I always get a little nostalgic at this time of year. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I grew up in a large family in a little Northern town. Winter was long and other than school and the arena, we didn’t get out a lot.
In our family there were six children, 4 bedrooms, one washroom and of course the family dog.
Something that really has stayed with me; the Sears Christmas wish Catalogue. We wore out that catalogue out every year, bending the corners of the pages with the presents we wanted.
My parents didn’t have a lot of money and with six children all expecting to wake up with a gift from Santa under the tree; they learned to be very creative. Of course Christmas wasn’t about the presents as much as it was about the Christmas traditions that we looked forward to each year.
My late father used to make ice-cream sunday’s every Christmas morning. As a young boy, what could be better than waking up to presents and then ice-cream? It was the only time of year we could find or afford Mandarin oranges and you knew come morning there would be a stocking filled with candy, toys and of course socks and a new tooth brush. Santa was practical in the Hawse household.
The anticipation the night before usually meant we had a difficult time falling asleep. I do remember one year when my older brother set the clocks ahead two hours so rather than waking up at 7am we were all up at 5am. In the afternoon we would drive into town and join the rest of our Aunts, Uncles, Grand Parents and Cousins at the curling rink for a Turkey dinner with close to 80 family members. It was organized chaos with food, drink, hugs, kisses and far too many cheek pinches. I loved it.
There is no more Sears catalogue to search through or any opportunities to dogear the corners. You can of course search the web and save pages but it’s not the same. We don’t have the large family dinner at the curling rink anymore either as we have all grown up, had families of our own and moved to various cities across the country.
Since then I have been married, divorced, married, divorced….well, let’s just say I have been through a few different Christmas’s over the years.
This year, my children are spending Christmas with their mother. Another sign of the times as children of divorced parents split or alternate their Christmas holiday. I struggle with this. It doesn’t matter how many years it has been or whether I see them before or after, it is still difficult to not be with them on the 24th and 25th.
My 18 year old daughter was recently home from University to spend some time with her brothers and I before heading to see her mother for Christmas.
While she was home I dug out an old letter that she had written to Santa when she was 6 years old. She and her older brother were not getting along that well at the time and it was bothering her more than her mother or I knew.
I found this letter on the kitchen counter one morning with the Christmas cards that we had to take to the post office and mail.
Curiosity got the better of me and I had to open it. Its simple message brought tears to my eyes and it became a new Christmas tradition.
All I want for Christmas is my brother to like me as a sister. Hope you have a good Christmas.
- What do you want for Christmas? Please comment below and share your nostalgic Christmas memories.