Memories of Christmas Past

A friend had posted about her memories of Christmas past and those people who are no longer with us and the fond and funny memories we have of them and it got me thinking about Christmas past and my Mum.

Mum has been gone now nearly 30 years but Christmas was always a special and magic time for her each year.

Christmas eve she would prepare everything for the next day and lay her ‘Christmas table’ which had to be just right. There was a timetable for Christmas Day which, even as small kids, we stuck by.

Up and put lunch on and Martin and I were excited with our presents from Santa – we opened our under the tree presents at 11am with home-made ‘Baileys’ and Christmas lunch was precisely at 1pm. Mum thought christmas crackers were a waste of money so she had a christmas snowman she had made out of a cocoa tin covered with cotton wool – from the snowman came a piece of tape with each person’s name on and on the other end of the tape (inside the snowman) was a ‘clue’ to a location in the house – there Mum would have hidden a christmas cracker type ‘little something’ present. We then had our dinner – always prawn cocktail to start followed by turkey and all the trimmings then christmas pudding with either cream or brandy butter.

After lunch the pots were wash and Mum was always sat down to see The Queen then it would be time to prepare the tea which was a buffet affair – but fit for a banquet.

The last Christmas before she died my brother’s girlfriend and I tried to keep to her traditions and to her timetable but Mum was in bed (she had bowel cancer) and picked at her dinner like a little bird and couldn’t take part an any of the festivities – and that broke my heart!!

When I had my own kids we had a set ‘routine’ where their dad took them to McDonald’s Christmas eve whilst I did my dinner prep for the next day. I tried to do the same sort of Christmas day traditions but my kids never saw the ‘tradition’ and just played up until presents were ripped open and then were ‘bored’ until dinner was ready. They could not see that in keeping things as they were when I was a child I could keep my Mum’s spirit alive at Christmas which she loved so much.

I always shed a tear on Xmas Day for my Mum and wish her a Merry Xmas. Love you Mum xxx

I also have to take my decorations down before 6th January (12th night) because I was just taking my decorations down in 2000 when I had a phone call to say my Dad had died. I had spoken to him on the 4th and we had had a bizarre and funny conversation about their bathroom extractor fan that didn’t go outside but into the kitchen so if they had had fish the smell was blown into the bathroom and it smelt like a chip shop!! His last words to me that evening were ‘take care lovey’ and I can still hear him saying that to me now. So my decorations come down before the 6th so that day does not have to be in my mind.

I have fond memories of my brother Martin when he was a child and a teenager cos he loved Christmas but he is now with his Mum and Dad for Christmas.

My Grandpa actually died on Christmas day 1970. Nan and Grandpa had gone to Auntie pat and Uncle Peter for Christmas and Auntie Pat had taken Nan and Grandpa a cup of tea in bed – Nan heard what she thought was Grandpa chuckle – turned to ask him what he was laughing at and he was dead!! So that was a Merry Christmas for them!! (By that time my parents had split up so I didn’t know until a while afterwards Grandpa had died)

My Granddad had died New Years Eve the year before (1969) so that was when my family stopped celebrating New Year cos Mum couldn’t celebrate the occasion her Dad had died.

So, at Christmas, we have fond memories of all of those who shared our Christmas past and raise a glass to people who made our lives what they are today.

Merry Christmas to all of our readers.