Hi everyone so I suppose this week you feel like me and the rest of the world – Christmas was ages away. We’re all back at work convincing ourselves that we like being “back to normal”. I had the best Christmas I’d had for a long time, mostly because it was spent with my lovely family. Magic moments spent making wonderful memories. I made a conscious effort to absorb the excitement of my grandchildren, drink in the fun and laughter that my grown up children brought me and spend lots of chill out time at home. It was great to catch up with my lovely sister and nephew too. Christmas time is always great for reflection too but isn’t if funny how time changes our minds about things.
I remember in the early 80’s I was back living at home with my baby daughter, sister, brothers and Mam and Dad. My parents were, as always, on the bones of their backsides but had decided (who knows how) to get a mortgage and buy a house. This meant moving from Billingham to Stockton. They absolutely adored their newly acquired Mausoleum. This house was an old Victorian street house with drafts, ghosts but much more space. Our first Christmas there was dire. None of us had any money so we were informed mid December that it was going to be egg and chips for Xmas lunch. Well, I don’t eat eggs and we had (Mams speciality) chips every day so not much to look forward to there then. As the big day loomed I was sure that Bill & Ena (my folks) would pull something out of the bag so I got as excited as I usually did when they announced on Christmas Eve that they were going Xmas shopping. Imagine my disappointment on Christmas morning when each of us had one solitary present each to open. Gutted wasn’t the word. To hide my disappointment I held back from opening mine until the others had opened theirs. I wanted to try and gauge the quality of the stuff we were going to receive. Needless to say it was rubbish. Poor mam and dad had spent all their money on us and every present was naff. I got the worst one I reckon – a burgundy velvet skirt with a gold plastic belt. Yuk! How could I possibly pretend to like it. They looked expectantly at me as I held it up against me. It was too big (phew I wouldn’t have to wear it then) and I burst out laughing when Bill told me that I would grow into it. The day seemed to get better from them on. They set the table all ready for a Xmas feast and we ate our egg and chips, or in my case chips with happy hearts. Ena, little gem that she was, came up trumps with a large bar of fruit and nut after lunch and divvied it up between us. I know this sounds like a Chubby Brown sketch but it really did happen.
After Christmas when people would ask “did you have a good Christmas “? I would stare in disbelief when mam would say “yes it was lovely”. I was sure it was the worst Christmas I could have ever had but looking back it was the best. I would happily give up all my expensive presents, traditional lunch, champagne and chocolates to have had Bill and Ena back. And of course my burgundy skirt which would no doubt be too tight now. It’s the moments in your life that keep you smiling – they don’t all have to be champagne ones.
Love & Light Spooky x