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And So This is Christmas….

We have hit that “quiet time” in our yearly festivities.  It lasts a few hours and most members of our families try to take this time to nap to prepare for the last of the family shenanigans, or in my case, write a blog post.  After all, I managed to write 24 days in a row, why break it on this most special of days?  Besides, no matter how tired I am, I am afraid if I do nap, tonight’s sleep will be slow in coming.  And now I am feeling nostalgic.

Time moves forward; we can’t stop it.  Families grow, decline, grow again.  Children are born, grandparents (and parents) pass away, children grow up, fall in love, boyfriends and girlfriends come in and out of the picture; before long, those children are getting married (or hooking up), having children and the cycle continues.

Some things are lost along the way.  Things like the music.  As the older folk start dying off, so do their songs.  The next generation remembers some of the tunes completely, or parts of the lyrics of others and we sing what we know, faking the rest, then repeat the same verses.  We are now at the point where there are so few left from the singing generation and the songs have all but been silenced.  I still want to sing!  Rare are the occasions now where we do.  I am aggrieved by that.  My generation still has the memories of those family gatherings but the ones following us, don’t.  Is it our fault?  I don’t think so.  Times change.

Back when, before most of us had kids, we would assemble at my grandmother’s for New Year’s and spoons would come out and, if one of the old uncles was around, there’d be a fiddle, plus there was always at least one guitar… but didn’t matter if there was nary an instrument.  Because suddenly either Mémère or Matante Lucette would start the song and we’d all join in.

New traditions needed to be created when my parents divorced. Now we had to adapt to the new reality and spread ourselves to please everyone.  The Saturday before Christmas, Dad would make his bird and have us all over for his celebration, then Christmas Eve, over to my sister, Tracy’s, for a major party with both sides of the families.  Ugh… when I think of those smoke-filled rooms…  Next day, after each of us did our individual family thing, we’d schlep our stuff up north to Mom’s for Christmas dinner and a sleep-over.  Some years we’d make it to Mémère’s for New Years but that meant two two-hour drives up north within a week.  That quickly became old.

Traditions changed once again and, for the past, shoot, I don’t know how many years, our formula has remained the same.  Up until Dad’s death in 2013, we did the Saturday before Christmas at his place, then the Christmas Eve at Tracy’s – no more smoke and much more reasonable by being immediate families only – which still implies 25 people or more!

Mick started a tradition of making Christmas brunch for family and friends – I can’t even remember when it started!  It was like a rotating door:  some would arrive, stay awhile, eat, chat, leave and more would come in.  This, too, changed over the years and became smaller with mostly family with a few friends who pop over.  After Mick died in 2014, Iain took up the mantle.  So very cool to watch him do what needs to be done to keep this tradition going.  And he won’t admit it but he is so proud to do so.

Then supper at Lisa’s for the classic turkey dinner.


We interrupt this post because the internet decided to go wonky on me and I had to leave for turkey dinner at my sister, Lisa’s.  So much for posting for a 25th day in a row!  It is now very early December 26th…


So how was Christmas 2018?  It was a wonderful time!

Differences were set aside to embrace the spirit of the season.  Food was shared, drinks flowed, laughter was heard.  Three gatherings in the three sisters’ houses with the same core people in two days and we wouldn’t change a thing.  Well, except I would have liked to have won at Texas Hold ‘Em but at least didn’t lose my money!

Our new traditions having been holding strong and we’re enjoying them, knowing that there will be changes in the future as that is the nature of life.  New people shall arrive, others shall leave and so it goes.

I still wish we would sing, though.

My all-time, never to be excluded Christmas song is Mahalia Jackson’s “Silent Night”.  Thank you Dad, for bringing her into my life.

54 thoughts on “And So This is Christmas….

  1. So glad you had a great time. It’s strange how time changes everything. Sometimes it’s best to move on we can’t live in the past. It’s a different country and its rose coloured. Here’s to you and yours.💜

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for sharing your memories and traditions, Dale. It worked out that your Internet went out so you could even include what happened yesterday in the same post. 🙂 It all sounds lovely–the old, music-filled crowded rooms, and the newer family gatherings. This is a beautiful version of Silent Night. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading and enjoying, Merril. Silver linings!
      Family gatherings change and one day, it will be our kids thinking back with nostalgia…
      It is my most favouritest 😉
      Most welcome. Glad you enjoyed!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Dale,

    Another new holiday tradition for me…Chatting with you off and on all day. Thank you for sharing in your own inimitable way. I got all teary eyed thinking about Iain proudly carrying on Mick’s brunch tradition.
    I hope you’re able to relax today and bask in the afterglow. Beautiful version of Silent Night…my favorite carol.

    Shalom and hugs, my friend,



    • Dear Rochelle,

      Can only grin widely at that tradition 😁
      So glad you enjoyed and yeah, makes me all mushy inside to see him do his thing.
      Definitely going to and NOT do any Boxing Day shopping, that’s for sure (I know, a British and Canadian thing)
      My favourite version of my favourite carol.

      Shalom and Lotsa love,



  4. Christmas memories and traditions from childhood days can be so sweet! It’s enjoyable to read about yours.
    Traditions were a lot stronger when the generations stayed in one place and extended family could easily gather; now folks may have to make new ones around travel plans, dissolved relationships, etc. But if the feelings of warmth and family are there, folks will work something out to make the holidays meaningful for the youngsters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly, Christine. Glad you liked.
      Families were bigger and nearby, making it that much easier.
      Today’s life is way more fast-paced and complicated but you’re right, when the desire is there, efforts are made.


  5. What doesn’t change is the connection to and celebration with family. Song is in your heart, it’s never dormant. My favorite Christmas memory is when my Grandma pulled oiurvher violin and played silent night. We were in awe of her. Over the years, family has picked up the mantle and played something. You are right though, in song we are all one. Singing and listening and breathing with one another – celebrating in unison. It may come back. You may be caroling through neighborhoods next year for 24 days. You never know how you’ll change Advent for the better again! Lovely post. Glad it was a great couple of days. You certainly were my conveyer of the Christmas Spirit this year!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is true. And no one lives forever, things are bound to change regardless.
      We try to get family together – besides for funerals 😏 – and those are always fun. Going to have to try to set one up again!
      Oh hell no. You won’t catch me caroling! But I’ll have to come up with something – maybe 🙂
      Very happy you enjoyed my Christmas Spirit this year, though!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi, from the other side of Christmas. And it seems you had a good time. Me? My daughter and I sang some of the *old* Christmas songs, like Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, and I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus. But had to stop so our off-key tuneless voices wouldn’t offend the angels 🙂
    And a Successful New Year, whatever the criteria for that might be. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like a wonderful time, Dale. It may please you to know, my kids (who live in Indiana) sing up a storm at every opportunity. They even go so far as to set up a stage and hold a day-long palooza at their place in the summer. Songs, food, and drinks. It is so much fun. So there may be hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this, Sistah! The Viking and I spent a very quiet Christmas but all hell will break loose in a couple of days while we prepare for our Second Annual Julefrokost. This new Tradition was a favorite last year that brought my ex-husband and his wife back into our lives and I’m very grateful. It’s good for hearts and souls to heal so those old memories can be dusted off and cherished once again.
    I’m so happy you are having a wonderful Holiday Season. Love ya!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, darlin!
      I remember your last year Julefrokost and thought it was fabulous for you all to celebrate together! It is so much nicer to be kind and loving than carry hurts and anger.

      I am indeed and love ya too!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Traditions change and life flows and memories anchor us to the past and the dreams and the things we would want to revisit (and some we would not) — it makes the rich tapestry of life. Thank you for sharing some of yours with us!
    Love the music! Yes, whatever the holiday, one must have some singing to make the spirit stick!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hoping the season’s blessings are well bestowed upon you and yours, especially with the 200th anniversary of the composing of Silent Night, Holy Night from a little village near Salzburg, Austria by school teacher, Franz Gruber. Who’d have thought that single carol would become one of the world’s favorites?
    P.S. the Mahalia Jackson version is goosebump inducing! Thank you for sharing that video. 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It was excellent this year! Now, I need to go out, and walk off all the food and wine, and find some street art.
    My youngest memories are very different than yours…. except for the smoke filled living room at Baba’s and Djadja’s. Let’s see… yes, after an amazing Christmas dinner there would be Christmas Carols in the background, sometimes a few would join in, usually just before the men folk were stupid drunk. Then Uncle L. and djadja would get into an argument, which would escalate into a fist of cuffs. Then there was the falling down the stairs, while the rest of the men folk tried to pull them apart. This was followed by everyone packing up and going home.
    Ahh, memories!
    I say this with a love and humour in my heart!
    Love all the music here today!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wonderful! Yes. got on the scale today.. WTF?

      Oh… I can say there are a few memories of drunken uncles. Thankfully then never ended in fisticuffs, but they did end up in the ditch with there cars… Coz in those days, one for the road was 5-6..
      But I do believe you feel the love and humour…
      So tell me… Baba and Djadja? I know that my Armenian/Lebanese friend is called Baba by his daughter… fill me in, please 🙂
      So very glad you did!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mom’s side of the family were 100% Polish. Baba was a boat child at the the turn of the 19th century. Her parents(who never made it over) sent her with her little brother for a better life in Canada. Her brother died on the boat trip. Her mother died while they were making the trip. Don’t know much about Djadja, except the town he was born in is now in the Ukraine.
        My father’s side of the family, on his mother’s side were from England. They were amongst the earliest settlers in America, and became United Empire Loyalists after the War of Independence.
        Dad’s father was second or third generation Irish in Canada. Don’t know much about them, except they were a tall, handsome lot who didn’t like to work, could talk the blarney and drank the drink. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ahhh… so that’s from the Polish/Ukranian side (was curious 😉 )
          What a story your mother has!
          As for your dad’s side – you are so funny!
          Most interesting – should be turned into a book 😉


  12. Q,

    What a wonderful Christmas Day you and the family had! There is nothing quite like the warmth of the house as everyone is busy connecting and sharing stories and anecdotes. There is a familiar chatter that just SOUNDS like home, and the air, it is alive with the present while borrowing from the past.

    Songs and friendly beverages and funny stories and card playing . . What. Is. Not. To. Love?

    And I think my favorite part of this post is how Iain has taken up the mantle after Mick and now, a tradition will be carried forward as a result. That, is special stuff right there.

    Peace, love, goodwill and family


    Liked by 1 person

  13. Your Christmas traditions sound wonderful. And in general I think change is the healthy way to go. Since I moved back to Cleveland we have been celebrating at my oldest son’s house because he has the most room. This year I had them over to my apartment, the smallest home in our family. My first husband, who always is part of the celebrations, said to me that this is the way things ought to be. He offered to share expenses and have it here again next year.Wonderful idea! Maybe it’s true that the more things change the more they stay the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ms Vivi! I agree; it is healthy.
      I love that you had it at your place. And I love even more that your first husband is included. Because that is what it’s all about, isn’t it? And even better that he offered to share expenses! An extra nod in how important these gatherings are.


  14. Love the why you wrote about the cycle of life early in the post … and then to bring it full circle with your dad introducing you to Mahalia Jackson. Cheers to Iain continuing the tradition! … and it appears you had a wonderful Christmas. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. If there was love button for this post, in stead of a like, I’d hit it. This really does encapsulate Christmas and life. They are so entwined in our hearts and the passing of time. I’m so happy to know that Iain has continued the traditions. Maybe next Christmas, you can all sing more..:)
    Hope you had a great holiday, Dale.

    Liked by 1 person

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