A friend phoned me earlier. She wanted to wish me a ‘Happy Christmas’ in lieu of tomorrow and asked if I was going to write anything on my Blog. ‘About what?’, I asked, ‘because I really don’t feel like writing anything at the moment’. ‘But its Christmas’, she reminded me, ‘so you could write something’. ‘Well, I didn’t intend to’, I told her. ‘There’s just really nothing I can think of to say at the moment’.
I meant, of course, that everything is so quiet at the moment – at least during the holiday – and I just didn’t want to ‘force write’ anything.
She said . . . ‘Well you could just write about how you remember Christmas as a child; that’s one thing you could say’.
Well, quite honestly, I think that would be a bit boring! But as you asked sweetheart, here is a general memory of it . . . Its only a very general one, as quite honestly, all years felt particularly the same.
It would be from the early 1950’s mainly, when I was still quite young; yet old enough to remember distinct impressions.
Christmas days were all more-or-less the same. The house was full of people from nearby and a few of them shared dinner from a huge table. I remember the turkey being sliced up (its poor spirit have long since departed to the ‘turkey heaven’!) and people nattering with the usual social talk. The crackers would be pulled and adults would giggle at the childish gifts inside them. There would be the endless Christmas drinks (mainly sherry, red wine and port mainly) but these were strictly for the adults and any children were confined to bottles of ‘pop’ or ‘still’ fruit juice. Then, of course, there was the afternoon session with 78 records being shared on an old radiogram and even people dancing if any sounds happened to be to ‘smoochy’!.
Everybody had a good time though, amidst all the commotion.
That was it mostly. But personally, I always preferred Christmas Eve, to the actual day itself.
I remember, the house itself was huge and old, but every room had a coal-fire which all gave out some heat when one or more were going. My father often used to turn the lights down, as the flames themselves provided more than sufficient light. But that made it very cozy. Christmas may have been looming, but on Christmas Eve’s, it seemed to take such a long time to actually ‘get there’.
I remember our dog often used to go to sleep in front of a lit fire; stretched out on the hearth rug although sleep patterns hadn’t been invented. Sometimes there was a piece of ‘rouge coal’ that would ‘explode’ sending him quivering to the other side of the room. Everybody laughed, but he looked mournfully back as if to say (or rather think) “Don’t laugh at me, you must behave known that piece of coal was going to explode’! Of course, we didn’t. But that was one of the ‘hazards’ of the old open coal-fires.
But it was nice once cuddled up in bed. The flames used to cast flickering shadows all over the room and these almost hypnotized you top sleep sometimes. But this was usually the case in winter months. Christmas Eve was always special though, as there was always the prospect of presents in the morning. But then, of course, the prospect of that long day with a house filled with chattering people! But I always liked Christmas Eve the most.
Happy now, sweetheart?! Because that’s all I can really think to say about that!
Be happy, everyone,
For the moment,