Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Today is my son's birthday - he is 22 today (I'm really not sure how he got to be that old because I swear I'm not much older!).
I was thinking today about childhood memories of Christmas. As a child we always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve (my father was Danish and it is the Danish tradition) - my mother would do the decorations in secret, locked away and it wasn't until we went to sit down for our Christmas dinner in the evening that we would be allowed to see what she had done. It was like magic when the door was opened and the Christmas tree was decorated. Dinner traditionally was goose with mashed potatoes, peas and red cabbage, and dessert was rice pudding. An almond (just one) is placed in the bowl of rice pudding and then everyone is served and the person who gets the almond recieves an extra little present. After dinner we would unwrap presents - the person who had won the almond present would pick the first present from under the tree. And then that recipient would pick the next present and so on. And just so we would have a taste of English Christmas, my sister and I would wake up on Christmas morning to stuffed stockings at the end of our beds.
When my son was born on Christmas Eve, I was determined that his birthday wouldn't get lost in the excitement of Christmas so we always had a proper birthday party for him with family. He always thought he got the best birthday because it was presents two days in a row! Our tradition on Christmas Eve went from birthday into Christmas late in the evening. We would read the Christmas story out loud, each member of the family reading a section. And then I would read "'twas the Night Before Christmas" to the children before tucking them into their beds.
Now they are grown and its been several years since I have had Christmas with any of my family but there are things I still do. Christmas is not Christmas to me without rice pudding and every Christmas Eve I read "Twas the Night Before Christmas".
I'd like to wish all my friends and their families "Merry Christmas" and may you all have a peaceful loving Christmas.