I do love the holiday season and I often find my thoughts drifting back to family memories.
Growing up, the highlight of every Christmas was heading out in the bitter cold of the Maritimes, on snowshoes, with the entire family, to find a perfect tree. Even with six feet of snow on the ground Sandy, our Chesapeake retriever, would have eyes wide open, tail wagging, ready for the adventure.
After a few hours we would finally arrive home. The next day was time for the ultimate tree trimming process with my two sisters and brother. For the four of us it wasn’t a patient and painstaking piece of art. We just went for it and my parents sat back and watched. I can remember, though, my mother going in after and meticulously adjusting the hooks and hangers so ornaments were rotated to face outward, and arranging the sterling silver ornaments so light caught them just right and their red ribbons were scattered evenly across the tree. I still wonder how she could do that after all the tinsel and snow we sprinkled over the tree!
Then we would impatiently wait for the big day. When that glorious morning arrived we would wake before sunrise, begging our parents out of bed, and be promptly ordered back to ours for another hour. 55 minutes later, we would all gather in the living room where there would be a display of overly stuffed stockings, and presents under the tree ready to be dismantled.
Now fast track ahead by 30 years. With two teenage children, some traditions have certainly changed but tree trimming remains a momentous part of the holidays for us. We love digging out the fairy lights and favourite baubles we’ve inherited over the years; family shouting, singing (and making a mess) all around the house; cracking open ice cold delicious champagne at any time of the day to enjoy with chocolate covered almonds. My other favourite is the late night of wrapping presents and filling the stockings just before the big day, to still see the surprise and wonder on my children’s faces the next morning. It’s a beautiful thing.
So while we’re in the spirit, what’s your favourite holiday moment? Maybe it’s a family tradition like these. Or, the best gift you remember opening? Do tell, and from all of us at Seaside Magazine, we wish you the best of the holiday season!