Advent Calendar – Christmas Eve

Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

Christmas Eve is our Christmas celebration day. We all meet at my parent’s house for the present exchange, conversation and cheer. The tree is now in the living room near the fireplace and I have passed on my present distribution duties to my niece. Mum, as always, will put on a lovely spread. There are hors d’oeuvres of shrimp, cheese and pate. Then it is the roast beef dinner that we look forward to all year. Dessert is my job and I have a hard time finding something new every year. Then while the coffee is being served so are my homemade cookies and truffles.

This was originally published in December 2010

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Advent Calendar – Christmas Sweetheart Memories

Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

My Great Great Grandparents James Edward Cheetham Brooks and Mary Bartington married on Christmas day in 1868 at St. John’s Church in Manchester, Lancashire, England. It is not known if there was a particular reason why they chose Christmas day to marry. It could be because that was the only day they could both get off work.

A Great Great Grandmother, Susan Boxwell Malone, married her first husband on 27 December 1854 in Wexford Ireland. She was a Quaker and they were married in the Presbyterian Church. He died just before the birth of their third child, a daughter. Susan then married my Great Great Grandfather Henry Thompson who was also a Quaker.

My Blair Grandparents married on December 27th. I know they chose that time to marry because my Grandfather was working on the Gold Coast in Africa and was home for the holidays.

My parents were married on December 30th. Again I know they married at this time because my father, who had already moved to Canada, had the time off work.

My father had a little glitch getting back to Ireland for the holidays and the wedding. He was working up in Northern Ontario and planned on taking a train into Toronto to get to the airport. The train derailed and he was stuck in Sudbury. His father was working in Toronto and they were due to fly to Dublin together so he gave him a call. He was told to take a taxi to North Bay and then a flight to Toronto. The taxi cost him $90.

He arrived at Toronto airport just in time to spend a little time with the small party that had gathered to wish him well and then get on the flight. This was the time before the big jets and flights overseas were not as regular as they are today. He would not have been able to get a flight to Dublin much before the day of his wedding so anything he had to do, or pay, to get to that flight on time was done.

This was originally published in December 2010

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Advent Calendar – Christmas Music

Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

My parents had a collection of Christmas records from the 1960s. One of my favourites was Jungle Bells by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in 1962. The other favourite was Ballad of the Christmas Donkey by Ed Ames. I could listen to these for hours.

For overall variety it was Mitch Miller and the Gang with two Sing along with Mitch Christmas albums. One was traditional songs and the other the novelty songs of the season. Of course Christmas would not be complete without the Bing Crosby Christmas album. Bing was one of the constants of the season when I was a child.

We sometimes went caroling. I can remember one year doing it with the Girl Guides to collect money for charity. We went from door to door singing our hearts out. One year our church held a caroling service in a local park which was open to everyone in the community. The Salvation Army Band provided the musical back up.

This was originally published in December 2010

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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