Friday, 15 December 2017

#52Stories, Week 49, What were some of your favourite holiday traditions from childhood ? How far back do these traditions go - to your parents or grandparents' generation or even beyond ?

For these traditions I am sticking with Christmas. Apart from Easter there aren’t really other specific holidays that we celebrated growing up in New Zealand, unlike Thanksgiving or Independence Day in the States.

Making a fruit cake seems to have been something which has happened every year. Standing on a chair, stirring (with a bit of help sometimes), making a wish. I remember helping Nana and Mum, and then I remember Lauren helping them both – and me, in later years.

Where did that start ? Did Granny Fuller make them as well, and so my Nana continued that tradition and passed it on to some of us ?

We used to get an orange or another piece of fruit in our stockings from Nana and Granddad – never coal though, so that was good.

The postie used to deliver masses of Christmas cards from friends and family all over the country and some even in other parts of the world. Some of these came with notes about what had happened during the year on the inside, others came with handwritten letters.

Thank you boxes of chocolate or similar were left in the letterbox for the milkman - and maybe for the postie too ?

Making crepe paper streamers and paper chains to decorate our bedrooms or the tree.

Decorating the tree – I remember some years having a biggish tree inside propped up in a bucket. We would go with a trailer to collect it from somewhere – a forest? someone’s farm? At some point though a small tree was bought and grown in a pot to come inside each year…then came the artificial ones; and no more hayfever from the pine smell.

We would leave a pillowcase on our beds on Christmas Eve and when we woke up – voila ! No idea how Santa got inside filled up the "sack" and back out so quietly.

Some part of Christmas Day would normally be spent with cousins, and grandparents at one house or another - or on holiday somewhere. One year, in the snow at Milford Sound !

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