My favourite memories of Christmas when I think about it, are really about how mum and dad made the effort for it to be about us kids, even though we didn’t have much and we often struggled.
There was that one year I was obsessed with making paper chains. I was unstoppable and the longer I made a paper chain the longer the next one would be. Mum would lovingly tape them up all through the house, the ceilings were are canopy of paper chains and they hung and dangled down curtain rods and weighed the Christmas tree down, they were everywhere!
Christmas has always been a pretty simple affair in my family, mum and dad did the best with what they had and there were plenty of times when Christmas featured secondhand and handmade or homemade gifts. Like the year that my brother and I both got new to us bikes, in fact it was the first time we ever got proper big kid bikes.
My parents had bought them second hand and my dad being a handy dad, gave everything a good going over and spruced them up to be in the best and newest looking shape he could get them. I remember that year getting up in the wee hours of Christmas morning and the first bits of light were creeping in through the curtain gaps and I could see the glimmer of metal in the living room. I couldn’t help but investigate, and found our bikes resting on their foot stands in the lounge room.
It was only when I was eighteen years old after Christmas lunch that year through fits of laughter I told my parents that the year that we got the bikes, I had actually hopped on mine in the wee hours and tried to ride it around the lounge room quietly. They say they never knew I did that, I say they probably had an idea and don’t want to shatter my Christmas memory.
Oh and there is always the one year when I was six years old and my brother was four and he went “missing”. All was quiet in the house and he was found under his bed scoffing as many lollies and treats from his Christmas stocking in his mouth as he could manage. He was dragged out from under his bed and was forced to surrender all his Christmas treats, let’s just say my Christmas ended up being a very SWEET one!
Ok and finally there is that one time as a teen, when I went snooping for Christmas presents in all mums hiding places and it turned up nothing but lay-by dockets. Upon investigation of the lay-by dockets it was clear that someone (my brother or I) were getting a small TV and the other was getting a small CD player. I convinced myself that as I was the eldest and I was getting a the TV. I lived in secret excitement for weeks leading up to Christmas Day and on the day unwrapped a brand spanking new CD PLAYER. What a blow, I really set myself up to learn one hell of a Christmas lesson that year. But when I look back, it’s one hell of a Christmas memory and one that I have also admitted to my parents and had a good laugh with them about.
As I said earlier Christmas really has always been a simple affair in my family growing up. Bar a few items I’ve mentioned I can’t remember the gifts we received, I can only remember it being a day about us kids to enjoy what we did get and to be together as a family. Some Christmas Day’s ended in big water fights with water balloons and mum and dad launching them off the veranda at my brother and I, in a wet and slippery game akin to dodge ball.
Christmas! What is it for you? What are your best Christmas memories? Presents or moments?