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.
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.
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.
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!
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.