Dad's laughter can almost be heard emanating from this old photograph taken when I was three. That's me in the foreground giggling. It must have been something Uncle Ken said. Uncle Ken was always cracking jokes. He was a creative guy who owned a pottery and glass shop in Kingston, London.
The whole family would gather together in the village of Hacheston in Suffolk every Christmas. Some year's we would gather at my grandmother's home located down Bent Lane nicknamed bunny rabbit lane by the kids.
It was down "bunny rabbit lane" that my memories of what Christmas really meant came to fruition.
For me Christmas was filled with family and friends, cutting down a tree under the dark evening sky, from the neighbors farm, unsuspecting to him, or so we thought! Lots of cheer and laughter, long walks and games played by all, roasting chestnuts over an open fire; yes, we were a true Christmas cliche!
And of course Christmas Crackers were always part of our celebration. The cracker wrappings and hats are strewn about on the dining table in the image above.
Christmas Crackers are an English tradition. Created in 1845 by an English sweet maker ( candy maker) named Tom Smith.
Each table setting would have a cracker placed on it. Upon gathering around for the start of the holiday festivities we would link arms around the table and then count "1-2-3" and pull.
With each pull the crackers would do just that, "crack and bang" (gun-powder paper is used to make them).
Inside would be a trinket, a paper hat and a really bad joke. We would go around the table, each telling our joke, the next one worse than the first! And, then inevitably we had to get a holiday picture with each of us wearing our goofy, pointy, paper hat.
These were memorable times. Memories sparked by frosty mornings and the blanket of just fallen snow here in New England.
We at In-Home hope you are all enjoying the memories that this holiday season brings back as you prepare for your gatherings and festivities too!