Walnut Grove’s David Nielsen said his favourite Christmas memories are not about gifts but people. (Submitted photo)

LETTER: Langley man’s Christmas memories centre on family, faith and food

Church music is also a special aspect of one local man’s holiday celebrations

Dear Editor,

My first memories of Christmas are being at my grandparents’ place on Christmas Eve. I remember Licorice Allsorts and nuts in the shell, on the coffee table. The large family meal was turkey with a stuffing of apples, prunes and spices. It must be Danish as I don’t know anyone else who made that stuffing.

I don’t remember much about the gifts except I always received a pair of homemade knit socks from my grandmother. The other memory is going to church and singing Away in a Manger.

As I got a little older I remember that we were rather poor, and I knew I would only receive one gift from my parents so it was important that I lobby for what I really wanted. A long list was not an option as they might choose the wrong item. I don’t remember ever believing in Santa Claus. I knew the gifts would be from my family. By this age I was in the Christmas program at church and as I had a loud voice, it usually meant a speaking part.

By Grade 5, I had a paper route so I had my own money. Christmas was a great time to buy myself the gift I knew my parents could not afford. I was also able to get gifts for my parents and siblings with my own money. I remember the Choir Christmas Cantata at church. I am not musical but I do love music and these Cantatas always amazed me. Christmas dinner was now either at our place or at my aunt and uncle’s.

Once married and with my own family, Christmas meant a trip either to Victoria or the north Okanagan so my children could spend Christmas with their grandparents. As we all aged Christmas moved to our place or my sisters. Now we have made the final move and Christmas dinner is at my daughter’s.

Christmas has always meant three things: Getting together with family, a great meal with all the trimmings, and being part of a church service to celebrate the birth of Christ.

I must admit there were a few years as an older child where the gifts took too much importance. Now one of the best parts of Christmas is watching the growing grandchildren taking a role in the Christmas Eve service at their church. It is great to see another generation learning the true reason we celebrate.

Merry Christmas and please remember the first gift of Christmas was the birth of the Messiah.

David Nielsen, Walnut Grove

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

For Langley resident David Nielsen, Christmas is about family, sharing special foods and faith. (David Nielsen photo)

Just Posted

Variety gala moves east to Langley

The second annual One Night in the Valley fundraiser moves to Glass House Estate Winery in April

Langley brewery renames beer as tribute to local Vegas shooting victim

Maple Ridge’s Jordan McIldoon, one of 58 killed in 2017 mass shooting, remembered by Five Roads

Salvation Army Gateway of Hope in need of towel donations

People can bring new or used towels to 5787 Langley Bypass weekdays for the shelter’s shower program

Langley curlers head for showdown in Cranbrook

Team Tardi will be competing in the B.C. men’s championships next week in the Kootenays

White Rock woman seeks fellow hockey players for BC 55+ Games

Sue Rittinger aiming to put Zone 3 women’s team together in time for September event

VIDEO: Youth arrested in Langley mall attack

UPDATE: Young person allegedly hit with gun butt during fight at Willowbrook Shopping Centre Tuesday

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

Mud slide prompts evacuation in Burnaby as rain saturates southern B.C.

About 20 metres of a five to six-metre high wall gave way

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Fraser Valley poultry producer’s $130,000 fight with the CFIA earns him a red-tape award

Canadian Federation of Independent Business Paperweight Awards ‘honour’ government over-regulation

Most Read