As soon as we were finished eating the big noon meal us kids were ready to go. However, we had to stay at the table for an appropriate time. We had to wait until all were finished eating. Once released away we would go for the rest of the afternoon.
We all had Christmas presents to play with and share with the other kids. Amongst the eight kids there were usually a few new games to play. We played old games. We loved playing monopoly. We played with each others toys. We ran through the house and chased each other.
There were dishes of candy and nuts laid out so that we could help ourselves. Not many kids would turn down helping themselves to candy. We would sometimes sing when one of the adults would play the piano. We would sometimes play outside if the weather was suitable and especially if one kid got a new sleigh or toboggan. It was generally a very boisterous afternoon.
So when we left the table our mothers would start cleaning up. There was a huge pile of dishes and pots and pans to wash. There was lots of leftover food to be put away. There was no refrigeration so much of it was stored in the porch which was unheated.
Since we were farmers there were animals that had to be looked after. Our Dad's would go out to do the "chores" There were animals to feed and cows to milk. Our uncle had to take his horses and go back to his farm to look after the animals.
About the time Mom and her cousin had finished cleaning up it was almost time for them to start preparing the evening meal. Our dad's would be back from doing their chores. The evening meal consisted of reheating what we had at noon.
So again us kids had much more fun and play time although we slowed down a bit.
About midnight a cold plate and Christmas goodies were laid out and coffee made. You guessed it. The cold plate was leftover from the noon meal. So ended our Christmas day.
Tired little kids went fast asleep in few minutes.
I look back at these times and see how hard our mothers worked. I also see how fortunate we were to enjoy good food and good company. I also see that there are very few families today who get together for great times.
I can look back wistfully at these good times. There are good times today only smaller and a little different. We can't have the large family gatherings as families live very far apart now. My daughter lives in the Chicago area and my son lives on the west coast so there's no spending a day with the family. We can't have large family gatherings because our families aren't very large anymore.
I was thinking about photos for this post. I do not remember seeing any photos from our Christmas day celebrations.
However, it is pleasant to look back at Christmas past and remember how we enjoyed the day.
Where ever you are , I hope you have a wonderful Christmas