It has to be the time of year that puts me into this nostalgic mood, and it happens every year. Christmas, December even, has changed so much that I find myself wanting some of the good old days. Of course, it’s easier to remember those days now – with lots of distance to dull the bad memories.
Back then we were always dreaming about the future and better times, but now that I’m in the future…there’s a lot to be said about the past.
Some of my best, and oldest memories are winter activities. Then I spent a lot of childhood years in Ontario and Quebec – and had lots of winter months to enjoy.
My aunt had a large farm, with milk cows, and an OLD farmhouse. Every year at Christmas time we went to her house for old fashioned candy pulls and if the weather was right – pouring maple syrup candies in the snow.
This image is from Cascobaysoap.blogspot – along with simple instructions for making some yourself. In my aunt’s case, she actually tapped Maple trees. Oh what memories I have!
Candy pulling was another highlight. Sure I could do candy pulling today and I have done it with my kids but it’s not the same without the big old farm kitchen and the 11 cousins. Lol. If you can imagine the mess of hot sticky candy and 11 kids – oh joy! And what absolute fun for us kids!
Another memory I miss is from the old fashioned Christmas trees. It’s only been a few years that I’ve had a fake tree but I lost the real candles that went on the tree close to 20 years ago. And I miss them – but not the inevitable tree fires though And my candles looked exactly like the ones below!
Another tradition that I grew up with that has gone by the wayside is carolling. I’d listen pm the porch as groups came around their voices serenading the night. I was awed by the snow and the lights and the music. When I was old enough, I become one of the group and would spend many magical evenings singing up and down the blocks to my neighborhood.
I do enjoy today’s Christmas season. But it’s evolved into more commercialism, with fake trees and plastic decorations, then I’m comfortable with. That’s why we do a gingerbread house building day with all five of us involved and each year we do gift baskets (outside of the usual presents) for each other stuffed with special baking that we do in ‘secret’ together with little funny presents that we make. This particular gift basket is always handmade. And it’s always the highlight of our presents!
Christmas is still my favourite holiday. It’s just…different now.
What Christmas or winter treats would you enjoy participating in again? What special traditions do you participate in at this time of year with your friends and family?