food Company Cookbooks and I hope that you'll visit us again in the future.

You sure have a way with words. I can picture your childhood Christmas Eves so perfectly in my mind. My family's old traditions have gone by the wayside as well. As the younger generation grew up, and the family and extended family became larger, it was more and more difficult to blend the old traditions in with the new ones being added in. Even living in the same giant metro area, it is almost impossible to get everyone together at once. I think this is especially true with the men. I belive we must remember the old ones fondly, as you said, and then do our best to create new traditions that best fit our new circumstances. Maybe one day, we will even become fond of those.

P-Dot said...

I have so much more compassion for my Grandmother who raised me, in place of my Mother who died. She used to say things about how she missed things from the past and how the old ways were often best, etc. I remember replying, rather unkindly to her, about getting with the times. NOW I know what she meant.
There are so many things now, that I just love like computers and all that goes with it and streaming video and search engines and the amount of sharing of ideas via computers and....and.....
I love Netflix and iPods and cellphones. Do not love the way that business phones are answered now. The old way, where you got a person.....much better.
Don't mean to rant but you get the idea.
I don't want to fade off into the twilight grumbling all the way.
There was a sign somewhere that read...the more we complain the longer God makes us live....I loved it. Explains why there are so many grippy OLD people.

Attebetty said...

I can relate to your changing Christmas memories. When I was a kid; we all packed into the 1949 Austin and drove from Everett up to Canada to my Grandma's (Mom's Mom). Mom's brothers and cousins and tons of my cousins, Dad's Mom and his 2 brothers would be there too. We'd pack into Grandma's tiny little house. I can remember there was almost always snow for Christmas Morning. Dad would spend most of the day and evening playing Carols at the old upright piano. We'd all wander around in our paper hats from the Christmas crackers. Grandma had little aprons for us girls to cover our party dresses (mine always matched Vera's). The fireplace was so cosy even though it made the room unbearably warm with the many people. We opened presents in the morning and since it was in the years after the war; there wasn't the excess we saw in the following years. Always a knitted sweater set from Grandma though. A traditional English dinner broke up the day. My favorite part of the day was listening to my Great-Uncle talk about his experiences in the Scot's Army, through the Boer war and then again in WWI. He actually knew Lawrence of Arabia and had tea with Queen Victoria once. He always had Imperial mints is his vest pocket for us too. He was the best 'Grandpa' in the world. He taught us how to behave if ever in the company of Royals. (....You never know....)I miss it all but I'm lucky enough to have reached my 60s and still have Mom and an Uncle to remember it with us.

Christine said...

Hey Miss P me your addy when you get a chance...I jsut might make the Christmas card deadline this year! Well,...I consider them on time if they make it by December! =O)

Christine said...

I really am enjoying these "old" stories to...snicker... No really I am really enjoying all the stories! Hey,..I may be the only kid who will be able to find them for eveyone Keep confessing..I mean writting!

Christine said...

oh have attebetty aka hot gal in red hat, send her's too.

Christine said...

You really want a fruit cake???? I am going to place your address in my grandma’s book this year so she can send you mine,..Dave says you can have his too!

Hey ,...Judith Farkle makes the only fruit cake I have ever liked...get her to send you one,...although ~ I wonder if you have to have a liquor license to send hers?

P-Dot said...

MS Farkle makes everything good. She called this AM and was telling me all kinds of stuff about the ocean and I kept saying, "I know, I know". Finally she got a little exasperated with me and says, "how do you know". I told her that since you and I reconnected I get all the details first AND with pictures. She cracked up.
But I really do love fruitcake. There are no bad ones in my book.
Hey, how does your family do the Christmas gift thing?...well besides the yarn ball. Do you still do the yarn ball? Ha ha...

Christine said...

yep...still do the yard ball...what do you mean about the Christmas gifts? Like opening them?

P-Dot said...

The gift opening ritual is what I was referring to. On this blog I told how our family opened their gifts on Christmas Eve and I just wondered how your family did it. You always have such neat things you do or did when the kids were younger, like the yarn ball.