Monthly Archives: December 2015

A Senior Remembers: A Long Ago Christmas

We had Christmas at our grandmother’s once.  It was almost dark when we started out. Fanny and Baldy were stomping their feet and snorting in front of the house, wondering, “Where are they?” They always wanted to get going as soon as their harnesses were on, but today Mumma was getting us all ready in our best clothes, so it took a long time. “Here, Dinah”, she said, and handed me my blanket for the sled, “And be really careful going up that step. It’s icy!” We needed lots of blankets and warmed up bricks for our feet, so we could be warm all the way to Grandmother’s. read more

The Joys of Christmas As We Age

seniors, christmasWe seniors have been blessed with an abundance of years. In our western culture, that means an abundance of  Christmases.  We have the perspective to look back and observe how Christmas has changed for us. In our grandparents’ time, everyone was included at Christmas and Hanukkah; grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins were all a part of gatherings and events.

In Canada and the United States, during the 1940s and 1950s, ethnicity was still a factor in our communities, and large Jewish, Italian, German, French and Eastern European families observed their unique traditions, especially at Christmas.  Grandparents and other older relatives had a secure place in our families. We can all remember them, the contributions they made, the complications of their daily lives,  the stories about them. They were sometimes loveable and wise and sometimes irascible and cantankerous—they possessed the full range of human qualities.  During Christmas, they participated fully, sometimes insisting on observing old world customs. Our celebrations were more complicated because of them, and undoubtedly richer. read more

A Senior Remembers: Her First Christmas Concert

Christmas concertAll I could think about all day was the stage. It was there, filling up the whole front of the room, with big planks of wood going right across, and stairs going up one side and down the other. We all took turns walking on it at recess. The boys bounced on it when Teacher wasn’t looking, but when I went across, it didn’t move at all.  There was a wire hanging from the ceiling, with a long curtain pinned to it, and it could be pulled right across to hide us. The curtain smelled dusty, but the stage smelled like the sap that came out of the trees on our farm. read more