Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Sharing Childhood Memories November 5, 2010

Today is an important holiday in my culture-of-origin. In the U.K. it’s Guy Fawkes’ Night or, as it’s more commonly known, Bonfire Night. It’s a cross between the 4th of July, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, when we Brits–in order to show our gratitude for our Government not being blown to smithereens by a bunch of 17th century ne’er-do-gooders–light bonfires, set off fireworks, stuff our faces with roast chestnuts, parkin, and bonfire toffee, and then burn effigies of the traitors. It’s all very barbaric, but it was still always my second favorite holiday, after Christmas.

Now that I live 6,000 miles away from my hometown, I miss Bonfire Night. On my list of fondest childhood memories, Bonfire Night ranks pretty near the top. And it makes me sad sometimes (this year, apparently) that I have no one to pass along these memories and traditions to. I’ll never get the chance to tell stories of my favorite Bonfire Nights to my children or make Bonfire Toffee that they’ll remember 30 or 40 years later.

I’m sure part of my melancholy comes from knowing my own childhood is gone, but sharing days like this with my own children is one of the things I’m sad I’ll never get to do.



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6 Responses to “Sharing Childhood Memories”

  1. happynenes Says:

    Yes, this kind of thing makes me sad from time to time too. I didn’t do Christmas for a couple of years. My thought was, we’re adults. What point is there to celebrate this commercial holiday if we don’t have kids? Then, last year, I thought, hell with it. It’s depressing not to do Christmas. So we got a tree and decorated and all that. We had a great time. Turns out, I love decorating the tree (from childhood, I’d forgotten). My husband got as kid-like as I think I’ve ever seen him.

    This Halloween (a holiday I also eschewed and mourned as a kids holiday, probably since adulthood, even though it is my favorite) I dressed up in the morning and carved pumpkins. We went to a football game and had some beers. I got interviewed on TV because I was in costume. It was one of the best Halloweens I can remember!

    My point is, we don’t have to give up celebrating these holidays just because we don’t have children to share them with. Our lives are worthy of celebration!

    Having done it both ways, I think it’s definitely sadder not to celebrate than to celebrate sans kids.

    Maybe a Guy Faukes beach bonfire with sparklers is in order! What a great excuse for a party, right?

    • lmanterfield Says:

      You’re so right. I don’t think of Christmas as a kids’ holiday, I think of it as MY holiday! LOL. I love getting a tree and opening presents in bed. I have definitely become a holiday poop these past years, but you are inspiring me to SNAP OUT OF IT! Is it too late to order a Turkey (for two) for Thursday?

  2. Mali Says:

    Down in NZ, we still celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Night. But I didn’t see the point this year. So sat inside with the curtains closed as the sky rockets flared outside the window. Bah humbug? Yes a little. But blogging can be a way of sharing your memories and traditions. I’d love to hear your stories.

    Christmas though, is another matter. I’ve heard people say “Christmas if only for kids.” But it’s not! I love my tree, and I collect decorations from all sorts of places. I make my own rituals – my mini mince pies are delicious if I do say so myself – and share them with family, nieces and nephews when they’re around. When they’re not (like this year), we go off and do something adult and sophisticated and fun.

  3. loribeth Says:

    It drives me nuts when people say, “Christmas is for kids.” (Especially when it’s an excuse not to buy presents for other adults, including me, lol. Meanwhile, of course, I still have to buy presents for THEIR kids!!) I think Christmas is for everyone.

    • Mali Says:

      Loribeth, don’t get me started on the whole “buying presents for their kids” thing. (Too late, lol). Birthday and Christmas presents, graduation presents, for 18 years, multiply by number of nieces, nephews, godsons/daughters, and children of friends. Add in international postage costs. I hate to think. (Ouch … I couldn’t resist and just did some sums).

      • lmanterfield Says:

        A few years ago my sister-in-law suggested I no longer buy gifts for her and my brother as I had bought gifts for their 5 children for years, but they would still send me a gift. We tried it once. I hated it. I wanted to give them a gift and the balance felt all wrong. The following year I went back to my usual routine. I guess if they’d refused to buy me a gift I’d feel differently. 🙂


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