Looking back at the Festive season

  • Bennie_R97's Avatar
    The crisp cold, the lights, the smell of hot chocolate, mulled wine, salted caramelised nut selection, decorations and Christmas music everywhere you go. When the festive period is among us, these are the things that change the air and everything becomes more magical. Since the pandemic, Christmas for me has changed a lot. The festive season is always the best part of the year. It feels like yesterday that we welcomed 2022 and we’re now only 31 days away to welcome the new year.

    In Italy, the festive season always feels very magical, every town, city and village fills itself with decorations, stands where you can buy cones of chestnuts while walking through the lights. I remember when I was a child, we would go to the historic city center in Rome, where you could find the Christmas markets with the small business stands, food stalls, festive music and lights that in the eyes of a child seemed like a whole new world. I remember the excitement of waking up on the 25th in the morning and my mum would have laid out sweets and chocolate from our bedroom all the way to the Christmas tree creating a trail to follow. Of course as a child I thought it was Santa walking around the house and the sweets falling out of his pockets. We would then open our presents, exchange the chocolates and sweets while our mum would get ready for the Christmas lunch of course helped by my grandma. My granddad instead was in charge of the chimney and making sure the living room full of greens,reds and golds would be warm enough for all of us. I can still hear the crackling of the wood in the fire.

    The rest of our family would arrive, which involved grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. After the amazing food, we’d all play cards around the table, games that we would only play during this time of the year whilst listening to music, eating Panettone and drinking hot chocolate or wine.I miss those Christmas holidays, the people, the catching up, the cousins that you wouldn’t usually see. Everyone always made an effort at Christmas time.

    Moving to the UK made it harder to gather the whole family around like we used to. We are all so busy and some of those close to us have sadly passed away. For them, I have a special candle that is always on during this period because I know they’re always with us.The years pass so quickly, and I’m now an adult. I’m a mum now, and like my mum did for us, I do try my best to make the Festive season a magical time of the year for my children. Seeing the excitement in their eyes, seeing how much they believe in Santa, is something that really warms my heart.

    Experiencing Christmas as a parent, it can be stressful, there are so many expectations to fill in, so much to do, that sometimes it feels more like a chore rather than a time of the year that you can spend with your loved ones. But there are those special moments. Moments where I can see the magic happening in my children's eyes, that makes it all worth it. I still live that magical period through their eyes and that, I’m truly grateful for.

    Here, on the Community, we’ll be celebrating the festive period with all of you, and we really hope that you’ll join us!We’re such a big and diverse community, that I am sure that you all have a specific memory that when you think about it nowadays, it still makes you smile. Whether you celebrate Christmas, or Hanukkah or any other celebration, we’d love to hear from you!

    Fill the comments with these special memories and let’s start to feel the festive spirit. 🎄🌟🎁
    Last edited by Bennie_R97; 02-12-22 at 12:43.
  • 17 Replies

  • Tommysgirl's Avatar
    We used to stay at my grandparents from the start of the school holidays until New Years Day. I remember my grandma and my mum (now both sadly passed away) spending almost all of Christmas Eve baking sausage rolls, mince pies etc, making cakes and trifles and preparing the veg for Christmas lunch. The dog guarding the oven while the turkey was cooking, she wouldn't budge from in front of the oven door! Coming downstairs on Christmas morning to all the presents Santa Claus had left and eating far too much. Nowadays I light a candle for my late loved ones, and have decorations with their names on the Christmas tree. I now spend Christmas Day with my brother and his family, he has two young grandsons so we keep all the traditions going. Lovely to remember the wonderful times.😀🎅🤶🌲
  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 92

    I don't really do Christmas any more. At least, not the big Christmases of yesteryear.

    Very few friends or family within easy reach so we just tend to have a quiet affair, just the two of us (plus the pups).

    For me, the best bit of Christmas is not the day itself, but the couple of days after. Sure, Christmas Dinner is nice enough but my real 'guilty pleasure' is the next couple of days where neither of us have to cook and we live on 'leftovers'. I love nothing better than just grazing on the cold cuts, with some cheese, home-baked bread, pickles and whatever happens to be hiding in the fridge. We're neither of us big on turkey, so we usually do a piece of pork loin, a small chicken and maybe some pigs in blankets which makes for plenty of good eating over the period.

    Always good to have a few nuts, some fruit and a bit of cake, and a tin of Quality Street to hand. Last year my missus made some home made mince pies but accidentally used puff pastry instead of normal. They were absolutely stunning, so we plan to do a few more this year. We collect savings stamps all year at our supermarket so we have a chunk of savings to buy 'extras' at Christmas, and I've been 'saving' a kWh here and there so we can blow a chunk of the energy budget reserves on a bit of baking ahead of time and cooking a proper dinner on the day, but it's the two or three days of low-energy eating that I like most.

    Herself likes to put a tree and the decorations up, but for this year we're going 'minimal'...too tempting for puppies to destroy the full-on effort.

    So, a quiet and relaxed Christmas for me, but no less a merry one for all that.

    To be fair, I prefer to celebrate the solstice myself so the 21st Dec is really the 'big day' for me.

    And just to really make me grumpy that Christmas starts far too early, Radio 2 have already started polluting the airwaves with Michael Bublé.
    Last edited by retrotecchie; 01-12-22 at 20:17.
    Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player. I DON'T work for or on behalf of EON.Next, but am willing to try and help if I can. Not on mains gas, mobile network or mains drainage. House heated almost entirely by baby dragons.
  • JoeSoap's Avatar
    Level 91
    Ah, memories of Christmas. The endless overtime in the months before, working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week just to get enough money to take away that bit of the stress. The worrying about finding, buying and wrapping presents in the small amount of time available when not working the normal huge amounts of overtime needed to make ends meet. Worrying about who's coming on what day(s) and who's staying the night(s) because ''we don't have the room'' or ''I couldn't cook a Christmas Dinner like you do''. Queuing up in supermarkets to get the fresh food on the right day so as it doesn't start to go off. Getting up really early on Christmas morning to do all the prep and still be in the kitchen when others are opening presents. Plying the guests with drinks whilst juggling the cooking and getting over-heated. Watching them all enjoy the food whilst I’m sitting there sweating and not being able to eat much. Clearing up while they're all having a good natter. Endless filling of drinks and providing snacks. Last one to bed as you're the host. Sleeping wherever there is left. Repeat on boxing Day but to a lesser extent.

    Ahhh... memories.

    Last edited by JoeSoap; 02-12-22 at 12:45.
    I'm an Eon Next dual fuel customer with no particular expertise but have some time on my hands that I am using to try and help out a bit.
  • Bennie_R97's Avatar
    @Tommysgirl what a lovely memory, I could literally picture it, it's so nice being able to keep these memories alive and keep the tradition going. Dogs knows as well when it's Christmas ahah, I remember our family dog, would be walking around all the sweets and chocolate and try to get some ahah. 🍫
  • Bennie_R97's Avatar
    @retrotecchie I always find it very interesting how everyone lives ans experiences this festive season in different ways. I love the idea of mince pies in a puff pastry. That sounds delicious only in describing it 😋

    How interesting, the 21st of December is also a very important date for me too, as it is the birthday of my late grandma and I usually light a candle on that day. 🕯

    This year we have a crazy toddler running around the house and we been using decorations that she can play with, without hurting herself. Usually we have glass Christmas balls to put on our tree. It is my little guilty pleasure and also more sustainable as well.

    Light wise, we love having lights all over the house and on the tree as well so this year we have opted for some battery one so we don't let our energy run crazy. 😀
  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 92

    What I think would perk you up a bit and get you more in tune with the occasion are some tasteful low energy festive lights and a nice jolly hat.

    It works for me and really gets me into the swing of Chrimbo.

    Last edited by retrotecchie; 02-12-22 at 11:37.
  • Bennie_R97's Avatar
    @JoeSoap I love how you included the true joys of the Festive season. I can say that I do feel that pressure and trying to giggle things in preparation to our Christmas day, but I do enjoy being the reason why other peoples' days are so special and magical. 🤗
  • Tommysgirl's Avatar
    @Tommysgirl what a lovely memory, I could literally picture it, it's so nice being able to keep these memories alive and keep the tradition going. Dogs knows as well when it's Christmas ahah, I remember our family dog, would be walking around all the sweets and chocolate and try to get some ahah. 🍫
    You're right about dogs knowing when it is Christmas. We always bought my grandmas dog (the one who guarded the oven) presents and she always seemed to know she was about to be given the goodies, she used to run around wagging her tail and looking at the bag with her stuff in! Christmas in Italy sounds magical. I've been to Rome and lots of other places in Italy several times over the years, but never at Christmas. It's one of my favourite countries to visit. 😀🎄🏛🌄