Jodie asked me to remember Christmas memories from the time the children were little. I remember being tired and needing more sleep. I still worked under the impression that all gifts had to be handmade. In Sweden people did a super extra house cleaning before Dec. 1. Then all preparations were about baking and sewing and presents. I still have wonderful things that the children made for us. All secret even from each other. I have asked all four of them to write to me about a good or bad memory they have from long ago. As soon as I get a couple I will post them.
We let the children pick out one present on Christmas eve. We tried to get them to bed at a decent hour so the presents that arrived knocked down could be assembled before midnight. Early in the girls lives they sang in our church choir and that meant an early attendance. Gilbert was an altar boy and when he stood near the altar he looked angelic.
I have received some memories. Nr. 1 daughter said: "I remember that you were always knitting. When we asked what I was working on, you told us that I was making covers for Dad's golf-clubs but when the right moment came it turned out to be sweaters for everybody." She also said that the big bake was a wonderful memory. She used to sneak a few little bits of dough. She makes the same bread for their Christmas and the result is better than what I ever made. Nr. 2 daughter said her biggest memory was the advent calendars. They all had a calendar with 24 curtain rings sewn on. On each I would hang a wrapped present. The rings were marked with the dates from Dec 1 to the 24th The items were simple and inexpensive and I would pick them up during the year. One might be as simple as an eraser and could be as large as a small tube of tooth-paste. It was a huge job tying them up after they were wrapped. It was fun to hear them talk about who got the better one that day, for they all got the same eventually. I am so happy that all the girls carried on that tradition. When people went to college they pled to have them sent to school. Nr. 2 also remembered one year when we made handmade little Santas for the tree. We strung red yarn from the back of one chair to another as far away as possible. We went back and forth stringing the yarn until we reached a suitable thickness. Then with red thread we tied of certain lengths, a long one for the body, a shorter one for the arms, a little red felt triangle for hat. A few stitches for face and beard and a loop to hang it with. We made hundreds and the tree looked great with the little red figures.
Nr.3 daughter remembered another decoration for the tree. We saved hundred of walnut shells from the Christmas baking. A little hole was drilled in the shell, they were sprayed gold, filled with cotton (from drugstore cotton balls), and a little half an inch nude baby doll. This daughter also remembers how I used to get stressed out and I would shout at everybody. I remember all of us being blissfully happy and calm. (kidding) She also remembers getting a bike one year and since it rained on Christmas Day she was allowed to ride it indoors, in that long hall in the back of the house.
Nr.2 remembers learning how to make cardamon coffee cake. We had orange juice and coffee and coffee cake during opening presents.
Haven't heard from our Nr.1 and only son, yet.