i have been lucky enough, as has DH, to be born into families where family was valued, where those church calendar events have been grabbed to become a celebration of family [as well as christ on DHs side, and somewhat secular on mine]. Childhood christmasses were always spend with one side of the family or the other. with often cousins auns and uncles as well as grandparents. when christmassing with little nanny, there was the advantage of great aunts and uncles too. who could ever forget uncle robert telling aunty peggy he had bought her a new winter coat because she looked like bloody quasimodo in her old one. particularly as the sprout i was eating didn’t manage to completely stay in my mouth.
family christmas feels like little nanny to me. she was the matriarch and the role model. she made xmas work, with care, love and food. the house was warmed with a coal fire downstairs and hot water bottles and multiple ppl sharing the 2 bedrooms upstairs. the pantry smelt of flour, raisins and baking, the kitchen of roasties, and there was copious tea and cake. as a 2 up 2 down council house, we were crammed, adults got seats, kids got the floor, and we played games, giggled, had christmas carols and felt wrapped in the warmth of family. popular games of tell me, chase the ace, rummy and taste testing. indoor fireworks were a hit, though dad and grandad chuntered about them. the presents were smaller, more carefully chosen, and often included the nice’ clothes for next year and reading books.
maybe i only remember the good bits, but i remember warmth, laughter, love. i remember you always x x