View Full Version : Christmas Time

11-11-2012, 12:02 PM
Well, it's coming up that time of year again, isn't it? I know for some, it's a bit early to talk about Christmas, but for many it's ok to share our thoughts now, yes?

Last year I didn't want anything at all to do with Christmas. Wasn't really successful in avoiding it, but did manage to leave the celebration and decorating to Disney as that's where we spent the holiday (at OKW).

This year, don't honestly feel like it either, but there is the boy and he has to have some semblance of normalcy. (What is normal. Will someone PLEASE tell me)?

At any rate, was in Home Place yesterday (an off price store associated with Marshalls) and they had a huge selection of Christmas things. Many were just one item of a style or type, so if you have a Home Place near you, shop early. I bought only a table runner. I think I'm going with silver and white for the table this year with accents of cranberry and maybe penguin.

The tree is going to be a huge challenge as our little house is stuffed to the gills with furniture and boys. We fortunately have a tall skinny tree that we bought a few years back because we were having a houseful at Christmas and needed something more narrow than our other, fat tall tree.

May actually go with a decorating theme for the tree too, as it will take less ornaments, but that's hard to do isn't it? We have decorations from friends and we love to put them up each year and talk about the friends who gave us the individual ornaments, remember them, wish they were with us. Friendship means more than color coordination.

We are doing seven fishes this Christmas Eve. That much has been established. We've invited my sister and her husband to join us. If they do, we'll go to Midnight Mass after dinner.

Not positive yet how Christmas Day will play out. Herself has family coming in from out of state and we may end up spending all or part of the day with them. I will be making lasagne for us though, so it will be here if we end up having our own dinner. Lasagne is what Mama made for Christmas dinner and I'll do it her way this year.

We've bought some special hot cocoa for Christmas Eve too. Mama always made hot cocoa for us, and we drank it from special Santa mugs. I don't have the Santa mugs, but we can have her tradition of cocoa. She was from a huge and very poor family, so things like cocoa were almost unheard of. It was a treat for them (17 children) so we'll remember her and how little things really mattered in her world.

I am almost completely opposed to gifts this year, and for any year I'm afraid. I've fully pulled away from all of that. I want to spend our money and time on food and people. Let me cook for you, and come and enjoy some time with us. That is our gift, and your gift to us.

I have Mama's punch bowl. Did I tell you? When Da left us, we broke up the house. How hard was that. I'd not wish it on anyone. When I was seven, back in the day when you could let your kid go into a store without fear, I was allowed to go into a shop next to where my parents were grocery shopping. I was looking for a gift for Mama for Christmas. There was a small display of huge boxes (remember, I was seven). They were glass punch bowl sets (for 8 WITH a ladle)! I had $2.00. The set cost $1.98. I struggled out of the store with a box too big for a bag and wrestled it into the back of our station wagon. I nonchalantly draped myself over the box, and my parents allowed me to think I was fooling them into having "nothing of interest." Mama kept that silly punch bowl all these years. So now I have it.

I think it will hold egg nog, spiked of course. Come and try some. If you don't care for it, I'll just fix you one of Da's famous hot toddies.

We'll put up decorations here and there. I've bought new tapers for the candleholders.

I don't know if Herself will get out the Christmas village she's been collecting through the years. She's a funny duck sometimes, she is.

We had some sort of snow stuff one year. I wonder if we still have it tucked away somewhere.

So, what are your plans? What will you have for dinner? What did you have as a child? Do you carry traditions forward? Do you start your own? Do you even like Christmas or is it more of a bother to you than not?

What will you be doing?

11-11-2012, 01:55 PM
What a story on the punch bowl Tink. I'll take some spiked egg nog please. The only thing I have of my mom's is a fancy blue and white soup tureen. We normally get it out only for the holidays and it doesn't necessarily have soup in it.

I'm at that point in life where I have most of what I need but the kids still insist on some sort of gift. It gets harder to chose something each year. Christmas Dinner will be Standing Rib Roast with Yorkshire Pudding, a tradition I started. As kids mom always prepared a Turkey just like at Thanksgiving.

Our DS, DDIL and their boys will be here. We aren't certain about any of the Indiana kids/grandkids at this point. We'll probably also invite our Jewish friend and his girl friend (Mongolian) and their children if we don't have a full household of our own.

11-11-2012, 03:14 PM
Nice, USCWest. It's about sharing the time with people isn't it? I do understand that little ones will expect a present or two under the tree. The boy will certainly have some. It's the adults I tire of searching for a gift. Silly in so many ways.

11-11-2012, 03:54 PM
I'm glad you've posted this Tink, just been watching the adverts from last night, they all portray a 'perfect' Christmas and urge us all to buy into this. By buying the perfect food, decorations, expensive presents we should get the type of Christmas the advertisers and gushy film makers think we should have. I'm not doing this anymore, we used to buy for all the family but have reduced this to just the children now. I get great pleasure out of surprising my kids and now my nephew and niece. We brought the Thanksgiving tradition back with us from our time in the US and I much prefer this to Christmas now because of the pressure to conform . This Christmas will be a much lower key affair, we're going to family for the big day only and for both Thanksgiving and Christmas I'm looking forward to having my boy back and us being a 4 again, if only for a short while. (Gone a bit watery eyed there :sorry:)

So I'll take an egg nog pleas Tink and let me offer you a glass of baileys or a very chilled glass of dessert wine, two of my faves at Christmas. Cheers :hug2:

11-11-2012, 04:09 PM
Oh, I'll share the Christmas drink with you Brit. :yes:

Thanksgiving is a nice tradition to bring back with you!

Your children are older now too, so that helps you transition to the thought that the time together is what matters. Having your family all together again will be nice for you.

I don't want to imply by any means that I'm anti-Christmas. I'm just anti-being forced to do what I don't find valuable... Did that make a bit of sense? :unsure:

11-11-2012, 04:16 PM
I absolutely get it Tink :)

11-11-2012, 04:44 PM
No idea what we are doing this year yet but obviously with the boy we will have the tree and gifts but who we are visiting and who is visiting us is still undecided.

Love the punchbowl story. :hug2:

11-11-2012, 04:59 PM
Thanks, Dawn. She used that punch bowl for all sorts of parties and special events. The funny thing? It was a cheap set back in the day. Now? It's kind of neat because you don't see them like this anymore. It's made to look like cut glass, and is pretty heavy.

I think I'm actually going to get a kick out of using it. If I do use it, I'll try to remember to get a photo and post it here.

11-11-2012, 05:40 PM
What a lovely thread Tink. Your punch bowl story :hug2:

Christmas is undecided and unorganised as yet for me.

I have Matthew's main present, a surprise trip to Londons O2 to watch Nitro Circus at the beginning of December...he'll be thrilled! I can't wait to tell him as he found the advert for it in his biking magazine thae other day and figured he'd ask his Dad if he can go as it's not what Mum would like!

Other than that I have NO ideas on presents for Jamie and Matthew.

As for family, we now only buy for Grandparents (so just my Mum and Dad as Lee sorts his own parents out now) and my nieces and nephews which include Daniel and Mark even though they're in their 20's!

Dinner will be the traditional turkey, roast potatoes and veg but that's all I know at present. I've invited Mum as Dad will be with Sally this year for dinner, as well as Dan, Mark and Martin. Mark is in the process of moving miles away with his girlfriend so will probably come back on Boxing Day rather than Christmas day, Dan and Martin may go up North to Martins family but they're not sure yet!

My 2, well Lee is working Christmas Day afternoon/evening. He was supposed to be on a day shift and collecting the boys for an overnight stay, well Jamie would be for just the evening actually. Now his shift has changed itt's all up in the air and the boys need to decide what THEY want to do.

If they decide to stay with Lee for Christmas lunch I'll book a meal out somewhere nearby for Mum and I then come home and chill when the boys get back!

15-11-2012, 09:25 PM
What a lovely memory about the bowl Tink :hug2: the coca sounds wonderful.

We don't do much for Christmas, we normally have dinner at home just the 2 of us and then go to friends for the evening. We have a traditional Christmas dinner with turkey and all the trimmings followed by Christmas pudding - if we aren't too full.

I'm not sure if we will spend it with our friends with the girls.

My only tradition now is I have a candle that I bought the first Christmas after I lost my Dad. We have the candle on the table with us and raise our glasses to him.

We only give presents to family, close friends and children until they reach 18 and then it will stop, well except for the girls I expect :lol:

Chris and I tend to buy something small for each other, we are at the stage now, that if we want something we just go out and buy it.

Oh, I've thought something else, new pjs for Christmas Eve :D

15-11-2012, 10:05 PM
Awww Tink, Im so glad you have the punch bowl sweetie :hug2:

I love Xmas, we usually spend it as a family in my parents house. This year will be wonderful as all 4 siblings will be able to make it, and all 5 granddaughters will meet each other and be together :)

We have some traditional dishes, many of them Spanish/Mexican. Our little family of 4, which is now the biggest since we are the only one with 2 kids will make the codfish plate, and there willmost likely be Romeritos which are an herb made with mole which is a chocolate/chilli sauce and tiny shrimp pancakes, turkey, apple salad, and depending on the time and number of people going, ham, pasta, etc....

We do a gift exchange amongst everyone, so if my sister's brother and sister in law go, they are also included in the gift exchange.... and then after dinner, when everyone has left we hand out gifts amongst our family.

On the 25th, we spend all Xmas morning at home, I just love to play Xmas music and watch my girls be happy with whatever Santa brought them :)

Toņo and I dont do presents for each other, sometimes somehting tiny, but what we do is change whatever amount we were going to spend into dollars, it helps when we travel to know we already have something for expenses and souvenirs

16-11-2012, 03:09 AM
Mairead, I'm confused just trying to keep up with you! I hope you enjoy your day, regardless of how it plays out.

Wendy, I like the PJ idea! :D That was our Christmas Eve gift. Mama would let us open ONE present on Christmas Eve and it was ALWAYS new pajamas. :yes:

Mari, that is just beautiful :hug2:

We sure are a loving bunch, aren't we?

Anyone else care to share their plans for the day or their traditions?

16-11-2012, 08:11 AM
I love the puchbowl story Tink. You always tel such a lovely story and make the reader feel like they are almost there.

We usually go up north to see my family but as we don't get back from our trip intil 15th we're not going up this year.

Our boys will be back from Uni (hooray), our home is really quiet without them though no doubt they will be out partying with their friends :yes:

House is going to be decorated before we go as I don't want to be rushed when we get back. I usually do it on the first weekend of December but we leave on 30th Nov so it won't be that early and it will nice to come home to. We have a gold and brown theme on the tree and all sorts of other stuff about the living room (I might post pictures if I have time before we go)

We'll have a traditional Christmas dinner and I'm already looking forward to it.

Our bestest friends will be coming for New Year so that will be FAB.

As for pressies, we never spend lots and have cut down on buying for for lots of our friends (mutal agreement)

The pressies we do buy are all going to be Genuine Fakes from Bangkok :wink:and I've told everyone to expect Jimmy Choo bags etc etc, it will be fun buying it


16-11-2012, 08:27 AM
Christmas for us is usually at my Mum and Dad's, my sisters and their husbands and sons usually make it too.

Because Christmastime is summer here, our traditional Christmas lunches feature lots of seafood, salads, and barbecue type food.

The adults do a "Secret Santa" which ends up not being very secret, but we buy individual presents for the "kids" (eldest is now 19 so I guess they're all going to start being counted amongst the adults soon!)

I love seeing my family at Christmas! :wiggle:

16-11-2012, 10:47 AM
Sounds so very nice, Sandra and Karen. :yes:

Karen, I always forget that it's summer for you, so your Christmas is much like mine, I'd guess. Not that it's summer here, but it's still much warmer than where I came from (and like summer would be in the north of the US). When I first came to Florida I heard many complaints about how it wasn't like Christmas without snow and cold.

I'd simply ask the complainer, "How much snow do you think there was in Bethlehem, then?" ;)

I do acknowledge the connection to cold and snow and winter for Christmas and remember more than one idyllic winter scene for Christmas, but that truly isn't the climate associated with Bethlehem. :)

(One of my favorite Christmas Eve memories was walking to church at night because it was snowing so heavily Da didn't want to get out the car. Church was quite close and I still remember how beautiful the night was with the heavy flakes falling through the starlight. The sound of our walking made little soft puffing sounds in the fresh snow. There was a distinct sense of isolated peace).