Saturday, December 14, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Pauleen's Christmas Meme

Randy at Genea-Musings invites his readers to participate in “THE 2012 CHRISTMAS GENEAMEME (IN 2013)” for his weekly Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. It’s easy to do, especially if you follow his three steps:

1) Copy and paste the meme questions into your blog or word processor, and then answer the questions. You could use short statements, long paragraphs or provide a link to one of your earlier posts.
2) Tell us about your meme answers in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this post, or on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.
3) Be sure to leave a comment on Pauleen's blog post about your entry in this Christmas 2013 Geneameme. She'll be surprised!

1. Do you have any special Xmas traditions in your family?
– Being gathered together as a family is the most special tradition we have in my family.

2. Is church attendance an important part of your Christmas celebrations and do you go the evening before or on Xmas Day?
– Attending Mass at Christmas was a very important part of my family’s life when my brother, sister and I were children and teenagers. As children, we went to morning Mass on Christmas Day, but as we got older, we went to Midnight Mass. When my son was younger, my husband and I would take him to the early Mass on Christmas Eve.

3. Did/do you or your children/grandchildren believe in Santa?
– I certainly believed in Santa as a little girl. Mom made sure to leave cookies and milk for him before we went to bed. I continued that tradition with my son when he was young.

4. Do you go carolling in your neighbourhood?
– I never carolled in my neighborhood, too shy, but loved it when people came to our front door.

5. What’s your favourite Christmas music?
– I love French traditional hymns like “Minuit, Chrétiens” and “Les anges dans nos campagnes”, and English songs like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Deck the Halls”.

6. What’s your favourite Christmas carol?
– I don’t think I have an all-time favorite carol, but I used to love singing Christmas hymns in Latin at Mass during the holidays.

7. Do you have a special Xmas movie/book you like to watch/read?
– My sister and I loved it when Mom read us ’Twas the Night Before Christmas at bedtime on Christmas Eve. We had a children’s copy that she used for years. When my son was born, I bought a new copy of that classic to read to him.

8. Does your family do individual gifts, gifts for littlies only, Secret Santa (aka Kris Kringle)?
– I guess it depends on the year, but mostly we exchange gifts. Some years, we pick names and give a person a gift (all the children, though, get gifts from everyone). One year, my husband and I gave to the Red Cross the equivalent of what we would spend on Boxing Day sales. We should do that more often, even though we rarely now go out to the sales on Boxing Day.

9. Is your main Christmas meal indoors or outdoors, at home or away?
– Growing up in northeastern Ontario, Christmas supper was always indoors. Now that we live in the milder climate of the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, it’s still indoors, although there’s rarely snow outside, but often rain.

10. What do you eat as your main course for the Christmas meal?
– It’s always the same and we love it!: roast turkey, Mom’s plain bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, carrots and Brussels sprouts or broccoli. For dessert, we have our favorite homemade Christmas cookies and fruitcake.

11. Do you have a special recipe you use for Xmas?
– We sure do! Mom makes all her cookies from an old, dog-eared Five Roses cookbook she’s had for years.

12. Does Christmas pudding feature on the Xmas menu? Is it your recipe or one you inherited?
– Nope, never; it’s not a French-Canadian tradition.

13. Do you have any other special Christmas foods? What are they?
– Mom makes deep-fried doughnuts with cinnamon and sugar and butter tarts once a year, only at Christmas.

14. Do you give home-made food/craft for gifts at Christmas?
– For the past few years, Mom makes a tourtière (meatpie) as a gift to Uncle Ray, my Dad’s brother who lives near us.

15. Do you return to your family for Xmas or vice versa?
– Christmas Day was spent at my parents’, but after Dad has passed away, it’s always celebrated at my home. My brother and sister and their families come here, since I have the biggest house. We might go to my sister’s place for Boxing Day, though.

16. Is your Christmas celebrated differently from your childhood ones? If yes, how does it differ?
– It’s different now that we live in B.C., because there’s only a handful of relatives here and most live some distance from us. In the past, Mom would almost always host the Réveillon at our home after Midnight Mass. We’d then go to which ever relatives hadn’t come to our house for Christmas supper for Boxing Day supper. We also visited friends and family for the next few days, going from house to house, enjoying some Christmas cheer and company. It was a French-Canadian Catholic thing.

17. How do you celebrate Xmas with your friends? Lunch? Pre-Xmas outings? Drop-ins?
– We don’t have pre-Christmas traditions in my family; we’re too busy getting all the baking, cleaning and other preparations done for the big day.

18. Do you decorate your house with lights? A little or a lot?
– Lots of lights take up lots of time, but I’m happy a multi-coloured string of lights at our house’s roofline. Our Christmas tree is always centered in front of the living room picture window, so that adds more decorative lighting to our house.

19. Is your neighbourhood a “Xmas lights” tour venue?
– Not that many families have Christmas lights on their houses in our neighborhood, but we like to drive around our small town to see all the decorated houses.

20. Does your family attend Carols by Candlelight singalongs/concerts? Where?
– The lights are dimmed at the evening or midnight Christmas Mass, and we sing traditional hymns; does that count?

21. Have any of your Christmases been spent camping (unlikely for our northern-hemisphere friends)?
– Camping in winter? I don’t think so :-)

22. Is Christmas spent at your home, with family or at a holiday venue?
– Always at home, but I dream of the day when I can go to a fancy out-of-town hotel for Christmas, just to get away from the hustle and bustle of preparing it at home.

23. Do you have snow for Christmas where you live?
 – Unfortunately, no. In BC where I live, there might be snow once about 5-6 years. But during my childhood Christmases, there was snow, snow and more snow!

24. Do you have a Christmas tree every year?
– Gotta have a tree; it’s not Christmas without one! I can remember only two years that we didn’t have a tree: the year we went to Disneyland and the year we visited my sister and her family after she recently moved out-of-province.

25. Is your Christmas tree a live tree (potted/harvested) or an imitation?
– Most years it’s an artificial tree, but now and then we either go in the woods and get a real tree or buy one from a tree farm.

26. Do you have special Xmas tree decorations?
– The most special tree decorations I have are my Mom’s glass ball ornaments, the kind that were popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Plus, I still have the crêche (manger) that’s been in my family since I was a baby.

27. Which is more important to your family, Christmas or Thanksgiving? Noël, of course!

I’ve done my post, left a comment on Randy’s blog, and one at Pauleen (Cassmob)’s blog!

Copyright © 2013, Yvonne Demoskoff.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for joining in the fun Yvonne! I really enjoyed reading about your French Canadian traditions.

    I didn't know the carols by their French names and enjoyed listening to them on YouTube (isn't it great for things like this?)

    Could also relate all too easily to the cleaning, baking etc preparations ;-)

    Your comment about the lights dimmed, candles lit and carols being sung at Midnight Mass brought memories flooding back.

    I wish you and your family a very happy Christmas.