Christmas Memories

Hello everyone! I have had a busy week at work again, but I have still not managed to catch up; time just vanishes when I am work and suddenly my beloved is ringing to ask me if I realise that it is almost 6pm! I just get absorbed in my work and always hope to stop when I have completed this or that task; however the tasks invariably take longer than I expect and eventually I have to abandon the attempt and postpone its finish to the next day at work! I will be working my normal days this week, except for Friday as the Acorn Centre finished last week for Christmas; anyway Friday will be busy enough I think. I got most of my cards and letters sent off last week, which was good and now I am wrapping up family presents, as I have posted the ones I needed to post. I love to wrap presents as I anticipate the pleasure my daughters will have when they open them. Beth my elder daughter likes to take her time and open them slowly so it is not over too quickly, whereas Cathy opens them as quickly as she can! I am somewhere in between in the speed of my opening, as I love to watch my family’s reactions, as they open their presents.

When I was a child I loved our family Christmas, even though we had a long wait before we had our family present giving. My father always did stockings for us, which is a tradition I love and have continued with my family; although my daughters are now 30 and 32 I still do them stockings and now my daughters do a stocking for me, which I adore! We then had breakfast, usually a boiled egg and often but maybe not Christmas day fresh white bread rolls still warm! Oh yes and Christmas began for us on Christmas Eve, when Dad did a special Christmas service in the chapel we had in our home; (my father was an Anglican priest and he and my mother did matins and evensong together each day) and we always sang ‘Away in a manger’; it was perfect!

We would go to St Wilfred’s Church for the Christmas morning service which was usually festive. After church Mum would do the preparations for our traditional Christmas turkey and homemade Christmas pudding with white sauce and brandy butter; Mum was an excellent cook and the food was delicious. My father always laid the table beautifully beforehand. The meal was accompanied with a glass of wine with each course with port with the cheese and biscuits; we also had crystallised fruit and dates; l loved dates and still buy them at Christmas. Afterwards we all helped to wash up and clear away; it was a real family time. Christmas as a child was particularly good, especially when my older brothers and sisters were home too; I am the 5th of 6 children; my younger sister Fran and I were the babies of the family, as my elder siblings were 10,12,14 and 16 years old than me and Fran was more than 2 years younger than me! We would start to give family presents usually beginning at the eldest or the youngest and we preferred to give ours first, as we were the youngest. I think if my memory serves me right that we only did the family present giving after the Queen’s speech, but we may have started before. We used to go shopping either with David and Janet or Selwyn and Margaret for Christmas presents for others; sometimes the people at school thought our parents looked young if our brothers and sisters met us from school, as they thought they were our parents!!! I loved Christmas when I was a child and I still love Christmas now; I so enjoy the family time, but it is special for me too as I welcome the child Jesus again into my life; after all Jesus is the heart of Christmas.

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2 Responses to Christmas Memories

  1. Selwyn Goodacre says:

    I enjoyed the Christmas reminiscences. I well remember going with you before Christmas 1958 to buy presents. You mention crystalised fruit – we used to be given a huge box by Mr Tottie at Coniston Cold – and we agonised when visitors chose the best ones. I didn’t realise we had them at Harrogate? but there was this great shop near the station – Edward Standing, that used to sell them (I used to call the shop ‘Edward Standing up’ because the ‘Ltd’ looked just like ‘up’)

    • Helen Evison says:

      I am so glad you remembered the shopping outings. I can imagine the agony of seeing the best crystallised fruit chosen by guests. I expect we did have crystallised fruit from Edward Standings Ltd. I enjoyed it as well as dates of course! I don’t bother now with crystallised fruit but I still always have dates. Thanks for your comments.

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