14 things I love about Christmas – Day Two

This time of year is rife with tradition and I love it! Tradition is my middle name, so Christmas time is perfect for me.

We have a tree that we bought when we were first married and it’s the tree we still use today. This year it was a bit of a juggle as we had to find branches that weren’t wobbly to hang the heavier ornaments on. As we were putting it up, I said what I have said for the last five years “We may have to think about getting a new tree in the sales this year.” I was met, as I have been for the last five years, with looks of horror and cries of protest – seems I have passed on the love of tradition and sentimentality. It still looks lovely though and, truth be told, I would be upset to get rid of it too πŸ™‚

The other thing we have in our home, that gives me so much joy this time of year, is a nativity that my Grandmother crocheted many, many years ago. She is long since passed (at the young age of 97!) but having her nativity in my home brings her close each year at Christmas.

The nativity my Grandma crocheted, complete with a shepherd and three wise men.

The nativity my Grandma crocheted, complete with a shepherd and three wise men.

My Grandma, who always lived next door, no matter where we moved to, personified an ‘English lady’ and was always very proper and lady-like. This didn’t mean she wasn’t warm, funny and wonderful to be around, though. I remember feeling intimidated by her and all the ‘correctness’ when I was small but as I grew and spent more time with her, I came to appreciate and love her warm heart and generous spirit. She was a great support to me at one particular time in my life when she could easily have turned away, as others did. I will never forget her gentle acceptance and comfort during that time and I will always be grateful.

The nativity, as you can see, was a labour of love taking hours of work. She tried, with unfailing patience, to teach me how to crochet but regretfully, I never mastered it. She was talented in all sorts of ways, not least with her china painting, which she was well known for in our church circles, having given many beautiful painted plates and bowls as gifts.

I don’t quite know how I came to be the holder of the much coveted nativity set. Being the youngest of three sisters and a brother, it can be hard to obtain some of these family treasures. I think, though, that I am known for my sentimentality and that I will never say no to something that has been handed down through the family, so I do end up on the receiving end when Mum and Dad are looking to de-clutter a bit πŸ™‚ Which is exactly the way I like it!

Do you have a family Christmas treasure that has been handed down, or that holds particular meaning for you? I’d love to hear about it πŸ™‚

12 thoughts on “14 things I love about Christmas – Day Two

  1. My Mom and Ang used the same sorry tree for years and years. But if they hadn’t put it up, I would have been disappointed. My kids still use some of the “old fashioned” ornaments that Mom and Ang used (since the 50s). Makes my heart glad to see them, even just to open the box!

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  2. My guy and I began the tradition of cutting down the Christmas tree from a tree farm – in Petaluma, CA, in the mud, and then New Hampsire, in the snow, and our kids have continued this tradition with their little ones. On top of my tree every year I place a soft sweet white angel made by my college roommate back in the ’80s. That angel looks as new and fresh as she did 30 years ago. Wish I could say the same….

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    • Oh to have a real tree! The real trees we have here in Australia aren’t really that great…they constantly shed needles and the branches aren’t conducive to hanging baubles. What a lovely tradition to have! I wonder if your roommate knows you still use the angel she made…? And I’m sure if all you ever did was sit atop a Christmas tree for one month and then go back into storage, you’d be nicely preserved too! πŸ™‚

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  3. One year my mother had to make our tree from a broomstick, a bunch of wire, and lots of fresh-cut branches from the various evergreens in our front yard. It smelled glorious, even if it did dry out extraordinarily fast. I still have a couple of cones from those trees, tucked away in a box. They don’t mean anything to anyone but me, but I still see them each year when I open the big box of Christmas decorations.

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  4. Your nativity scene is beautiful, S. I have one that belonged to my Mom, little painted wooden figurines. I also still have a couple of Christmas decorations from my childhood. Looking at them always brings me some great memories.

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  5. British reserve…my attorney once described me to someone thus: “She’s quite reserved and proper, it’s the British in her. But once you get to know her she’s very warm hearted.” I imagine that’s how your grandmother was, also. Lovely that you have this Nativity set to remember her by. I have a blue woollen shawl my paternal grandmother gave my mother when my mother emigrated to England with my father.

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