Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Mother's Christmas different
I must take after my mother, because her Christmas stocking was important to her, too. When she was little, there were times that a stocking was all she got for Christmas.
Grandpa came from Switzerland and was a cheese maker, so with seven girls and three boys in her family, money wasn’t always plentiful.
But the family had a lot of love and good times together. The Christmas tree was a gift as much as anything.
The tree was brought in when all of the children were in school and put up and decorated in the parlor with the doors closed.
When the children came home from school they were told that no one was allowed in the parlor until Christmas Eve.
There was as much excitement over seeing the Christmas tree after supper after the dishes were done up and everyone went into the parlor.
Their father lit the candles on the tree and their mother had the bucket of water safely by “just in case.”
My mother has told me about how the children helped string the popcorn and dried berries o decorate the tree.
The bird’s nest that the children hunted for all fall was placed in the tree for good luck
The precious few ornaments that their mother brought from Switzerland were to be viewed but not touched. Grandfather played the accordion and so the children would gather around and sing carols. The Christmas story would be read by mother from the Bible and then it was off to bed to await St. Nicholas. I wonder how many families do this today?
In the morning there would be presents for everyone; my mother often wondered how her parents provided something for all of them.
It might be just one gift each, but there was something. One she received a game her father had made from wood.
In their stockings they would always have an orange, which was a really great treat as fresh fruit in winter time was not plentiful and was costly.
There would be some candy, perhaps a pencil for school, hair ribbons for the girls and always a pair of stockings which were long and mother had knitted.
There were always decorated cookies made only at holiday time and other pastries from recipes that came from the old country.
It was a happy Christmas for all.
How different it is today. Children expect expensive computer games, cellphones, tickets to sports events, expensive jewelry for both boys and girls, small stuffed animals with money tucked in the paw or neck, CDs, DVDs and players.
What would my mom’s siblings think of today’s stuffers?
Please pass on your Christmas memories to the next generations in your own family. Merry Christmas everyone!