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Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Photography, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Friday, 16 October 2009

"Traditions Holiday Party"

Hello everyone~ Today I am joining Marie at 'Emma Calls Me Mama' for her Traditions party. I have the hot apple cider and the gingerbread waiting just for you. So come on in and have a seat. My favourite holiday of all is Christmas! I have loved it ever since I can remember. I love everything about it; the decorating, the food, the music, buying presents, the Christmas cards, etc...the whole package. Most of all, I love the reason why we celebrate it and without Him, there would be no celebration at all!
I'm sorry I don't have many pictures to share as they are all at my mother's. But I will share what I can.
My parents, especially my Daddy, always made the holidays magical. My father was like a little kid himself at Christmastime, and my brother and I always looked forward to it. It was indeed the happiest time of the year in our household.
I remember every December first, just like clock-work, my brother and I became little angels! You couldn't see our halos, but we were little angels! You couldn't pay us to fight because we were so certain that Santa would not come if we acted up! Late Christmas Eve and into the wee hours of the morning, my brother and I would take turns sneaking into my parents' room, begging them to get up because it was Christmas morning. About five AM, my poor weary parents would drag themselves out of bed to make two little kids very happy! It was the only time we were ever allowed to do such a thing!


My parents decorated our home from top to bottom with lights and tinsel and ornaments. Wreaths were hung in every window and every year, they brought out the Rudolph which Daddy had made.
Rudolph was made out of wood with bright coloured lights along the stand on which he stood. He even had a red light bulb for a nose. Daddy had cut the reindeer out and my mother had painted him. Rudolph had the place of honour every year in the big front window of every house we ever lived in. My parents were both very artistic.

We always had the prettiest Christmas tree! And it smelled so lovely! It was a real tree of course, in those days. When we visited other people's homes, I always took notice of the tree and I always believed ours was the prettiest. Decorating the tree was my mother's project and she made it her work of art. I learned at a very young age to be fussy when decorating the tree. It had to be perfect!!
I have so many special memories of Christmas stockings bulging with brightly coloured barley toys, candy canes, the real ones in red and white, ribbon candy, and home made brown sugar fudge. There was always a huge shiny red delicious apple and mega oranges. They went all out at Christmastime!
I think my favourite Christmas memory when I was young, was when I was about six or seven, the year my parents surprised us with a puppy, we named Jingles. I wish I had a picture to share with you, but I don't. He was a pure bread Cocker spaniel white and blond pup, and he was simply adorable!
Daddy had built a wonderful dog house and when we got up Christmas morning, to our delight, was this darling puppy with freckles on his nose. As soon as we calmed down and the puppy wasn't so nervous, Jingles allowed us to pet him. He really was the cutest thing with his little bitty tail and long wavy ears! My brother and I just adored him! My mother never cared much for the dog, probably because she had to wipe up too many puddles that Jingles left in his path!

Another favourite memory is after we had our big Christmas dinner, they always showed Walt Disney cartoons on TV. Daddy used to get right down on the floor with my brother and me and watched the cartoons with us. He got as much of a kick out of them as we kids did! I just loved watching Tinkerbell and Chip and Dale. Snow White and Lady and the Tramp were my favourites.

Every year, I sang in the Christmas concerts and took part in the play if there was one. I loved to sing and did every chance I got. I adored Christmas carols and I always looked forward to receiving the bag of fudge after the concert was over!



I remember my mother making sugar cookies cut out in Christmas shapes and she would tint the dough pink and green; very festive! She also made wonderful scotch cookies decorated with icing and red and green cherries. Also for Christmas, she made Saucepan cookies, you know those little balls made with Rice Krispies, dates, and nuts that were rolled in coconut? Mincemeat pies were another favourite that time of year. There was her home made fruit cake too; dark and light. Every Christmas dinner offered up Plum Pudding with real whipped cream. Mmmmm! My brother and I stogged ourselves so much on Christmas desserts that we were almost always uncomfortable afterwards.

Today, I have my own traditions which I started when my boys were young. We usually drove around looking at the Christmas lights on Christmas Eve after the service. Christmas morning, we always had prayer and read the Christmas story from Luke 2. Then the boys were allowed to look in their stockings. We never had a real tree, just an artificial but it was lovely to pull it out of its box every year and spend time making it a thing of beauty. We used that same tree all the years my boys were growing up, so it holds lots of wonderful memories. Could that tree ever tell some stories!
The tree usually went up the last week in November and the music was always playing.
I left the tree up until after New Years Day; still do.
This is my family sitting around the table, all but one DIL who is taking the picture, and my newest grandchild Zachary, are in the photo. My son Jeff is looking directly at the camera and his eyes make him look like he is from outer space or something.
Like my mother, I bake the fruit cakes and other things that she used to make. I also make pate, the savory meat pies made with chicken, beef, and pork.

I love to decorate too; pretty much every room in the house. I take special care to decorate the tree, a habit passed down to me from my Mum.
I like to take something old and create something new out of it; a wreath or centerpiece. Last year, I took one of my Rose Chintz teacups and put a miniature tree in it. Makes a very cute Christmas decoration.
I cannot tell you which Christmas carol is my favourite because I love them all. Most of them hold a special meaning for me. Church was a very big part of my life while growing up, and it still is. The Bethlehem story always held a special place in my heart, as it does today. There wouldn't be a Christmas without a Saviour!

I am so glad you dropped by and I hope you will visit Marie and all the other participants at http://emmacallsmemama.com/
I also have a Christmas blog called "Christmas Pudding" if you care to stop by there sometime. http://christmaspudding09.blogspot.com/

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi
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