I have a very special Christmas themed Guest Writer piece this week. It’s from Sharon Harvey and as I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s a real treat.
Memories of Christmas
Christmas is a time for families to enjoy. My late Mum and I certainly did.
We would decorate the room first with those balloons and those paper bells (remember those?!) hanging from the ceiling and other decorative Christmas stuff. Then it was time for the Christmas tree. The same love and attention went into that that went into the rest of the room. The only time it went wrong was when I decided to try and be brave and offered to get up the ladders and do the ceiling decorations. Mum knew of my fear of heights and so was slightly concerned why I offered but she relented and up the ladder I went to continue where she had left off. Only it wasn’t that simple, was it? No, to my utter horror, I froze and said:
“I can’t move!’
I couldn’t obviously see my mum’s face but she tried to coax me down but to no avail. I was willing to go – my body not so much!
Eventually, though goodness knows how, I managed to get down and back up went Mum to finish off her job that she had started.
Anyway, we got on with the Christmas tree although my little incident didn’t go without a couple of mentions – that was us, and lots of giggles and head shakes followed!
After all that had been completed we started on the baking. We baked cakes, mince pies, etc. Mum told me when I was younger we had to make more mince pies as Santa loved them, which I found out when I left one out for him when I went to bed Christmas Eve night to wake up Christmas Morning and it had gone.
Talking of which, I had gone to bed to await Santa’s visit and the next morning when I woke up, my eyes widened at all the presents at the end of my bed. I would tear the paper off of them and then run downstairs and be astounded at the amount of presents awaiting for me under the tree, remembering what had been up on my bed.
Over the years our custom continued: the decorating of the room (though I never offered to get up the ladder again, quite possibly to everyone’s relief!), the Christmas tree and the baking. Once again, more mince pies were baked though it did then occur to me that Mum loved mince pies…
‘Those mince pies were never for Santa were they, they were for you!’ I turned to say to her.
Her reply? A smirk.
Since her death over Christmas I had really mixed feelings about it. Do I still enjoy it and remember the fun times we had or remember what had been cruelly ripped from me?
I did hate it for a while but after I thought about it, whilst I think she would probably have ‘allowed’ me to feel upset over Christmas because of her death, I think she would have then said, ‘Okay, come on now, start enjoying it for me, for us, for what it meant to us and our enjoyment of the time.’
Now, I go to her grave with a wreath – wearing my Christmas hat, and I can see her laughing like mad at the sight!
And she would have loved the Santa sleigh that now comes around, which didn’t back then, Christmas songs blaring out, and Santa waving at you and wishing you a Happy Christmas. She certainly would have had a selfie with him and no doubt the mince pies would have been mentioned!
Happy Christmas, Mum, and thanks for the memories. Love and miss you always.