Ah ! Christmas morning and its 5 am., but who’s watching the clock? Time to check out the loot! First drag Mom and Dad out of bed - not that they can sleep through the whisperings any way. First we had to have breakfast ( personally I think that this was mom’s punishment for getting her up so early). Then we grouped around the Christmas Tree while Dad, whose job it was, handed out the Christmas presents. The rest of the morning was spent playing with our gifts, and checking out who got the largest haul. In the early sixties I would be found curled up on the sofa reading my latest Hardy Boys’ adventure.
In the afternoon we would be bundled up and hustled over to Grampa and Grandma’s. By the late fifties my grandparents had sold their farm, and relocated to London to be near Aunt Verna who was wheelchair bound. For my family this was a short trip while the rest of the clan drove down from Chatham. Looking back I suspect that the daughters-in-law did not have much of a choice. December 25 was also Grampa’s birthday, and my grandparent’s anniversary. Grandma was the boss.
The grandchildren did not object. There were thirteen of us, and on the whole we got along very well. The oldest kept the youngest entertained. I remember that grandma (ever the farm woman) put on a feast that probably could have fed a 30 man threshing crew with food left over. What I and my siblings remember the most is the hot fresh home made bread. I have tried over the years but never quite duplicated it.
We came home in the evening a very tired bunch.
We were not a church going family. That became, for me, an activity later in life. For us it was the dinners at our grandparents with the entire family of parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, and cousins.