(siette et fîn)
Formerly, there was much intervisitation between members of a large family, and one of the features of Christmas was the family reunion under the roof of grandpa and grandma. But there were also friendly and neighbourly calls, at which Jersey hospitality was manifested even to complete strangers. a person would call at a house, even whilst the frantic preparations for the Christmas dinner or on any day following up the old Christmas Day, and he could be certain to be offered a glass of wine or of cider, even though he were a collector of “rentes”.
In this collection of “rentes,” I well remember walking with my father every Boxing Day afternoon to La Bouctérie, in Trinity, to collect some “rentes.” As soon as we got there, there was the inevitable refreshments. Seeing that there was the return walk along dark lanes (no gas till we got to the Town Mill!) we were invited to stay for “high tea” and what a feast there was for us! Indeed, those were the days when Jersey hospitality was at its highest and certainly at its best!
I am considerably indebted to Messrs. F. Le Maistre and R. Lemprière for much of the information above related, although, except for the Christmas bell-ringing, there appear to be few native Christmas customs.
Evening Post 22/12/1954