You can listen to Silent Night in Gaelic as you read this if you click on the video at the end of the page!
Memories of Christmas in the Watson household from one of the two young ‘uns:
- Making Christmas cake in October or so, with every body chipping in to soak and peel almonds or chop up candied fruits or whatever, and giving the batter a stir
- Going out at night (after work) with Dad and a sled to get a Christmas tree–Vivian and I on the sled on the way there, walking beside it on the way home
- Older siblings would come home from university in other cities, from the Nursing dorm, from BLTS–that was a BIG deal
- Decorating the tree with the Mantovani orchestra playing Christmas carols in the background–lots of tinsel involved!!
- Turning off all the house lights and winding up the little plastic church with a steeple and a small bulb inside that played “Silent Night” while we all looked in wonder at the tree
- Christmas morning–nobody allowed to go downstairs until Mom and Dad said it was okay
- Finding the stockings we had hung up on a string suspended from the backs of two chairs in the living room, partly filled with nuts and some hard, twisted Christmas candy and a mandarin orange in the toe, with Santa gifts for us little girls underneath
- Everybody settling in quietly as Dad sat in the armchair in one corner–just the lamp by his chair and the Christmas tree lights on, if I remember correctly–and read the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke
- Gift opening, one at a time around the circle, so everyone could notice and celebrate each person’s gift
- A gift each year wrapped and secretly placed under the tree by Dad for Mom, and every year she would protest that they had agreed not to give each other anything (“Oh, Mel.”)–upon opening, it was always a pair of nylons–mind you, every year one of Dad’s shoes by his armchair was lined with a paper napkin or two that held a mandarin orange, a few nuts and some Christmas candy
- Some years we set a very LONG table for Christmas dinner that started in the dining room and ended up in the living room so everyone could have a place to sit (Vivian and I usually on the piano bench), especially when the grown-up siblings came home with spouses and kidlets
- Mom’s shortbread, butter tarts and Christmas cake–simply the best
- At some point in the day or after dinner, we would gather around the piano: Ron would play, Dad and Doug would sing bass, Ron would sing tenor, Margaret and Dorothy and I would sing alto, and everybody else but Mom would sing the melody as we sang carols–Mom would sit in the armchair beside the piano as we sang, with tears on her face for the joy of it
If other family members wish to add to this list, please fill in the Comments box and send it along.