Saturday, 17 December 2011

Advent Calendar, Day 18!

 Welcome to day 18 on Jo's advent calendar!

I made this for my parents the first year I was married - you know, when I had time to do whatever I wanted!  The pattern was in a Cross Stitch & Country Crafts magazine way back in '91.  I changed it to the way I liked it, so it's different than what's in the mag.

Griffin & Garrett had to help me open them!

This family tradition goes back to when I was a little girl.  We never had the traditional Christmas stocking that hung by the fireplace, instead we got tights/pantyhose that were filled with presents, chocolate, nuts and fruit.  Sad to say we stopped it a several years ago, but what fun it was opening all those pressies!

Onto the Christmas crackers!  Now this is nothing new to those of you living in the UK, but here in the states it's not that common.  They are much easier to find now, so we have them at our Christmas dinner and at my parents house when we celebrate with them.  Sometimes we'll use them for the New Year, just depends on where we are and what's going on.

Nathan trying to find out what's inside!
Each person has a cracker at their place setting and after prayers, but before we eat, you pick your partner and pull!  Hopefully your popper will work (make sure you grab it while pulling).  Inside you'll find your paper crown, a joke and a prize.  It depends on what kind you get, some of them now have nice/fancy things in them, but I prefer the silly things.  Then the trading begins! 

One year, my Dad had a huge box full of crackers that he had sent over during the summer - or maybe he brought them home with us while were we visiting - I can't remember!  Anyway, he had them hidden somewhere in the house and my younger brother & I found them.  We proceeded to get out every prize and my Dad couldn't understand why they were all empty come Christmas dinner!  So glad he can laugh about it now - I'm sure it was all my brother's idea anyway.

Last one, our annual trip to DC to see the National Christmas Tree.  I hate to say it, but I was disappointed.  The original tree (since 1978) unfortunately toppled over in February by strong winds.  This tree was okay, but on the short side and bumpy!
Just a little cold, waiting on some snow!

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Christmas and wonderful New Year. 
But don't forget what it's really all about...
My Mom made this while in Arizona - before her hands got too bad.


Mouse said...

wheyyy heyy some one else with nylon stockings don't feel so bad now hahahah ... love the story about the crackers and going to see the tree :) love mouse xxxx

Parsley said...

This made me think about posting what was in MY stocking as a kiddo. Not nylons.LOL

Love the idea of 'crackers'. I have seen them and never thought it would work with only 3 in the house.

Merry Christmas!

DJ said...

Oh, just sent you an e-mail...sorry we missed going to DC with tured out that I had to work, and there were some other things going on too. Hopefully one day I'll get a chance to see the tree! Loved the stories from your childhood...Christmas does tend to bring back memories. Hope to catch you soon! *Hugs*

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Thanks for posting the pic and your traditions.
I never realised that crackers ere so unique to the British.
The year the large boy was 2 he kept asking for white ones whenever we said crackers and we couldn't understand what he meant until we realised he meant prawn crackers which we'd had with the Chinese takeaway the month before!!

geeky Heather said...

LOL!!! I love the nylon "stocking"! That picture is priceless. =)

Joysze said...

LOL! Love the nylon stockings!!

Stitching By A Cornish Sea Shore said...

Your Mum's Nativity is amazing. What would Christmas lunch be without crackers and the corny jokes.

Wishing you a very blessed and joyous Christmas and a happy New Year, may it bring you gifts of joy, health and happiness.

Anne said...

What lovely traditions you have!! The nylon stockings are a hoot!!