“Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.”

The sun decided to make an appearance today. I guess it is a bit of a reward for surviving the cold of last night. Today is about 40˚,  warm for the depths of winter.

My mother never disappointed us at Christmas. When I was really young, Santa always brought me something from my list. Under the tree, they’d be my big gift, a new game, books, and even clothes. I loved the clothes as they were what everyone was wearing. I remember some of my favorites over the years like the white fluffy sweater, the gold necklace, the ski pants with the loops, the over the head parka with a zippered pocket across the chest, and a wool skirt. The books were classics or mysteries. The games were ones the whole family could play. Santa didn’t take the time to wrap our gifts. They were arranged under the tree. I remember looking over the banister as I walked down the stairs and being thrilled and excited. I might have even squealed with joy.

We had Christmas stockings when we were young, but when we were adults, my mother used all sorts of pseudo stockings like a basket, a really neat shopping bag or something old she’d found like a coal hod. She wrapped every stocking stuffer which heightened the excitement so I always wrapped every stocking stuffer for her and later for my sisters. Now I do the same for my friends. I am a wrapping phenomenon at Christmas.

My dad was never all that excited about Christmas. He would reluctantly open his presents long after the rest of us had finished. When he was a kid, Christmas was not a big deal. It was socks and underwear. My mother, though, loved Christmas and my dad just went with it. He always told my mother not to mention what she’d spent. He had a favorite part of Christmas, the food. He loved all the goodies and would make himself a plate and pour a glass of milk to take into the living room so he could nosh and watch.

Today has no lists. I’m going to hang around the house, maybe do laundry, but the laundry bag is still upstairs. It needs to sit in front of the cellar door for a couple of days before I get to it or I need to run out of underwear, whichever comes first.

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10 Comments on ““Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    My Mother summarily announced that Christmas stockings were a waste of money. As a result I have only a vague recollection of them being part of our Christmas. We would receive one gift from our folks and then wait patiently for Grandparents

    It did seem that so many sundry neighbors and friends were called Auntie or Uncle which was the prequalification for a Christmas present and so would start the endless stream of initialed handkerchiefs (three in a box with the letter H) or metal puzzles.

    The family gifts were wrapped and disbursed in an orderly manner – no jumping in the pile for a quick rip and tear (cue the next Birgit video) .

    It was all over rather quickly, Christmas lunch would be eaten, the seniors (ok Grandparents who were probably younger than me) took a nap in front of the Christmas afternoon movie and then everyone settled down for the Mike Yarwood show and then Morecambe and Wise.

    Boxing Day (the day after Christmas for those not in the know) took us down to Bognor Regis to my paternal Grandparents and probably a Comic Annual and, if we were lucky 10/- . Boxing Day also meant Disney for an hour – I am sure we saw the same show as Christer.

    It was all rather marvelous

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      Stockings were my favorite.They yielded such wonderful treasures. My mother was the best stocking filler. Even my stockings when I was an adult were spectacular.

      We did the pile but not rip and tear. We were pretty tame but only because most Santa gifts had no wrappings. Like yours, it was over rather quickly.

      We had dinner then headed over to my grandparents’ house filled to the rafters with cousins and aunts and uncles and more gifts.

      We always fell asleep on the ride home.

      I have always loved Christmas.

  2. olof1 Says:

    No sun here today, I did hope that prediction would be right but I wasn’t surprised when it was wrong 🙂 No fog either, just grey and dull but fairly warm.

    I always liked to get books but any hard package was a good package 🙂 Christmas wasn’t that big at my home either so I’m quite happy to just watch the better programs they show on tv and eat something yummy. I was thinking of skipping the christmas food this year but did finally buy a ham, I’ll cook it on Friday.

    By the way, I don’t think our horse or goat that pulled the sled actually flew, I’ve never read anything like that when it comes to9 old traditions. Then again, the goat is said to be one of the goats pulling Thor’s sled back in the days so who knows 🙂

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      The sun stayed all day, but it was chilly. I didn’t do much all day but stay home and warm.

      The year I was by myself for Christmas I celebrated and had a ham as well. It is great for dinner and sandwiches after.

      Did your horse or goat just go to Sweden or to the whole world like Santa does?

      My mother gave us all a love for Christmas. We are so grateful.

      • olof1 Says:

        I have actually no idea if our yule gnome goes outside Sweden. I’ve never read anywhere that he would travel abroad. I guess that if he stays here at home that could explain why he has the time to go to all the children on christmas eve 🙂 Still, that hore or goat needs to be pretty fast 🙂

      • olof1 Says:

        Oh My 🙂 I really should read what I have written before I post it 🙂 That Horse is of course what I thought I wrote 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Hedley Says:


      We could not wait for the double Christmas edition of the Radio Times and the ITV Guide. We would pour over them for hours looking forward to the specials for Christmas.

      Like you we looked forward to the better programs.

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    You made me remember the lime green mohair cardigan sweater that I got for Xmas one year. I think my father picked it out. It was perfect. 🙂 I also got ski pants with foot loops. Possibly they were blue. And probably I should not have been wearing them as I was not built for ski pants with foot loops. :/
    Our stockings always had a tangerine in the toe. There were candy canes and Hanukkah gelt. Yes, we called it that and I don’t know why. Nobody we knew was Jewish but I think that’s what it was called in the candy shoppe. We never got other presents in the stockings. Just candy and fruit.
    My mother was a Bah Humbug Christmas person like me. It was work for her. Decorating, cleaning, cooking, shopping. She wasn’t into it at all. She loathed wrapping gifts. Fortunately for her that was my father’s favorite part of Christmas. He did all the wrapping.

    The weather warmed up to 31º today. The sun was out now and then but the clouds were persistent. Compared to those brutally cold, windy days, it was downright balmy. I took the dogs out several times and did not bother to put on a coat or change my flip-flops for real shoes. It was tolerable.

    Enjoy the evening.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I wasn’t built for them either but they were the style so I wore mine which were black. My sweater was white.

      My mother too always put gelt in our stockings. I still give my sisters a bag of them. The gold cover on the coin had a menorah so I asked about it which is how I learned about gelt.

      We never had fruit in our stockings but we always had candy. Lots of times a candy cane was stuck out of the top. We mostly got small toys in our stocking.

      My mother loved Christmas. Once I had an early vacation so I went up to my parents’ to stay through Christmas. She and I baked two kinds of cookies a day. It was great fun in the kitchen with Christmas carols playing and the two of us chatting.

      I didn’t even go out other than to get the papers. I was surprised how warm it was for it being morning. I have a list for tomorrow’s errands so I’ll be in and out of the car, I hope it is warm enough.
      Enjoy the evening!

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