Daily Prompt: Memories of Holidays past

What is your very favorite holiday? Recount the specific memory or memories that have made that holiday special to you.

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Christmas in Migros, Langendorf

Daily Prompt sometimes wants to know too much. I like writing my blogs, but avoid telling too much of my private life and this is asking for too much private so I am not going into too many details.

My favourite holiday? I do not do favourite holidays, they happen and I do what everyone expects me to do. I think in this case Christmas is the holiday that is asked for. I am an athest, but find having a celebration once a year with all the trimmings is OK.

Christmas was a good holiday when I was a kid. They were what I call the black and white holidays, because if we had any photos (and we do not) they would be in black and white, coloured films being too expensive in the fifties and beginning sixties. It was a family Christmas, it had always been that way and so it stayed. The family being mum’s family with a short visit to dad’s mum and dad and sister before the party started. Me, my five cousins and the aunts and uncles gathered at the biggest house in the family where my aunt lived. She had the tree, in silver plastic, we had presents and all the aunts gathered in the kitchen to make the tea. Evening was a party with music, dancing and singing and plenty to drink. Of course it was fun, I had no work, got presents and we kids were left to ourselves.

So let us fast forward to my days when I had young children of my own. My mum and dad would come from England to Switzerland and spend the week with us. We had a tree, done Swiss style with real candles. Mum was a bit nervous on that one, thinking that the house would probably burn down if we were not careful. We celebrate in Switzerland on 24th December in the evening, another problem for mum. She was used to a real good old East End knees up party on 25th. Switzerland is more into the real meaning stuff of Christmas. We have fun, not exactly a carnival celebration, more on the quiet side.

The evening meal is the meal of the holiday, meaning mum cooks it and all the others eat it. Not like the ham sandwiches from the good old black and white days, no you prepared it. and cooked it. Perhaps a chateau briand with the trimmings, meaning making a sauce to go with it and various vegetables. It was work in the kitchen. Of course you supply a desert, could be ice cream and fruit, or something with a delicate sweet sauce. After the meal the kids are to produce something, perhaps say a poem or play an instrument and sing. Then they get the presents from the tree. Just not the happy go lucky Christmas from the good old days in London, something completely different. I think it was then I realised that Christmas could be hard work and it was probably similar for my aunts when I was younger.

Time goes on, the family grows up, and the kids are no longer kids. I now like my quiet Christmas. It is now on a smaller scale, the work is less, the stress is less and the presents are less.

Daily Prompt: Memories of Holidays Past

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