“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things — not the great occasions — give off the greatest glow of happiness.”

Yesterday I finished my chores but did little else. Today I need to send packages and cards, and I’ll do that as soon as I finish here which leaves me the best of the afternoon to decorate the house and tree. I am always ambitious in the mornings.

I’m watching yet another Christmas Carol, this one with Patrick Stewart. Every Christmas it doesn’t matter how many times or how many Scrooges I watch. I still love this story. The Cratchits here are presented poorer than in other films which makes their Christmas feast seem grander with its goose and Christmas pudding. The Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge and us Christmas in a lighthouse, on a ship and at a coal mine. Scrooge has no words to describe what he sees.

My mother, sister and I saw A Christmas Carol at the Wang in Boston. At the point where Scrooge is as “giddy as a schoolboy” the fire alarm went off, and we had to evacuate the theater. It was a false alarm. I was so very disappointed not to see Scrooge and his total reclamation. I know the ending of A Christmas Carol and I remember much of the dialogue but watching Scrooge open his heart is the best part.

My mother always teased me about my Christmas presents. “Wait until you see what you’re going to get,” she’d say to me every year. It didn’t matter if I was in my 30’s or 40’s. Teasing was part of the ritual. She and I used to buy every Christmas issue of all the magazines. We’d chat about the decorations and the recipes. Some we even tried. I remember her gingerbread biscotti and the bread which looked like teddy bears. One year she made figgy pudding because the song made us wonder what it was. The best gift  my mother gave us was Christmas. I remember making ornaments, frosting cookies, shaking presents and hanging my stocking with much fanfare. I always went to my parents’ house for Christmas, but I always had a tree here and decorated my house. I remember once being asked why I had a tree if I wasn’t going to be here for Christmas. I thought that the silliest question of all.

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10 Comments on ““When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things — not the great occasions — give off the greatest glow of happiness.””

  1. theOwl30 Says:

    Merry Christmas!
    You said: ” I remember making ornaments, frosting cookies, shaking presents and hanging my stocking with much fanfare.” Good for you! Those were happy moments. Growing up, it’s good for kids to have times like that.
    But here’s a thought, what if kids today got NON-electronic gifts? Let’s assume they already have a cell phone. Don’t get ’em a new one. Whatever happened to playing Board games: Yahtzee, Clue, Monopoly, Life, and others? Or a favorite novel? or a cookbook? or Clothes? or a new tennis racket?, etc. Society needs an appreciation of more non-media gifts.

    Looking at things another way, now as an adult, office Christmas parties I find incredibly boring. Who did you sit next to? How were you dressed? Who did you dance with? How many people are sizing-you-up and what sort of impression are we making? Ughh. Why put yourself through that? A total waste of time in my opinion.

    Luckily, tnhere’s happy moments, as you described. I remember riding a sled in the snow down a hill with friends. Snowball fights. And trying to guess what the Christmas presents were.
    Some people have hot cocoa and sing-alongs.
    Maybe SANTA might bring you a Jazz or Oldies CD. (wink)

    • katry Says:

      Hi Owl,
      My mother saw to it at Christmas. My sister passed it along to her kids who are passing it along to theirs. I always sent a gingerbread house to my sister’s kids and have since my 37 year old nephew was 3. Now I send one to his kids. The traditions continue.

      I remember getting a new game at Christmas every year. Sorry was and still is my favorite, and I have passed it along to my friends. Every Sunday in winter is game night. We play Sorry and Phase 10.

      I did send Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders to my sister’s kids, but I don’t know if they have passed them along to theirs. I hope so. Electronic games don’t bring us together in the same way a board game does.

      We never had office parties as it was a high school. We did have a breakfast on the last day before Christmas vacation. It was a drop in sort of event.

      I lived on a hill so sledding was wonderful. We had to post someone at the end of the hill as the sleds would sometimes go across the street before they stopped. Nothing was more as much fun as flying down a hill.

      I hope Santa knows I’ve been good!!

  2. olof1 Says:

    We weren’t supposed to get any snow today so I’m not at all surprised that we have an almost snow storm here right now. IO say almost because there’s no wind and the flakes seems to be mostly fluffy . It’s the kind of snow that easily is swept away and no shuffle is needed.

    I haven’t seen a single christmas movie yet, they haven’t started to show any on tv yet but I can always watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation if I need some christmas because I have it on dvd 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      Those giant flakes never last too long. The sun easily melts them.

      Another storm is coming on Wednesday but I don’t know if this one will hit us.

      I have been watching a Christmas movie just about every day. I watch on Netflix or on Hallmark which shows movies 24-7. Right now I’m watching one on YouTube as I can get it on my TV. I love Christas Vacation and even have moose glasses for my eggnog.

      Have a great evening!

  3. Hedley Says:

    I love “A Christmas Carol” . Meadowbrook Theatre on the campus of Oakland University is in its 36th year of presenting this classic and they really are rather good. We go over there once every couple of years to ooh and aahhh through the very familiar. I am also inclined to watch A Muppets “Christmas Carol” with Michael Caine.

    Most of Mrs MDHs gifts are wrapped using my deft touch which basically means ok but not great but at least I tried to wrap everything nicely. I still haven’t throw the “off” switch and I need to

    The snow is light and pesky. My commute home will not be fun . I anticipate there will be enough over night to fire up the snow blower.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I have probably already watched 4 or 5 versions of A Christmas Carol, and I’ll watch more. When I was a kid, they always put the Alastair Sim version on TV sometimes even on Christmas Eve. I think that’s why I came to love it.

      I mailed my presents to Colorado and sent out my cards. Things are moving well. The guy at UPS said I was a bit late this year. It seems my gifts went out on the 9th last year.

      No snow here. The day was a bit chilly but I’d still say it was a nice day.

  4. Bob Says:

    Ok, what’s figgy pudding and was it good? Why do the British call all deserts puddings? I had a terrific apple pie in a pub in the UK which was labeled Apple pudding.

    Today started out cold, 40 degrees and wound up at 75. Again clear skies and dry air.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      It is really more like a cake than a pudding, but it does have figs and wonderful spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Some have brandy but my mother didn’t us sit on hers.

      We’ll have the low 50’s tomorrow afternoon.That’s amazing for December.

  5. sprite Says:

    That is a silly question. I always think, but aren’t you going to be in your house any time between Thanksgiving and the New Year? Why wouldn’t you want it to be festive?


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