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Christmas Memories

My Mom

She was a very hard worker. Her children had to look presentable and her house needed to sparkle. During the Christmas holidays, she took pride in her sparkling floors. She was on her hands and knees applying floor wax everywhere.

My job was to operate the electric polisher. I loved that task. The machine was kind of a green colour and had two soft buffers. When you turned it on, the buffers spun and spun. Very satisfying.

The Baking

My mom baked a lot of bars and cookies. The ones I remember most are Nanaimo Bars and Jam Thumbprint cookies. My sister and I decided that we were the  taste testers, and much to my mom’s horror, we would gladly and sometimes sneakily chomp down raw cookie dough. Oh yes, we did.

The Turkey

Our Christmas turkey was huge, often over twenty-five pounds. Mom would get up around four in the morning in order to have it ready in time for dinner. Who does that now?

My Dad and Grandfather

My Dad was in charge of cutting the turkey with an electric knife (with a cord). All very trendy. Grandpa was in charge of the photo opportunity. He had a camera on a tripod, and then he would dash to his place in order to join the rest of the family. Unfortunately, it rarely worked. We were starving.

And for some unknown reason, I was always wearing a party dress with a very scratchy collar. I couldn’t wait to get out of that outfit. All the family was dressed up. Even my little brother wore a vest and walking shorts. All very British.

The Decor

A precious Santa and Reindeer were displayed on the fireplace mantel. I remember an unusual tiny center-piece for the table. When the skinny candles were lit, it made little angels float in a circle.

We always had Christmas crackers, wore the hats and read the jokes. When I was little, I was scared of the loud snaps. One year, our young boxer pup named Burma (just a hint of where my Dad was in World War 2) knocked over the Christmas tree about three times. What a mess!

Christmas Morning

Dad went downstairs and put on all of the lights. We had to walk down in order of birth. Me first. My Dad was in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and he thrived on organization and routines.

We were indulged. Every Christmas, each child received something very special. One year, I almost fell over because I received my cherished ballet doll. All of the limbs moved. My brother was in love with his large Tonka truck. And for a number of years, my sister received something that would go towards eventually horse ownership. A bridle one year, stirrups the next etc.

When I reflect on this time period, it is all very Norman Rockwell. We were safe and blessed and loved. Thank you Mom and Dad. I cherish the memories.

 

 

16 Comments

  1. Lots of good memories, Jodie. My Mum was British as well. She made her own mincemeat, lovely tarts and pies. Her shortbread was to die for. She knitted sewed, made her own bread, such a talented lady. We were blessed!
    Sylvie

    1. When I think about the women of that era and how dedicated they were to creating wonderful memories, I’m impressed. Your mum was certainly talented. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. Some wonderful memories. Some of them the same as ours, others different. And then we put our own spin on it when raising our children. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes, great memories for sure. And what I’m trying to do now is to learn how to be flexible. As Christmas is one day – and sometimes events can’t happen on that day for lots of different reasons. I’m trying to hang onto the rituals that work, and move away from the ones that don’t match my life now. Many thanks for dropping by Pat.

    1. Hi Mimi! For sure we were blessed as a family. Of course, we didn’t recognize that at the time. We were too busy just being kids. And I guess that’s the part I remember most, my parents were able to keep us safe and protected for so many years. The more I reflected on Christmas memories, the more incidents I thought of that made me smile. I could have written a lot more. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  3. My mother didn’t believe in all the Christmas decorations and gift exchange. Her family were stern Calvinists at least for a while. But she did make the effort to put up a tree and bake Christmas goodies when my brother and I were young.

    The polisher! We had a silver one with three brushes and satisfying it was to buff up the linoleum. It was in the basement of the old house.You could have viewed it and compared.

    1. That’s great that you had a tree and baking. Would have loved to have seen the classic polisher! And you’re right, buffing up the lino was kind of fun. Thanks for dropping by.

  4. I used to work as a caretaker and operated one of those green polishers. You’re right, they are fun!
    Great memories make for lasting traditions. I enjoyed this post, Jodie
    Happy holidays!

    1. You betcha! And yes, on this particular Christmas, I’ve certainly been reflecting on past holidays. Enjoy those special moments over the rest of the month. Merry Christmas Jacquie!

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