Christmas Eve- This Will Be………

This will be the first Christmas of my life I will spend without my mother. For sixty years she played an important role in how I celebrated the holidays. 

My Mom listens intently while her oldest grandchild reads the Christmas story

My Mom listens intently while her oldest grandchild reads the Christmas story from the Bible

When I was a child she worked so hard at Christmas. Mom cooked a huge turkey dinner, baked cookies and Christmas cake, decorated the house and sewed new dresses for my sister and me.

My sister and I in dresses Mom sewed for Christmas. You can see the stockings are hung.

Me and my sister in dresses Mom sewed for Christmas. You can see the stockings are hung.

She played piano for the church choir concert, and organ for the Christmas Eve service. She helped us learn our parts for the Christmas program at church and rehearsed the songs we would sing or the piano piece we’d play at my paternal grandparents, where each grandchild had to give a little performance before getting their presents from our grandparents.

Me and my cousins performing for our grandparents

Me and my cousins performing for our grandparents

She made sure there were gifts for our stockings, gifts for us to give our cousins and grandparents and gifts for our teachers. She trimmed the tree.

Celebrating Christmas with Mom's family in Saskatchewan

Celebrating Christmas with my mother’s  family in Saskatchewan

She did all the laundry and packing for our biannual trips to Saskatchewan to spend Christmas with her family.

grandma plays for carol singingMom always played the piano for the carols we sang at our family gatherings and over the years she was joined by my brother’s violin, my brother-in-law’s cello, my son’s guitar, my nephew’s clarinet or my niece sitting down at the piano with her for a duet.

Mom on the piano with one grandson on clarinet and another on trombone

Mom playing the piano at Christmas with one grandson on clarinet and another on trombone

It will be strange to have Christmas without Mom who took such delight in the gathering of her family and made Christmas so memorable for all of us.

Christmas twenty years ago-Mom and Dad and grandchildren

Christmas twenty years ago-Mom and Dad with their  grandchildren

This will be the third Christmas that we will spend back in Canada after living abroad for six years.  We spent those Christmases in many different places.

Dave on a snowy Christmas Day in Germany

Dave on a snowy Christmas Day in Germany

One year we cruised a river in Germany stopping to visit all the Christmas markets. We stood outside a huge cathedral on Christmas Eve and listened to the bells play Silent Night. In 2004 our Christmas was spent in Phuket Thailand, where by a series of fortunate choices we escaped the tsunami that hit the region.

On the beach in Sydney for Christmas

On the beach in Sydney for Christmas

On two consecutive Christmases we went down under, once to New Zealand and the next year to Australia.  We spent one Christmas in Borneo enjoying tropical temperatures, snorkeling and hiking.  Although those holidays were exotic and enjoyable I missed being with our families for Christmas and I’m glad we will be together this year.

skating-on-the-red-riverThis will be the fortieth Christmas of my life that I will spend with my husband Dave. Together we’ve bought a tree, planned gifts for our children, gone shopping for holiday meals and attended numerous Christmas concerts and programs.  We’ve also planned the adventure we’ll embark on immediately after the Christmas season is over.  For the next few months my blog posts will originate from Ontario, Florida, Jamaica, Texas and Mexico.

Mom takes me on a carriage ride the first Christmas of my life

Mom takes me on a carriage ride the first Christmas of my life

This will be the sixtieth Christmas of my life. I’m looking forward to it.  Merry Christmas to all my blog readers. 

Other Christmas posts………

Make New Friends But Keep the Old

The Magi Got Me Into Trouble

Bits of Christmas

Only A Five Star Hotel for the Holy Family 

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2 Comments

Filed under Childhood, Family, Holidays

2 responses to “Christmas Eve- This Will Be………

  1. Becky Lee Su

    Merry Christmas Driedgers – enjoy your warmer climate! Liked your take on after Christmas with all bare, packed, ready to put away or recycled next year. Enjoyed this post, too, since we are away from our family living here in HK, but travel over the break. Our family reunions are always in the summer and families growing with the addition of new cousins make it fun!

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