Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Nostalgia

Christmas Eve, Ring Co. Waterford

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. When the children were young the house buzzed with excitement. The first indication that Christmas was approaching came with the making of the Christmas pudding. As I began measuring one aromatic ingredient after another the children pulled chairs up to the counter and watched in fascination. Once all the pudding ingredients were in the bowl, it was time to stir and wish. This was done with such concentrated determination. Each in turn with eyes closed tightly moved the wooden spoon around the bowl and made their wish. Children wishing on the Christmas pudding is as old a tradition as pudding itself. 
Daughter's hands visible in bowl. Notice sugar in Child #3's hair!
A few weeks later it was time to make the snowball cookies. A recipe handed down by my mother.  Chairs were once more pulled around the counter as I beat the butter and sugar into a soft creamy batter. While the snowballs were baking four large bowls were filled with icing sugar. Aprons were fastened on and the children sat anxiously waiting for the oven timer to buzz. The signal for fun to begin. I placed the hot butterballs into the first bowl of sugar for tossing and passing along. If I was lucky only a dozen snowballs would myseriously disappear in the process. No-one could explain this mysterious disappearance. "Mr. Nobody" a regular visitor in our house was blamed. But I had my supisions as I observed the mischievous sugar mustached grins looking back at me!


Husband, Firstborn, Child #3, Daughter's best friend & Daughter
Decorating the tree in Ring, Co. Waterford
The Sunday nearest December 8 was designated for decorating. Once Sunday lunch was over, snowball cookies, chocolate covered marshmallows and chocolate covered Kimberly biscuits were arranged on a Christmas Cookie plate, placed on the Christmas tray with glasses, a litre bottle of Cidona along with glasses of sherry, for mom and dad. Children waited anxiously for the tray to arrive. This signaled the decorating was to begin. Each year at least one ornament met its end and this too became part of the ritual. With the decorating done we would sit and watch the taped video of the Late Late Toy Show that had aired the night before. Christmas was now just around the corner.

I sit here now with a longing in my heart and tears brimming my eyes remembering these sweet moments. The years flew by way too quickly. My children are now all grown. But all is not lost! My daughter is expecting her first child in February.....so in a few short years I will have another mischievous sugar mustached grin looking back at me.

I would like to thank you for reading, commenting and following my blog. Your support and encouragement has meant the world to me this past year. 
My warmest wishes to you and your family for a very Merry, Peaceful and Happy Christmas.

34 comments:

Al said...

Merry Christmas Ann, have a wonderful and safe festive season

fairyhedgehog said...

I loved reading about your family traditions, especially Mr Nobody pinching all those snowball cookies!

Ann said...

Thank you Al, the same to you. Hope your Christmas is peaceful and filled with family cheer!

At one point Fairyhedgehog, Mr. Nobody seemed to have taken up permanent residence. But like my children, he left home too! I guess all good things must come to an end.

Brigid said...

Ann, lovely post and wishing you a wonderful Christmas with your family.
Congratulations to your daughter, you are going to be a Grandmother, that is amazing news and you will get a chance to do it all over again.

Ann said...

Thank you Brigid and the same to you and your family. Yes we are all very excited about the new addition to the family. I am making plans for future Christmas's already.

Old Kitty said...

Awww Ann!!!

CONGRATULATIONS to your daughter!!! And to you!! You'll be grandma!! That's just so thrilling!! You're the youngest looking grandma ever!! Wow!!

And thank you so much for sharing these lovely precious and gorgeous memories! I really like the snowball cookies event!! What fun!!

Enjoy your Christmas too! Have a wonderful and brilliant holiday season!!!! See you very soon! Take care
x

Paul C said...

I have often read about Christmas pudding in literature but never tasted it. I wish I was there. A grandchild in February? How wonderful. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Vicki Rocho said...

What sweet memories! Thank you for sharing them with us!

Jemi Fraser said...

Thank you so much for sharing such wonderful and warm memories :)

walk2write said...

What a sweet post, Ann. How exciting for you, Grandma-to-be! Congratulations to you and your family. Merry Christmas and many blessings for the New Year.

Susan Fields said...

What beautiful memories - thanks for sharing them with us!

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Susannah said...

What a lovely post, I enjoyed sharing your memories!

Festive greetings for peace, love and much joy! to you and your family.

Susannah x

Val B said...

Ann, is'nt it always more precious to have good news at Christmas time? Lovely memories in your article,each house has it's own traditions and they become more precious as we age ourselves. Congratulations to all with the news of the next generation's pending arrival!Have a great festive time and Happy New Year 2012.

Jules said...

Such lovely memories you have. I think Mr. Nobody had a twin that lived at our house :)

A warm Merry Christmas to you and yours. A special congratulations to your future sugar grin. :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Jackee said...

Who wouldn't love reading your blog? You're adorable!

My own kids are growing up too fast too--why do they do that to us?! It's unkind. :o) This year I vowed I would video the entire Christmas morning because I know in ten years from now the morning excitement will fade from what it is now. I love their ages this year!

Congratulations, soon-to-be Grandma. :o) That is so wonderful! Merry Christmas!

Jen Daiker said...

And a very Merry Christmas to you my dear friend! I have loved every moment visiting your blog, especially today!

I love Christmas, it's such a fun holiday, I remember my dad taking us sledding and us coming in drinking hot cocoa to warm up, then making Christmas cookies. My sister would stick her hand in the frosting and swear up and down she didn't do it. Hilarious moments.

Talli Roland said...

Happy Christmas! Wonderful photos and memories.

Thank you so much for all your help and support over the past year. Have a fabulous holiday season. xx

Manzanita said...

Aaahhh, how sweet to have traditions. Now you have those dear memories. I don't think we ever had traditions. After reading this, I wish we had. What a dear post.
Merry Christmas and best wishes to the new family addition.
Manzanita

Nicole Zoltack said...

Aw, what a great post! I loved the pictures. Merry Christmas!

Amy said...

What wonderful memories. Thank you so much for sharing them. This is my first time to your blog, but I'll be following from now on.

Words A Day said...

Wish I had baked this year now!
Hope you have a lovely Christmas! x

Christine said...

A lovely post, Ann. Thank you for sharing your family memories and traditions.

Wishing you all the best for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Jan Morrison said...

What a lovely post! It reminded me of many of my days with my family of origin and my long grown kids. I have grandkids now and they are tonnes of fun - it is great being a grannie!

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Aww, Ann, what a beautiful post. Loving memories.

Merry Christmas!!

Doris

Arlee Bird said...

I heard about those Christmas puddings, but I guess most people in the U.S. don't make anything like that. I'd be curious to try it though. Sounds like some grand Christmas memories.
Wishing you all the best for the upcoming year. Enjoy the new grandchild- they are a joy!

Lee

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

It's such a wonderful time of year! Full of wonderful traditions and happiness! Merry Christmas!

Haddock said...

Nice to see old photographs

Mary said...

Hi Ann .. great Christmas memories shared. Made me think about traditions in our family all those years ago too.
Have to tell you that I discovered Kimberley biscuits in a shop a couple of weeks ago ..and yes I bought a packet for old times sake :-)

Congratulations on your Feb news. How lovely.

Chris Phillips said...

I hope your holiday went well. Happy New Years!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I loved reading about your Christmas traditions...

I'm really terrified about when our daughter leaves home and has her own family...I think I will miss her and our traditions so much. I hope she will invite us to be a part of her traditions....

Congratutlations on becoming a grandmother. :)

Barbara Scully said...

Great post - I hope your Christmas was great this year too.. Best wishes to you all for 2011

barbara

Catherine said...

Happy New Year and hope you had a great Christmas - we had no water but otherwise it was lovely - back to basics! I love the photos of your kids in Ring in long-ago (not that long ago!) years! I thought I'd already commented on this post - must be the years catching up on my brain - a bit addled! Hope we meet in 2011 when you make it to Fungarvan!
Have a great time anticipating grandmotherhood - it's a lot of joy!
Catherine xxx

Rosalind Adam said...

It took me a long time to get used to life in a quiet house after the kids left home. Now when they come back with family and additions it's wonderful but my head reels just a little and I wonder how I ever managed to live in such a manic whirlwind. It's strange how we can get used to so many changes in our lives.

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm stopping by to wish you a happy new year. Love the photos. I'm glad you had so many visitors this holiday.