Sunday, December 06, 2009

On a dark...

...overcast day, an invitation to spend the afternoon with young relations. On arrival, a cheerful three-year old hurried me into the sitting-room, where a niece, niece-in-law, and assorted small children were snuggled on the sofa with a duvet watching The Wind in the Willows. It was the work of a moment to kick off my shoes and join them. The afternoon went on to include the creation of an Advent wreath, the hiding and finding of golden chocolate coins (St Nicholas Day), and a lively talkative delicious supper...

Children's memories retain all sorts of things, and I often wonder about those one helps to create. I had brought with me an old family set of crib figures. but felt that after some forty years of use they could perhaps do with a wash, so a bowl of warm soapy water was produced and the children swathed in pinafores to engage with the task. I fear they were baffled. They enjoyed watching a couple of aunties plunge St Joseph, and the manger, and various kings into the bath, they watched as the Infant Christ was gently subjected to flannel and soap. They loved putting them all back in the tin and then taking them out, and putting them back....but what strange ritual did they think this was, and what will they tell their own children some decades from now? ("Ah, in the good old days, there was a tradition of washing the manger. I remember it well...."

6 comments:

JoannaB said...

That's lovely. We spent the day putting up decorations and making gingerbread shapes for the tree.

scorbinr@yahoo.com said...

How Wonderful are your stories of the times with your relatives and the traditions that continue on. Makes us all feel so cozy and warm.
I look forward to hearing more as the Christmas holidays approach.
Suzanne in USA

Malcolm McLean said...

You shouldn't put up Christmas decorations until Christmas Eve.

Everyone has Christmas parties in Advent, which is wrong. Even Advent calendars now come with chocolates behind the windows, which is wrong (except for a choclate in the alst window, of course).

Auntie Fran said...

Ah the joys of great nephews! My nephews and their wives have yet to present us with girls!

My eldest great-nephew helped me with colouring some pictures for their Jesse Tree at the end of October. I secretly hope that his mother will be unable to let those first decorations go, and, like my sister, will keep them until all the glitter has fallen off and you can't read the writing on the back!

Anonymous said...

It sounds as if Aunty Fran lives in the attic with Auntie Joanna.

Bernadette said...

Yes, and they are only allowed out at Christmas.