Christmas, on the island, was a time not forgotten by any of the children who were old enough to remember. There was food as had not been seen all year. Large buckets of figurine- shaped rock candy called "Barley Toys", some shaped like little angels, some like bears, some like Santa. Ribbon candy in all colours.
The children helped Stella to make taffy, pulling it over the kitchen table that had been draped with a clean white sheet, their hands coated in butter. Fruit cakes that had been seasoning for months in the pantry. Cakes and muffins and ginger bread men, decorated with little smiles.
The tree was chosen very carefully by George and the older children. It was trimmed by all the members of the family, and Beatrice led everyone in singing Christmas Carols while they decorated the tree. This was always done on Christmas Eve. The house was decorated, no window was missed. There were handmade garlands of crepe paper and boughs of fir, brightened with ribbons of red and green. There was a tiny creche under the tree and a star on the top.
The biggest, fattest turkey, goose or pair of large chickens, depending on what was available, circled with all manner of vegetables, stuffed with a special stuffing that Stella made that is impossible to duplicate, no matter if she gave you the recipe. Preserves of every kind. New outfits made by Stella.
And Christmas morning, George couldn't wait for the sun to come up nor for the children to awake on their own. He sounded a little toy horn that had come courtesy of the Eaton catalogue that he and Stella had been pouring over for months and ordering secret things from for this very special day. There were games, and store bought and handmade toys. Dolls for all the girls and toy wagons and banks for the boys. Little drums and paint sets. A rocking horse that George made for the baby.
The smells already filling the house upon awakening are remembered to this day by all those present. It was truly a time of love and closeness for the family.
A Moment In a Lifetime © 1998-2006, Georgette Backs - All Rights Reserved