Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Writing Challenge #4: December Activities

December Activities that help you remember that Christmas is coming? I can think more of what I do now as a Mom than I can really remember as a kid. Most of my growing up years that I can really recall were spent in Northwestern Ontario in a little town called Finland, next to Emo about an hour from Fort Frances (in the Lake of the Woods area). We lived on this farm (where we built our house) for about 5 years before we moved out to New Brunswick.
This part of Ontario has very, very cold long winters and I know -25 below was the normal temperature. We had a wood stove and we always felt like roast turkeys because all of us kids slept in the top of the house.......Dad would build up the fire at night so it would last until the morning, but we would swelter til it died down. I know much of December was spent gathering firewood!
Christmas for us was always going to bed really early Christmas Eve because my Mom and Dad kept the midnight tradition........they would wake us up at midnight when we would open all our gifts and then we would have a midnight buffet, eat for a while and then go back to bed to sleep in until late. It was always exciting and we never protested going to bed. We would desperately try to stay awake but it never failed that Mom and Dad would have to come in to wake us up because we had fallen asleep..... then we would run down the stairs where the tree would be bursting with presents. I'm not sure if they were ever wrapped, Dad never believed in wrapping paper, he would always say that he could buy another present for the cost of wrapping paper!
But me, I love wrapping paper and since I buy it in January it never costs wrapping paper or bags is a must for me.
My parents would always invite friends or single people over so often we had our neighbours over for this midnight feast. I think it stemmed from the Roman Catholic faith they grew up in where they went to midnight mass.
Although I would like to have kept this tradition, when Don and I tried it a few times, our kids were so tired and didn't want to get up......and I was so insistent about their bed times because I like to sleep, so it didn't really work for us. We just put our kids to bed and wake them up in the morning. Besides until a few years ago, I was usually up for hours wrapping presents. I discovered that I love wrapping when I have lots of time, so I try to do it every couple of days or whenever I get enough presents around to do it, or no one around to see me doing it........what an amazing difference, Christmas Eve is so much more fun now and not so stressful!

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