Have you found Christmas Traditions have changed over the years?
If you have been fortunate like me to have become a parent then those traditions most certainly have changed. A few years ago, I would have been sad about those changes but now at this stage I am glad that those changes have occurred. It shows that life is being lived and for that I am very thankful.
However, there are still somethings which still herald Christmas. Preparing and making the Christmas puddings, Christmas cake and the Christmas mincemeat are signals that Christmas is coming. The first indication I have that Christmas is very near is when I post those first Christmas cards. The next indication is when I arrive home with Christmas purchases. These are small items which are either made or bought then wrapped and put under the Christmas tree for distributing among friends and family.
I met someone recently who told me that she detests January and February as the weather is usually awful, people are grumpy as they have little to look forward to and she has named them the BLAH months. Last year she changed things and started making Christmas items which could be given to various friends and charities. For her it extended the feeling of Christmas giving. And in a very practical way it relieved the Christmas stress that she was normally under. Next year as Easter is early, April 1st 2018, she intends to use her three least favourite months of the year to make Easter gifts. A new tradition for her.
I like the idea of new traditions and I have to agree with her that very often people seems to be rather glum in January so perhaps extending the gift of giving to Easter is a good idea. Those charities which we may support at Christmas I am sure need support during the rest of the year. Perhaps its a tradition which more of us could embrace?
Over many years we have been fortunate to have celebrated “making the Christmas Pudding” with our son and various nieces and nephews. Whether they enjoyed it I will leave up to them but these are memories which I cherish.
This year we celebrated “making the puds” with the next generation. I can’t believe that around the table were three of my grand nieces and one of my grand nephews.
Coming into the seomra suite and seeing them engrossed in their tasks was just such a precious sight to behold. Each and every “mixing memory” came rushing back. Luke with “Delia Smiths Christmas” propped open to keep us on the right track; Jack and Katie with their incredible laughs; Sarah and Jessica with the phone images; Zoe Adam, Kaela and Clara (keeping watch with Luke) ready with the wooden spoons.
However I don’t think I am going to live it down that the only job I had with Jessica and Sarah was to put the flour into it the puds before steaming…..Yes you guessed it I left out the flour and on Christmas Day when the pudding was turned out it was pure liquid.
Another year with Jack and Katie, I totally forgot about the puds in the steamer and I ended up having to make them again as they the first ones were totally inedible.
The one thing which is common to all these memories is mixing all the ingredients once the stout has been added. The enthusiasm, the laughter, the mess and last but definitely not least, making that important Christmas wish is the highlight of the occasion. Eyes scrunched up while saying “I wish, I wish I wish” and silently making that wish. It still gives me goose bumps.
When I was growing up the puds were made immediately after Halloween. The latest date for making them was the Sunday before Advent in the Christian church. The Collect for that day starts “Stir up we beseech thee O’ Lord”. Hence the name “Stir up Sunday”.
I love the traditions of Christmas but sometimes traditions need to be adapted. Perhaps with the use of Skype or similar, Stir up Sunday next year could include the grand nieces and nephews from farther afield around the world.
I am privileged to have been given so many Christmas Pud memories and to those who gave them to me, thank you.