Fond Memories of Christmases Past
Quebec guidelines for indoor gatherings in private homes:
A maximum of 10 people from different addresses or the occupants of three households. When people are one metre apart, wearing a mask or face covering is strongly recommended for people who do not have adequate protection against COVID-19.
Relaxations for indoor gatherings:
Starting on December 23, 2021, measures regarding private gatherings will be relaxed to allow a maximum of 20 people to meet inside homes. It is very strongly recommended that people be adequately vaccinated to take part in these gatherings.
These guidelines were taken directly from the Quebec Government website and we thought it would be responsible of us to share this information as a reminder to everyone to stay safe this Holiday Season.
For almost the past two years, getting together with family and friends has been extremely challenging. With border closings, vaccine passports, and mandatory testing, many people haven’t seen members of their family for over 18 months. Due to this, many of our cherished Holiday traditions have been affected, and although the Holiday Season for many just won’t be the same, we at Team Broady decided to lift the mood by taking a trip down memory lane to reminisce about some of our fondest memories of Christmases past.
The year was 1984… we kids had been up since the crack of dawn, having rushed downstairs to make sure that Santa had arrived! Sure enough, there lay the plate of half-eaten cookies and the stump of a carrot. Although we each got some small toys in our stockings to keep us occupied for the morning, we knew we would have to wait patiently for our Grandparents to arrive before opening the real gifts under the tree. Those few hours were absolute torture! We had to get dressed up in our Christmas-best clothes—usually consisting of a pair of uncomfortable tights and a dress for Catherine, and a collared shirt and dress pants for Mark and our other brothers.
After an eternity of waiting, our Grandparents would eventually arrive and we would all gather in the living room around the Christmas tree, taking turns opening gifts, snapping photos, and having a few good laughs!
Being a predominantly British family, come supper time we had a few special traditions. Everyone would have a Christmas cracker roll at their place, which would be pulled apart with the person sitting next to you. Inside the roll was a paper crown, a small toy, and a joke or riddle. We still laugh about how the paper crown would always rip when our Dad put it on, due to the massive size of his head!
We were always served two very traditional British desserts… one which we loved, and one which we tolerated for good reason. Our Mum’s trifle was to die for. It is a recipe passed down from her mother and contains a layer of sponge cake soaked in sherry, custard, strawberries, and fresh whipped cream. The second dessert was an English Christmas pudding, which was doused in brandy and lit on fire! Our Dad would make quite the spectacle of this, standing at the head of the table while he warmed the brandy in a spoon before pouring it over the “pudding” and setting it ablaze. The reward for eating this dish? You might find a nickel or dime hidden in your pudding, wrapped in wax paper. Maybe even a quarter if you were lucky!
Even though we are not a religious family, after dinner we would head over to the local United Church for the Christmas service. One of our favourite memories now—even though back then we were mortified by embarrassment—was listening to our Dad belting out the hymns and carols at the top of his lungs. Something about those traditional Christmas songs and the atmosphere in the church really brought out the choirboy in him. Our Dad is no longer with us, but the memories we have of him at Christmas will live on through us as we continue some of these traditions with our own families.
Although this year has brought its challenges, and the Holiday Season for many may not be exactly what it used to be, we highly recommend you take a trip down memory lane too, and relive some of your own families’ fondest memories as well.
Happy Holidays from our family to yours.