When I was a kid, so many years ago, I would wake up on Christmas morning full of expectation and excitement.
Christmas for us meant an early morning, the discovery of what Santa had left, and generally a play day, trying out our new stuff, and for us in those days, helping mum and dad prepare for your annual holiday, which began for us on Boxing Day.
Christmas day was a special day. We would gather around the kitchen table at lunchtime and mum would have spent the morning in probably forty degree heat preparing the baked dinner of a leg of lamb with baked vegies. No matter what the weather and it was usually hot, in fact it was often what we called stinking hot, the baked dinner was the order of the day.
The real treat for us kids was a plastic tree mum would bring out and place on the table to which she attached jelly lollies but we were never allowed any until we had eaten our dinner. So we had to sit there, shovelling in our baked vegies, and we always had green beans, so our plate would be clean and then our opportunity to eat a lolly was given to us.
How they coped in the days where the oven was wood fired has me mystified.
I later years Christmas has changed for me. My own children have grown to adults and they have their own families as well.
We used to have Christmas Eve at the grandparents place, which always meant Christmas Eve Mass, then back to their place for dinner and some Christmas treats, and finally the trip home would be made. We lived about 30 k’s to the east of my In-laws and our trip always took us past a stop where you could see a red light glowing away to the right of us.
Invariably that was a sign that Santa was on the way. The kids would be so excited that he was coming that there would be urgent cries from them to hurry home as they wanted to be in bed before he got there. We used to exacerbate the story by telling them I could see the red light getting closer through my rear window mirror of the car.
It was the only night of the year where my children would jump out of the car, run into the house and be in bed within seconds of our arrival. The sheer thought of not being asleep when he called always guaranteed their being asleep within minutes of our arrival.
It was always a late night for us on Christmas Eve, as we used to have to wait for them to be asleep before filling their Christmas bags, being six of them it took a little while to fill them, sneak out with them, hoping none of them would be awake and leave them under the Christmas tree and then getting some shut eye ourselves.
One year Santa delivered a bike for one of the kids in a box!! For a non-mechanical person such as myself that was a task and a half, especially when I was sure I had put all the bits together only to find two pieces still on the floor. It was by now 3am. I had had enough. I have no idea still where they went and the bike never fell apart.
My kids were always told they couldn’t get up on Christmas morning if the sun wasn’t up. Being summer and day light saving here, it would be 5,30 – 6am before they could be heard running around excitedly showing off their Santa gifts.
One year to my horror my eldest daughter got up before any of the others and checked out everyone’s gifts and decided some of the other kids gifts were better than hers and so swopped them round. I had to say to her that I had been up earlier and noticed who got what from Santa and that she couldn’t help herself to the other kid’s gifts or swop them round.
Nowadays I spend my Christmas Day at home go in and have morning tea with my neighbour sit on his back veranda and watch the goings on in nature happening around us.
My kids who are married all have the demands of their respective husbands and wives families to address. This year my two sons, Jordan and Lucas will be with me on Christmas Day and that will be good.
That’s ok with me as I am happy to spend my morning taking it easy, relaxing and doing not much.
We will probably enjoy our ham sandwich as is our fare now days for Christmas lunch, much the horror of others and I’m sure some of you.
The ham sandwich began some years ago when my dad and my sister were together for Christmas lunch and dad had not made any special preparations for his lunch and the only thing in the fridge was some ham. So they had a ham sandwich and when I brought dad home one Christmas from the nursing home he wanted a ham sandwich. So that’s what we have.
My Christmas happens on Christmas afternoon evening. My kids and their families will come around, my brother as well and his family and we will eat whatever is left over, drink whatever is left to drink and always enjoy each other’s company. With grandkids Christmas has a new dimension, as they are little now and for some it doesn’t mean anything but for the older ones it’s a new level of excitement for me.
Meals as far as I’m concerned are always cold ones, it’s far too hot and often the humidity is high as well so it’s uncomfortable enough without turning on the oven. Thank goodness for air con. How did we ever cope without it?
So that in a nutshell is my Christmas, quiet and peaceful usually, with a lovely gathering on Christmas night. My eldest son will be around on Boxing Day, as he doesn’t arrive here until Christmas night after travelling back from New Guinea where he works.
Though this year I expect there will be the occasional blogger to chat with as those of you behind us in time will not quite be there for our Christmas Day.
Below are some views to give you some idea of the light-hearted way we view Christmas:
Today is Christmas Day in my part of the world so to all of you who read this blog, who like my work and make the loveliest comments, I thank you. I have made some wonderful friends in blog land; I hope we continue into 2014
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL.