Thursday, December 8, 2011
Christmas on Flynn's Hill
My Mom often told the story of how exciting it was to receive an orange in their stocking at Christmas, to carry on that tradition, we received an orange or a tangerine in our stockings as well.
In a recent visit with Aunt Agnes, she shared her stories of Christmas, stating that when she came to the United States, she really missed the traditions of Christmas from back home. Although they didn't have very much, Christmas was a very exciting time for them.
On Christmas Eve, the children went from house to house visiting neighbors. They were given fruitcake, cookies and occasional sips of wine. She remembers visitors stopping by their house as well, singing carols, telling stories and there always was laughter. Their father shared his homemade moonshine with the guests.
Aunt Agnes states they never had a Christmas Tree, but stockings were hung with high hopes Santa Claus would come. The stocking they hung, were not store bought or as elaborate, like the fancy ones we use today. They were their own stocking, that they wore to keep their feet warm and ones they were taught to knit themselves. To quote Aunt Agnes " Receiving an orange in your stocking was like receiving a million bucks" They also received small trinkets, mouth organs, (what we call harmonicas) candies and sometimes an apple. They were grateful for these simple gifts.
She remembers being extremely upset to learn there was no Santa Claus, she explains her mother would send Mary (my mother), to the store, when she returned she would often hide things and was very secretive. Being the oldest, she was given this responsibility and the burden of keeping this secret. As always, the spirit of Christmas lived on.