Saturday, December 12, 2015

My thoughts on Christmas

Clarke Family 1950's

Well Christmas is on us again when you get older it seems to come round very quickly. When I was a child I had some excellent Christmas’s having a German Mum we celebrated a lot different to everyone else in the 1950’ – 60’s. We would start the 1st Sunday of Advent and this would be having on the 1st Sunday one candle in the evening and we say prayers, being brought up good Catholic that was not a problem, then we would sing some carols mainly German ones the one that would always make my mother cry was Silent Night which my Dad Mum Brother Norman and I sang in German, the other song which brought my mother to tears was “Oh Mein Papa” this would be followed by a few sweets a Luxury in those days. As the following Sunday's went on we added more candles also we had Advent Calendars sent over from Germany they were not available in the UK. So on to Christmas as my mother was German we started celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve Night “Heilige Nachte”. This would start at about 5pm with a massive meal sometime 6 courses and then one present each and Dad told us that animal spoke to all children at Midnight on Christmas Eve, I never found out if that was true as I aways fell asleep before Midnight. Christmas day was the English version Christmas stocking on the bed so we did not wake our parents to soon, these normally had Oranges, Apples, Sweets and a Small toy and never once did I catch Father Christmas filling them up. Then up by 6am waking my Dad up so he could light the front room fire for us to see all our presents. After breakfast it was visiting he neighbours and in the afternoon they would visit us. Dinnertime was Chicken and all the veg and then pudding cannot remember actually having Christmas Pud though, what people today do not realise Chicken was still a luxury in the 1950’s.
Margret 22 Nobby 21

As I got older things changed slightly in that Norman and I would go for a Drink Christmas Eve and normally get well tipsy this has not changed even now. I meet a group we call the Christmas Eve Club and you can guess when we meet. Although we came back merry Mum never complained in fact every year she would say “I love it when my Boys enjoy themselves” as the years went by and I had children we carried on the traditions of Advent and Christmas Eve but Christmas Day was spent at mine and Val’s home and Boxing Day at Val’s Mum and Dads.

When Mum Died in 2004 the Christmas Sparkle died for me, both Val and me tried to keep the 4 Sundays of advent but it was not the same. Some Sundays not all the family could be together and the religious aspect of it had fallen away and the grandkids could only see it as time for gifts so we stopped several years ago. Of course I still enjoy Christmas and my Grand children have a different Christmas experience but Christmas for me would always centre round my Mum

Yet travelling down to the Macknades market Faversham I did feel that tingle of Christmas. It is housed in a Barn and with all the fruit and veg on display, Christmas Trees, nuts, cheeses, meat, cakes, sweets from all over the world on display it gave you that feeling of an old fashioned Christmas and I loved it. Then that evening I was invited to Keith and Wendy Whyman’s house for what they call Christmas Nibble, which is in it’s self is becoming a bit of a tradition. This time of year it is good to sit with friends and talk especially as we are of the age to compare what pills we are taking.

So this year the Christmas Eve Club will meet at the Coniston Hotel at 1pm John and his boys will be round Christmas Day and they want a Bar-B-Q in the outside Bar-B-Q house

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my readers

Martin Clarke

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