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10/12/2007



buying the presents ...

I wish you lots of presents from
The boys and girls that love you
And may your Christmas be as bright
As stars that shine above you.

Buying the Presents 1934

The notion of exchanging gifts at Christmas can be traced back to the Magi (the Three Wise Men) who, guided by a star in the sky, travelled to Bethlehem to offer gifts to Jesus: gold, incense and myrrh. However, it was not until the 1860s when the story of Santa Claus (St Nicholas) became fashionable that the idea really took hold and it became popular to give gifts to members of your family and friends.

Do you remember your school nativity? I went to a Catholic primary and the nativity played a very important part in the school calendar, well what else would mum have done with her old tea towels? What about Christmas carol concerts, recorders polished (and tuned!), screeching to the tune of Little Donkey, proud parents looking on, such happy times were had by all.

The Christmas tradition seems important to all of you, thanks for all your great memories of the nativity and of Christmas celebrations, I was really amused by all your exploits! Marie screeched on her recorder like I did, but Fiona was a true professional, she really could play. Michele's comment was a classic, I am seriously going to consider hanging entrails from my tree next year, just imagine the look on your visitors' faces!

13 comments:

kelly said...

Thank you for the kind co9mments about my gram. Yes, she was indeed a beauty, inside as well as out. I have always treasured the old photos and hopefully my children will too. I love this little verse you have written here. The old verses are the sweetest I think. Although its been very windy today we have finally had some clear skies and boy did we need it!

Wild Rose said...

Hi Louise,

How this brings back memories ~ Little Donkey! I wrote a post about school nativities this morning ~ they seem to be becoming a thing of the past, which is rather sad.

As for the recorder playing, I was one of them and it was truly awful!!

Marie x

Cowboys & Custard said...

Hi Louise
Did you know that origin of the Christmas stocking came from St Nicholas putting gold coins into the stockings of 'Ladies of the Night' in an attempt to redeem their virtue. Christmas tinsel and decorations was a pagan tradition of hanging animals entrails in the trees as gifts for the Gods..
I think I prefer tinsel on my tree!

Nonnie said...

I still have very fond memories of the School nativity. I remember being an Angel one year, wearing a white sheet and a ring of silver tinsel in my hair. I was also a regular recorder player. I think I played for about 10 years and actually got well beyond the screeching stage but I'm not sure I could play a note now. Love all the traditions of Christmas. I was just reading in the paper this morning how a survey has been done which is showing that more and more people are giving up on so many traditions. Very sad. I will always stick to a traditional Christmas.

Rubyred said...

Hi Louise,I've just been catching up on some of your posts.You certainly brought back fond memories of my Pippa doll!.I played with her for hours.I also had a Janie Strong,do you remember her?

nikkipolani said...

My mom tells me that when we were in Vietnam, we celebrated Christmas with singing in church and a big midnight feast (in the French tradition of reveillon). No presents were exchanged but lots of family and community togetherness.

Ragged Roses said...

Carols, recorder playing and tinsel and making those Christmas stained glass windows with coloured tissue paper - we made those every year at primary school!
Kimx

Country Cottage Chic said...

When I was aged about 7 we moved to a very isolated community in South Africa for my dad's job. there was not much there, no church, the nearest town was 30 miles away & we had a driver to take us to school about 20 miles away.
Anyway, my mum is a born organiser so each year she rallied the troops (er - local children, parents & friends) & put on a Nativity play & a children's Christmas party at the social club. As one of the younger children I was always an angel as the older kids had the prime parts of Mary & Joseph.

However, at the party I got to be chief fairy helper to Father Christmas & handed him the gifts to give to the other children (I have to admit there was a bit of nepotism there as he was played by my dad!)

...... Kristina ...... said...

That brings back fond memories staying behind after school for recorder lessons and the school play oh no i was a king (i begged lol) going up the steps i stood on the cape of the king in front and we all ended up in a pile on the stage steps,my mum laughed so hard and said it was the best play ever!
Kristina x

Katherines Dream said...

Ah Prinary School.....I was always an Angel......and still am lol!!!!not........acording to my hubby anyway.
I can still remember the smell of the school hall floor...freshly varnished during term holidays.
God I feel old now!
Better get on with those Christmas cards I suppose.
Carol xx

Lesley said...

Thanks for reminding me of my school nativity. Happy memories. I was an innkeeper I think. I really wanted to be an angel but didn't we all?!! I will be singing little donkey to myself all day now. ;-) Ahhh I loved primary school.

That's really interesting that gift giving started properly in the 1860s. I wonder what the popular gifts were back then.

Rubyred said...

Ha Louise,you made me laugh about the crossword book and shortbread!I started to dye my hair when I wes 15 and then went natural at 24,only to find mr first grey hair,what a bummer!!

Cowboys & Custard said...

Now I remember ... a Christmas primary school play.. I was some kind of gnome or was it a gremlin? I still have green skin and haven't grown much since.
My mother made me a crepe paper hat with a little bell on it..gosh it's all coming back to me now..
I so wanted to be a fairy but with my pudding basin haircut I didn't stand a chance!