Christmas traditions from Decembers past

Last updated: 08/12/2014 12:56 by SheenaLambert to SheenaLambert's Blog
Filed under: MummyBloggers
What’s your favourite Christmas childhood memory? Do you ever look at your little ones as they play with the decorations on the tree and wonder; will they remember this when they are grown? What will their special Christmas memories be?
 
My most cherished Christmas memory is a tradition that belonged just to me and my Dad - the Christmas Eve Grocery Shop.
The one time in the year when my mother, too busy with all the other preparations at home, delegated the food shop to my father. And each year, I, as the youngest, went along too.
 
Can you imagine it now? Leaving all the Christmas food shopping to Christmas Eve? We wouldn’t dream of it today, in a time when the holiday food shop is planned with military precision in November, and involves numerous trips to numerous supermarkets. But back in the early eighties, things must have been simpler. Sure, I remember it being busy. I remember waiting for a car space, and the relief at getting a trolley. But I also remember being allowed to put almost anything I wanted into that trolley.
 
While my poor, hassled father went through the seemingly endless list, written in my mother’s hand, filling our trolley with milk, cream, sliced white pan for the turkey sandwiches, extra-large Hellman’s, more cream, lemons, Clementines and everything else that would see our family through the Christmas week, my responsibility was to find the tins of sweets and – oh the luxury – tins of biscuits. I remember lifting down the fizzy orange, heavy in my little arms, the very classy (so I thought) lime flavoured Miwadi and the glass bottles of soda water.  
 
And I remember the Christmas boxes of Tayto. Only at Christmas would you ever see a thing of such beauty and extravagance. I remember the glances in my father’s direction at each sugary addition to the trolley, cajoling where I had to, being indulged more often than not. For just this one shop of the year, all restrictions were lifted.
 
And while perhaps it might seem as though my best Christmas memory is wrapped up in the commerciality of the holiday, I remember it as special, precious time with a loving parent.
 
And I hope my kids have Christmas memories half as good.
 
Sheena Lambert is the mum of two boys from Dublin. Her novel Alberta Clipper is available from Amazon.
 
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Déanta in Éirinn - Sheology
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