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A Billet Mom Talks About “Christmas As A Billet”

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I have many memories over the years with Christmas as a Billet Mom.  Although it was always a bit rushed we still have good memories of Christmas with our Billet Sons through the years. 

As a Billet Mom Christmas had several different meanings for me.  I looked forward to the time I could spend with family and friends.  I actually was glad to have my Billet Son out of the house so I could have a break.  However, with this well deserved break I had a million things I had to get done before the big day arrived.  With shopping for gifts, grocery shopping, baking, Christmas functions to attend and decorating it really didn’t seem like a break at all.

On many occasions our Billet Son would receive our gift as he headed out the door and in turn he would hand us his before he left.  In all the years of Billeting I can only remember one time where we actually had time to sit and enjoy our gifts together.   The usual process was handing our Billet Son his gift before he left and opening his gift on Christmas Day along with our other gifts.  There were times when our Billet Son didn’t even come back to the house after the game.  He would leave directly from the rink with his family so we had to make sure he had his gift before he left for his game.


I never minded shopping for all the different players we had each year.  Christmas Shopping for our Billet Son was always fun.  In the earlier years of Billeting I would actually buy them a gift.  What would he like?  What could he use?  What did he need?  These were all questions we asked ourselves before buying anything.  We found over the years that the best gifts were gift certificates to their favourite coffee shop, restaurant or even a gas station if he owned a car. 

I remember one Christmas we had three players so we bought them gift cards to places that they liked to go to.  After they moved out I found, in one of the boys rooms, those gift cards in a drawer unused.  I was so disappointed and if I had of known that they were going to be stuck in a drawer I would never have spent my hard earned money on them instead I would have put that money towards the needy.


On the rare occasion my Billet Son would ask for help with his shopping.  I loved helping him shop for whoever he needed help with.  Although they never asked me to go shopping with them they did ask for help.  Usually he wanted to know what to buy his Mother or his girlfriend.   If he asked for help I was always there to offer suggestions.  One Billet Son asked for my approval on an item he had purchased for his girlfriend.  


We received a variety of gifts over the years from our Billet Sons undoubtedly purchased by their parents.  Some of these gifts included:  four slice toaster, Panini maker, a coffee maker, plants including a poinsettia, gift cards to our favourite restaurants, chocolates and bath products.  One Christmas our Billet Son even bought Christmas presents for our dog along with a gift for us.

A few of my prized gifts were:  a calendar with pictures of my billet sons, a serving dish that my billet son purchased himself, a mug with my billet sons picture on it and a snow globe with my billet sons picture in it.  I remember one Christmas receiving a beautiful gift from my American Sons family.  This gift included many treats and was shipped from U.S.A.


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Mini Kebob Appetizers

As a Billet Mom we would go to a Billet Christmas party every year.  I would take my mini cheesecakes, mini kebob appetizers or a salad.  We would have hot food as well.  There was always a real variety and lots of food.  Of course we had more desserts then we could eat.

We would get together on a night when the boys had a game out of town.  This usually took place a couple of weeks before Christmas.  We had a great time socializing with people that Billeted just like we did.  We would sit around sharing stories and we had lots and lots of laughs.  Some of us would make an attempt to watch the game but it was usually too noisy to hear it.  We would be content to check the score.  


The hockey team always had their own Christmas party at the rink.  This was usually held after practise one night before their Christmas break.  This was one of those nights that I didn’t have to cook a meal.

They had Secret Santa and had to buy a gag gift for the person whose name they got.  We had many laughs over some of the gifts that they purchased for their name.  Some even made their own gag gift.  We had one player who couldn’t be bothered thinking up something suitable for the name he had drawn.  I remember him scrambling at the last minute trying to put together his gift.  I had to find a gift bag and some tissue paper.  All he ended up doing was throwing a bunch of candy in the bag.  I felt sorry for the player who received his gift that year as our Billet Son put absolutely zero thought into it.  I was very disappointed in him and told him so.

Here are some gag gift ideas and even some gag gifts that you can make.


Our local hockey team was always generous at Christmas.  We would have a Christmas dinner after the last game before Christmas.  Here we would all gather and enjoy a delicious meal, usually turkey.  The meal was held at a restaurant nearby or in the later years we had it right at the restaurant in the arena.  The players could hardly wait to eat so they could leave town for their much needed Christmas holiday.  

Near the end of the meal the rookies would perform their Christmas song.  They would make up a song about all their coaches and teammates and sing it to the tune of a Christmas Carol.  These songs were so funny and liked by everyone.  It got even funnier when there were only three or four rookies on the team that had to do the singing and none of them could sing.

At the last game before the Christmas break we received the usual Christmas card signed by the management with a gift card to a local restaurant enclosed.  This was always a welcome gift as we could go out and enjoy a meal.


We had a Billet Son who loved Christmas and would look for decorations to decorate his room.  He would string up lights all over.  One year he even put a Reindeer in his room.  The reindeer lit up and he was so proud of it.  He put lights in his bedroom window as well.  I never thought about it at the time but I wish I had taken a picture of his Christmas masterpiece.


I baked dozens of cookies for the boys to eat at Christmas and even sent plates of cookies with them on a road trip.  I also would send cookies for them to have in the dressing room after a practise.


Our Billet Sons always looked forward to Christmas as they got a break away from hockey.  They usually got seven to ten days off which meant to could go home and spend time with their family and friends. 

The parents really looked forward to having their Son home, especially those who lived far away as they couldn’t get to many of his games.  However, I can remember one Mother telling me that they only saw their Son Christmas Day the rest of his time he was busy visiting his friends.

Yes, Christmas was a very busy time for us as Billets.  We didn’t get to spend Christmas with our Billet Son but it was more important that he got to go home.  We loved to see how happy he was that he had time away from hockey and could finally go home for a well deserved break.   


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