Wednesday, 25 December 2013

When More is More

Looks what's under my tree!

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."

                                                                              Scrooge

I have such a clear picture of my mother at Christmas, half sitting on the arm of the sofa, bent toward the Christmas tree.  She is readjusting the tinsel, that silver foil that hung in long strands over the tree branches.  This is something she did several times a day while the tree was up.  She was very particular about the tinsel and every strand had to hang just so.  There must be a photo of her somewhere doing this.  Tinsel was the most finicky thing you could hang on a tree and with three kids and a dog, it must have gotten tangled quite a lot. 

My mother took a lot of joy in Christmas.  She had a saying herself..."more is more when it comes to a good Christmas", a play on the expression less is more.  Consequently, she always 'over gave' as I called it, when it came to presents. She made sure each of us kids had equal sized piles of gifts which included whatever we had been asking for.

 Mom loved to decorate the house.  She tacked up gold and silver garlands to crisscross the living room ceiling and unfurled large red paper bells in the corners.  These never looked shabby because they would be packed away so carefully at the end of each season.  She would be baking the month leading up to the holiday, everything sealed away in cake tins.

 Like most Newfoundland homes, the special treats included fruit cake, short bread, squares, and always sweet bread, which was homemade molasses bread with raisins. Always on the coffee table at Christmas time too, was a box of Pot of Gold chocolates supposedly Dad would buy for Mom.  Mom's favourite, the hard ones- those with nuts or caramel, were hers to choose first and then we would all get our turn too.  (I always loved the tiny black fluted cups each chocolate sat in.)

Yes, my mother loved Christmas and worked hard to share her love with us.  I hope I showed my appreciation; I hope my face was a smiling mirror so she could see her own joy reflected there.