I love it, and the fact that I also follow Vlogmas on Youtube gives me double the holiday fun. :)
So, on to today's prompt which is all about Pictures and memories of Christmas past.
I have been extremely blessed to have nothing but the best memories of my childhood, and especially Christmas time.
Having grown up in a very big Portuguese family, Christmas time was one of the best times of year. It meant a lot of family, celebrating on the 24th, a full day of cooking and baking in the kitchen with all the women, and opening presents on the 24th.
The days leading up to Christmas, as a child, were filled with excitement. I used to love going shopping with my grandmother or stepmother, for presents. We tended to wait until the week before and then get into the Christmas rush and go out shopping, something that would take a whole day.
I got immense pleasure out of walking into a store, walking around and selecting items for every person on the list. There wasn't this whole pressure of getting just the right thing or wondering if it was on the person's list etc. We bought what we thought the person would like, and for the women it seemed to center around bath products, perfumes, pretty pajama sets, clothes, cookbooks or jewelry etc.
My grandfather playing guitar, in the front from left to right, my brother Miguel, brother Paul, me and my younger brother Bruno
For the men, after shaves, fancy shirts, books, movies, games or toys for the younger ones, a multi function pocket knife or a book from a favorite author.
I think in a way, buying for people was made easier, there wasn't such a huge selection, there wasn't such a variety of electronics and the most fashionable items, or trying to keep up with the Joneses.
People took immense pleasure of opening their presents and receiving whatever it was.
On the 24th, the whole family would gather together, and while some cooked and baked in the kitchen, others took turns wrapping all the presents and placing them under the tree.
We would then eat dinner and right after, clear the dishes and start filling the table with all sorts of goodies. From around 8pm until midnight, everyone gathered around the table, either nibbling on yummy stuff, chatting, laughing, talking about previous years or the current affairs. Kids played or watched movies.
It was a huge countdown until midnight, and when that came around the rush to the tree was like nothing else. We opened presents, we immediately tried things on, or played with that new toy etc. Then it was back to the table to eat a little more and finally everyone would start heading to bed.
Before retiring for the night, my stepmom would take a huge tablecloth and drape it over all the finger foods on the table.
From left to right: My brother Miguel, me, my brother Paul and younger brother Bruno
The next morning, as we got up, we would head on over, life up the tablecloth and grab whatever struck our fancy. And that is how the rest of the day went. There was no rush, there was no place to be or anything to do, just enjoying the new things we got for Christmas and eating leftovers.
I try very hard to keep those traditions going for my children because even though I'm now 42, have my own family and children, those memories of Christmases past are so deeply ingrained in me and bring me such joy, that I want to pass it on to my own children and so forth.
BLOGMAS 2016 PROMPTS
Day 1 - The Christmas Tag
Day 2 - Christmas Movies on the Must Watch List
Day 3 - Christmas Wishlist
Day 4 - Christmas Playlist
Day 5 - Pictures and Memories of Christmas Past
Day 6 - Pot Simmer Recipes
Day 7 - Cookies to be Baked (can be a recipe you make every year, or some you want to try)
Day 8 - Favorite Family Christmas Recipe
Day 9 - How do you decorate?
Day 10 - Real Tree or Artificial Tree
Day 11 - Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Day 12 - Quiet Christmas or Family Filled Loud Party Christmas?
Day 13 - Christmas Cards (do you send them, show us your favorites this year, or tells your favorite cards to send whether vintage, or bright and colorful)
Day 14 - Advent Calendar
Day 15 - Christmas Party Food Ideas
Day 16 - Winter Tag
Day 17 - Christmas Wishes
Day 18 - Homemade or Store Bought (What are you giving this year)
Day 19 - Recap of Christmas 2015 in pictures
Day 20 - Christmas Decorations Reveal (show us your tree, your home decor, your mantle, anything you want)
Day 21 - Holiday Family Traditions
Day 22 - Preparing for the big day (show us your wrapping skills, are you making lists, getting the house ready for guests?)
Day 23 - Post whatever you wish
Day 24 - Christmas Eve (Are you opening presents tonight, is this your big celebration, what are you doing)