Sunday, December 25, 2011

Missing Christmas

A blessed Christmas to all.

It has been very difficult for me to get into the Christmas spirit this year. I went through the motion of buying presents for everyone just because.  A couple of weeks ago, I was entering this online competition and had to answer in 25 words or less the question, "What makes Christmas special to you and why?"  I stared at the computer screen for a long time, not knowing what to write.  Ended up with nothing.  How pathetic.

I miss Christmases of my childhood so much.  Sometimes I just cry reminiscing about them.

We always got to wear brand new clothes and shoes for Christmas eve mass.  And the "feast" we had was the only time of the year we got to eat lots of ham, apples, walnuts, special cheese....

We had special, battery-operated toys that my parents only brought out during the Christmas season.  As soon as the season was over, the toys got packed up and stored until the next Christmas.  We never got tired of those toys.  The mere sight of my mom opening a fresh pack of batteries excited us.

We were a big family so there were definitely lots of presents too.  I didn't mind getting clothes instead of toys.

Christmas day lunch was spent at my aunties' house.  They had a huge house and they always cooked the best food and baked the greatest cakes and pastries. After lunch, we always played Black Jack.  We had great fun. Of course, more presents followed from my grandparents and aunties.  They always handed newly printed money, fresh from the bank!

Here is a photo of my big family, taken Christmas day of 1982. (I am 4th from the right, back row.) Since then, 6 of those in the photo have already passed away.  I miss them all very much.

These days, Christmas is totally different.  The anticipation, the excitement, the time spent with our extended family, relatives and friends are just not the same.  The kids today do not seem to have that same spirit that we had. I wish I could give my own children a better Christmas they can look back to and smile about when they're older. I just don't know how.

I am just tired, I guess.  I've been baking nonstop...I've had no time to pause and reflect.  I do long to experience real Christmas joy.

Before I go, here's the cake I made for our celebration today.  I opted for a safe flavour, chocolate.  Made the gumpaste decorations a week ago as I did not want to stress out at the last minute.  Yesterday, my husband accidentally sat on my poinsettia centerpiece and three of the petals broke.  I nearly died.  Repaired them with edible glue and covered up the cracks with petal dust.  Not too happy but it will do.

Again, have a blessed Christmas!  Peace, joy, love, and hope to all.


  1. Corinne, your cake is just beautiful and I can imagine it tastes almost as good as it looks! That picture of your beautiful family was taken exactly one week after I got married and at the time my family was just a bit smaller than yours. Now with my parents and all their descendants, we have almost 80 in the family! But I only have one sister who lives near me. All the others live many hours or many days away, so I understand how you feel about how Christmas is different than it used to be. I guess we should just be grateful that, regardless of our current situation, we still have the joy of knowing that Jesus became one of us so that we could spend eternity with Him in heaven. Merry Christmas to you!


  2. Corinne, just stumbled into your blog. We had a first party already yesterday, it was not too pleasing, even though we, my husband and me, prepared a lovely dinner and made everything to make our guests feel welcome. Sometimes, it just doesn't help anything when guests don't want to get into the Christmas mood. But at least I'm looking forward to spending this evening at my parent's place. There will be one of our favorite meals, lot's of talks and laughter, music and candles. I don't like too much getting presents, I prefer making presents to others, especially to children. We have a little daughter, and another baby will be with us in 3 or 4 weeks. (So I have quite a round belly.)
    I think it's very difficult to "learn" to our children that spirit of Christmas. They grow up in an environment where so many things can be bought (instead of made by themselves), they get from other relatives all those toys, there's a constant flow of presents for all occasions. So many kids don't like getting nice clothes for Christmases (or birthdays). Even though most of that part of education still lies ahead of me, I doubt if I will manage to show to my children what Christmas can be about. The way I used to experience it.

    Your cake looks absolutely gorgeous - I envy you, you're an artist! I'm preparing a "Buche de Noël" now, that's a typical French Christmas desert for tonight. Hope I'll manage to add some edible holly leaves and berries, and if they turn out only half as beautiful as your decoration, I will be very proud. :-)

    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas with the ones you love! Doris from Switzerland

  3. Hi Corine,

    Babelina brings it to the point...

    first year that we said, we won't give the adults presents...

    anyway I bought a little something for my husband and he for me...

    We will see how the get together with the rest of the famliy works today...

    there is a saying you can pick your friends, but not your family... so it is the greatest gift, when family gets along very well...

    Take care and enjoy the birth of christ... that what keeps me going...

    warmest regards from Germany


  4. I too miss Christmas past. I miss my dad playing Scrooge by going in his room and not participating in the gift giving. Yet magically, there was a handmade present for everyone who came into the house under that tree even unexpected guests with only their name but not the givers. I miss my younger brother putting on his Santa hat and Ho Ho HOing as he gave out the gifts. I miss my mom's attempts at cooking, and my aunt's jello salad. I miss my traditional gift of banana nut bread from her.
    Yes Christmas past is always remembered fondly but Christmas Present is soon to be Christmas Past. Your children will remember those wonderful cakes you made and the love in your eyes.
    Give handmade gifts at Christmas and save the bigger gifts for birthdays. Then they will remember Christmas as a family time not a gift time as you do. May your Christmas Present be remembered fondly as it passes.

  5. Just wanted to to say thank you for all you share. you are a lovely person and wish you a peaceful and love filled 2012.