Personal: Christmas thoughts & blessings to you

I wrote this late last night while tired and emotional. Ignore the errors. I’m too lazy to fix this week.

Christmas always seems to come and go so fast. Every year, time seems to pass a little more quickly. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost six Christmases since my mum left us.

Mum was all about Christmas. It was her time of year. Her favorite season. She’d deck the house all out in green and red. She’s fuss over the Christmas tree to get it just right. I remember helping put on the tinfoil caps around the light bulbs to make the tree perfect.

I remember arguing with mum about the table cloth colour – did it really need to be red mum? I said to her after she changed her mind for the third time. I finally caved in and let her have the red. I’m glad I did. Looking back, it was a stupid argument to have – as it was her last Christmas with us.

About a week before Christmas, was the best time to be in our house. Mum loved to bake and would pull all nighters in the kitchen. Coming home from school, you were greeted with the aroma of freshly baked mince meat pies, meringues, and rum pudding.

That could be where my love of rum came from. Watching her pour rum and sherry into her English trifles was always a treat. I remember licking my lips – knowing that I’d be able to lick the spatulas when she was finished icing her cherry cupcakes.

But her pies – her pies were the best. Before she got sick, she would bake four or five pies each Christmas.

And then on Christmas day – her dinners were amazing. A full turkey with stuffing and all the trimmings. Yorkshire puddings with gravy. Brussel sprouts with cheese sauce. And later, everyone would bring a dish – we added cabbage rolls and sweet potatoes to the table.

As Christmas draws near, I’m missing my mum more and more and am even tearing up as I write this. Christmas just isn’t the same without her. For many reasons. Not just missing her baking or Yorkshire puddings.

As kids, we’d bundle up a few nights before Christmas and go caroling. The house was always filled with music. I grew up listening to the crooners like Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Vera Lynn and especially – Nana Mouskouri.

I’m listening to Old Toy Trains now, and it brings back so many wonderful memories.

On Christmas Eve, before our family got too big, we’d celebrate the Danish way with my dad’s family. Some of my earliest memories as a toddler was being held by my father and admiring the pretty tree decorated by my family in paper decorations – and candles. Probably not a smart thing, right? Paper decorations and candles? Eventually, they switched to the electric candle lights which were a lot safer.

I remember making Christmas decorations with my grandmother. And drinking egg nog, while fighting over that hidden almond in the Danish rice pudding. Red cabbage, dumpling soup, and pickled herring were often staples at family dinners on my dad’s side. How I miss my grandmother’s dumpling soup.

I’m going to leave you with two songs tonight. Old Toy Train, is a song that reminds me of mum. Some of my favorite memories are of me watching her work her magic in the kitchen. I learned a lot about cooking from her.

And the other song – is Silent Night. This is a family favorite. And one that we sing every Christmas Eve at the church. It’s one that makes me tear up a little. I remember being in my dad’s arms as he held me. I remember watching the family slowly circle around the Christmas tree singing songs like “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

But it’s The Bells of Christmas Time, that gets me teary eyed. We’ll be singing this on Christmas Eve. If you’re in the Edmonton area, do come out to enjoy some beautiful music on the 24th at the Ansgar Church.

I don’t know how much posting I’ll get done this week. So, from my family to yours. Wishing you a very blessed and Merry Christmas.

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