Christmas Deranger style, Back in the day!
I have fond memories of my childhood Christmases at home after we were allowed home for Christmas from residential school. When I first was put into, residential school I remember receiving a gift and attending Midnight mass in the mission. But my happiest memory is when we went home for Christmas.
Doghead Christmas was noisy chaotic, and included the customary walk to church for midnight mass. I don’t know how they managed to get us into fresh washed and ironed clothes and to church on time. Especially, my brothers who had so much energy and spunk even on the walk to the church, they could not contain their excitement.
I noticed when the moon was bright there was sparkles on the snow like tiny diamonds, I remember a crunchy sound as our boots broke though the thin layer of ice on the snow on our way to midnight mass. The Northern Lights would make an appearance and created a brilliant display of colorful dancing lights, we were enchanted no matter how many times we saw them.
Magic was everywhere like glitter. We, my parents and a dozen young children lived in a small house without electricity or plumbing. That means no Christmas lights, but the coal oil lantern was bright enough. We used ordinary plates for Christmas dinner. We children received exactly one gift for Christmas each. I don’t mention that to get sympathy, but to explain we were happy despite it.
I Am grateful for my sister Dora and older brother Peter who along with mom and dad did their best to create a magical Christmas for all of us kids.
At Christmas our house was magical, Thanks to the cleaning, cooking, and decorating of the tree, they put garland on the ceiling and doorways as the small radio played Christmas carols. We didn’t have cloth tablecloths, or curtains. Instead, we replaced the old plastic curtains and tablecloth with a new festive Christmas theme.
After midnight mass we ate P & J sandwiches, tiny oranges, and some hard Christmas candy, and we opened our present before going to sleep satisfied and happy. These rituals created a symbiotic flow in our home filled with anticipation and wonder. We had a stress-free Christmas, as far as we were concerned as children, we never noticed any tension between the adults. On Christmas day community members came to visited bringing food and treats for us kids.
As an adult, Christmas magic dimed, but it didn’t disappear entirely. It stirred within me when I had children and recreated as best as we could the magic of my childhood. I realized that my nostalgia was for the chaos and boisterous children excited about Christmas. Like in Doghead.
When we believe in Christmas, we, will notice that special magic in the air. And as children how we allow our mind to explore without being encumbered by the expectations of others’. Have your children experience a Christmas they will carry in their heart for a lifetime.
Merry Christmas to you and Yours