This week’s Remember the Time Blog Hop has the theme: Merry Christmas!
Well, what else could have been chosen for this week?
Christmas Eve. My sister and I would be put to bed, but we couldn’t get to sleep. Her bed was by the window and she would pull back the curtains, just a little, and peer out into the dark night sky. Somewhere up there a man dressed in red was flying from house to house delivering presents down chimneys. She hoped beyond hope for a glimpse, especially of the reindeer.
Outside our bedroom door we could hear our parents moving softly around the house, up and down the stairs. This was most unusual. Occasionally there would be a faint rustle of paper, but if we suspected what was going on we never voiced our thoughts. We wanted to believe in the magic.
We thought that we would stay awake all night but somehow, at some point, fell asleep. Waking in the morning to a quiet house we would wait, as instructed, until 7am. It was so hard to remain quiet as we whispered and wondered and checked the clock yet again.
Eventually, at the appointed hour, we could wake our parents. But our teenage brother always wanted to sleep! How could he on Christmas morning…
And so we would enter the lounge and stare in awe at the piles of colourfully wrapped parcels. The paper was always the same: slightly crumpled, with a few tears and the remains of previous year’s sticky tape. My mother required that we open each present carefully to preserve the wrapping paper, which she would smooth out and fold before placing it in a storage box. Somehow this ritual did nothing to spoil our belief in Santa Claus.
The new toys were treasured, the books set aside for later, the clothes from ancient relatives (probably in their thirties at the time) discarded. And then there were the selection boxes. Chocolate bars, bags of candy and toffees would be consumed for breakfast as we struggled to remove the packaging from the toys we had longed for, and many that we had not realised we had wanted but now adored.
Eventually we would have to dress and get into the car to go fetch Grandma. This was not a chore as the unfailingly generous soul always gave us a major new toy. Throughout the journey we would try to guess what it might be, what from the list that we had sent to Santa had we not yet received?
When all presents had been opened and Grandma had been safely brought back to our house my mother would serve dinner. I was a hungry child and loved this day, when I could eat my fill without fear of comments about my girth. Replete we would settle down in front of the television to watch the Christmas film, hugging a favourite toy from the day’s haul.
My Grandma never wished to stay for long after the meal and my father would be required to drive her home. My sister and I would return to snacking on our confectionery and investigating toys that had not yet warranted much attention. Having produced all the food, my mother would be left to clear up the debris from dinner.
By the evening we would be tired from the excitement and activity; we would go to our beds hugging a new, soft friend.
I have only happy memories of the Christmases of my childhood. It was a magical time, as rose tinted as they come.
I feel blessed to have had parents who made it so.
Read the other posts in this Blog Hop by clicking on the link below