Hay!I can tell you about my traditionMyself I am more educated with Sinterklaas, an old Dutch party where children get presents of a Saint from Spain and all its pieten.(wikipedia)All Dutch people of my age sharing this with me.Earlier in the Netherlands Christmas was celebrated in commemoration of the birth of baby Jesus.The Netherlands has a history where the faith was formerly very important (cavinisme, less Catholics ) Now Sinterklaas to the background,and the shops are in October packed with Christmas stuff.The shops sell it, but they decorate very little.Overeating and buy-ing is an important part now in the Netherlands with Christmas.In november, the Dutch are suffering from Christmas stress.Personally, I find that many Dutch has thrown their traditions over Board.When I was a little girl, in the 1970s, it seemed that we were very happy with less also.The Christmas tree was a type of tree broomstick with needles, with Angels hair on the retro lights.We went to the Christmas midnight mass and when we returned home we drunk warm chocolate milk with hot sausage sandwiches.My father fell during the midnight mass often a sleep hihi.A LP with Christmas songs, the lights of the Christmas tree, almost mistique.Perhaps it is because I am getting older????Christmas is beautiful today, because I've experienced it as warm and happy as a child.
Madre mía es una pasada, da un poco de miedo.Mil besos...Julia
Hi Alexandra, Ah yes, I have heard of Sinterklaas, isn't that where the name Santa Claus derives from?In England we have Father Christmas, who is now interchangable with Santa (the American incarnation). My favorite version of Father Christmas is in a childrens' book illustrated by Raymond Briggs, that I had as a child, and which had many cross sections of buildings, which I believe may have sparked my interest in dolls houses too!I think the Christmas holiday is becoming more and more about buying stuff than anything else, it certainly affects the success of most retail stores in the UK, where the bulk of money taken all year is in the weeks running up to Christmas. Shops start early here too, Harrods and Selfidges start selling decorations in August, but most stores start towards the end of September, or early October. We didn't get much for Christmas as kids ourselves, some colouring books, and pencils, a sock full of sweets, a jumper maybe, perhaps a game, but Christmas always held a special place inside me, which I carry to this day.As an adult I enjoy the brightness and colour that the celebration brings to one of the darkest, coldest, bleakest parts of the year!Hope you have a Happy Christmas Alexandra!
I hope we get snow like that for Christmas!(how's the back?) x
Hi Simon, teh backs Ok thanks, still getting some painful twinges, but it's OK if I don't try to do anything too strenuous!Not sure I'd want THAt much snow at Christmas, but a little dusting on Christmas Day would be nice! Clarence Place is shaping up nicely, love the idea of using trees!Hope your headache has cleared!regardsAndy xx
yes, headache long gone now thank goodness. Hopefully the trees will be ok, we'll see. I'll tone down my snow wishes a little then...x
Firstly Andy, I can barley believe that that is a real house, it is beyond my comprehension for cold.I would also like to say I enjoyed Alexandra's comment. So much of Christmas tradition has been taken over by commercialism. I am as guilty as the next person as I indulge in the gift giving and parties.It has been on my mind though, as I have been blogging and noticing the original traditions of Sinterklaas. Our Coca-Cola version of the same seems far more superficial and indeed irritating! As I mentioned in another comment,I was disappointed in our Christmas windows in town because it was dedicated to "Santa" when in the past it has been more diverse.When I was a child in the 70's we too referred to Father Christmas. In Australia it was different again, sitting around the tree with coloured lights in our flimsy little nighties, the hot glow of the sun still in the sky at 9 pm. Lying awake in the sticky heat listening for the sound of hooves on the roof, anticipating new bathers and beach towels....games for the pool.As Christmas approaches I feel that atmosphere is lost, it's hard to click into..... until my 12 year old daughter creeps up the stairs and sits by me in the dark just to look at the glow of the christmas tree lights. She gazes at the presents under the tree and whispers " I just can't wait Mum". Even though we have talked about Santa, she still feels the magic..... but its not just about the presents, it's about the family getting together and the fun we will have,I know thats what she enjoys. That time of the year that the whole family come together and make the best of it they can.So I realised i should't get caught up in the way it used to be, enjoy it for what it is now. The magic is still there because i was enjoying the lights too.....I just didn't realise it.Now Andy, I've gone from naughty to schmultzy in about 15 minutes.....thats gemini for you!!
That's an amazing picture Andy. Thank goodness it doesn't happen like that here - yet!I liked Fi's remark about not realising she was actually enjoying the lights. We've always had a 6 foot tree which I never gave much thought to until a couple of years ago when youngest son (who's now 6'4") remarked that he always thought the tree was HUGE. He can now look the fairy on the top straight in the eye! It's too easy to forget how magical it all used to be.
Hate to say it, but that photo looks like it could have been taken here in Minnesota! (Or North Dakota)? Last winter, an old man, walking in his sleep, stepped outside in nothing but his pajamas, locked himself outside and froze to death on his front porch. Happens all the time in these parts! Nice to read everyone's memories --very sweet!
Hi Fi,I can't imagine a Christmas in heat and sunshine, the two just don't go together in my head! They are usually just a bit grey and cold here, but as kids we were rarely outside on Christmas Day, We'd be opening presents, then we'd be playing with them or putting them away, or scoffing the sweets, then there was Christmas TV and Christmas dinner, always a big feast in our house as kidsThey say you lose that Christmas magic when you're older, or that awful phrase, Christmas is just for kids, I say, lower your expectations a little, take pleasure in the small things and don't think that by throwing lots of money about at Christmas, it will be better. I make a lot of things at Christmas, I bake cakes, mince pies and buscuits, make sweets, jams and chutneys, marinate olives, infuse olive oil with herbs, etc etc, to make little hampers for close friends, I love cooking and get pleasure from doing it, my friends love the thought and effort as well as eating all the goodies I've made, and it costs much less than buying stuff from shops. I think we are all in the mess we are in by believing the ad men that buying stuff will make us happier, or more beautiful, or whatever, the 'look at me, look what I've got' mentality of poeple. I always say I have managed to live my whole life with out an Ipod, a kindle reader and some Jimmy Choo shoes, and it wasn't difficult either!Anyway, this is getting far too preachy! I guess what I'm trying to say is that, taking pleasure from the Christmas lights, the kitsch, the secret mince pie, the excitement of kids at the sight of Santa, the simpler things in life is really the magic of Christmas, and is a good philosophy for life in general!Hope you all have a good one, where ever you are!xxxxx ;)
Hi Irene, well it's snowing here this morning (more on that later) but we've had nothing like the above picture thank goodness!I used to think our christmas tree was huge too when I was young, and it was only about 4 feet high, but it did stand on a table! I'm 6'4 too!
Hey John, wow! you must get A LOT of snow where you are then! That poor guy!! :(I'd love to see snow like that, but not for long!!