Memories of a time gone by…

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!

Virginia Breitenbeker has been candy pulling for 59 years.  For the full news article by Amy Wilde for the Deseret News – click here

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!

The image comes from The Allstate blog – appropriately on holiday safety trips.

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?


About Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer writes romantic suspense, with or without paranormal elements like TUESDAY'S CHILD (2011) and now young adult books in various genres like DANGEROUS DESIGNS (2011). Writing stabilizes her in a life gone wild! The other stabilizers? Cheesecake and her four cats! Of course, she's dreaming to think she'll get a piece cheesecake once her four kids find out she's been baking!
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7 Responses to Memories of a time gone by…

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Dale, your Christmas past and present sounds lovely! Besides the tree and exchanging gifts, the biggest thing we do for the holidays is have gatherings with family and friends. It seems to change a bit every year for us, too, but so far that stays the same.

  2. Misty Evans says:

    Love the memories and the pics, Dale. The holidays are always a mixed bag for me. There are years all the holiday stuff makes me want to pull my hair out, but there are also years when I love the holidays. I always enjoy watching Christmas movies, reading holiday stories and going for late night drives to see the decorative lights. Baking special goodies is always fun, especially when the kids join in to decorate cookies. And I always love surprising people with unexpected gifts. Playing Secret Santa is my favorite thing to do!

  3. Dale,
    The candy pulling looks so fun!! I can only imagine how messy it is, too, though ;). Ahh, for me growing up, it was the making of Christmas cookies that I remember so well. One of our good family friends is Sicilian, and she and my mom would get together every December and make hundreds of Italian/Sicilian cookies. I loved them, and just about every surface in our house was covered with them!! I miss that…

  4. Liz Kreger says:

    We make cookies, of course. We don’t do much by way of gift exchange with my siblings because there are so many of us. I finally gave up the the real trees about two years ago. It was just getting to be too much for me. Still, I do love decorating the house for the holidays and we always have a lovely tree.

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