Friday, March 9, 2018 / by Ruth Ballantyne
So I started to look back on what I do remember about my Christmas’s past. When I was 11 I remember lying in bed for an extra-long time on Christmas morning because I did not ask for anything in particular. My parents bought me skis and I was not excited about them. I remember my cousin Janice got skis too. That made it seem not so bad. I could go skiing with Janice. That was until Janice fell and broke her leg and that was the end of my skiing career.
So, this exercise was enlightening. I did not remember the presents. I remembered the people, the feeling of fun and the parties. When I think of Christmas, when I was younger I immediately go to our basement on Fidelia Crescent. I can see a full basement with 3 or 4 8 foot tables. We had an “L” shaped basement and we always had the whole family for Christmas. My dad’s 3 sisters and my mum’s sister all moved to Canada within a few years of us so we had a full family here in Canada. After a few years we had adopted a few friends that were now family and dinner for 30 or 40 was not unusual. I remember turkey, ham and lasagna for dinner. There was dancing, singing, musical instruments and jokes. Everyone had to participate and do their party piece or show your bum out the window.
It was always a great party that went on to the wee hours of the morning. Thinking of those party nights my favourite memories is of my Mum singing. It was an evening favourite when she would sing The Way We Were. It was her party piece. She sang many songs but this was my favourite.
When my parents bought a house in Florida, we spent Christmas in Florida at their house for about 10 years. The parties continued although smaller with many visitors from Canada and Scotland and always a sing song.
I guess it’s funny how things from your childhood make you happy. I love to sing and love a sing song. When I visit my dad we still have one night after dinner that turns into a sing song. We sing all of the old favourites, although neither of us can hit the notes to The Way We Were.
It is funny how things work. I started to think about the song. The words are so true. So I leave you this memory of my Christmas’s past… “Memories, may be beautiful and yet, what’s too painful to remember we simply chose to forget, so it’s the laughter, we will remember, whenever we remember, the way we were The Way We Were.”
Wishing you and your loved ones a Christmas to remember - May your table be full of good food, good company and great memories. Enjoy the day and Merry Christmas to all.