Entries for the "December Advent Challenge" 2015
|I didn't always shun the celebration of Christmas, although many people who have only known me as an adult, especially the people who work in my office would probably think that!
Before my parents got divorced, I actually had some lovely Christmases as a child, just like everyone else - with presents and trees and advent calendars, cards strung up along the wall, nativity plays in which I once played the angel Gabriel - the debut to my acting career , hoping it would snow (it often did, in the North of England as I was then). We played Christmas songs on the record player and every Christmas eve my Mum would read me the book "The Night Before Christmas" after I had hung up my stocking and put out a carrot and a mince pie for father Christmas and the reindeer!
I remember it being the one day in the year I was allowed to eat sweets before breakfast and drink fizzy pop. My family is vegetarian and vegan, so we never had the traditional turkey - based Christmas dinner, but food was always a BIG thing and my Mum and I would spend ages planning what we were going to have. (My Dad just ate what he was told! ) Some years we would do a proper nut roast with all the trimmings, others we'd have a party style buffet. Everything was home cooked then - now my Mum and I tend to buy our pre-prepped treats from Marks and Spencers! But back in the 1980's there was neither the choice (for Vegetarians) nor the money!
I remember the cats and dogs eating all the chocolate decorations off the tree one year. My cat Tigger loved chocolate (and crisps for that matter.) He would come running when he heard the rustle of a Wispa wrapper so I'm sure he was the main culprit!!
I remember my Mum had a double LP of Christmas songs, and when you opened it out there was a pop up nativity scene in the middle. Over the years it became dog eared and some of the bits no longer popped up. I wonder what happened to it?
Advent calendars are a peculiar memory. When I was a little child, the calendars were made of card and behind each door was a picture - often a religious themed one. My Mum and I would have a game to guess what the picture would be underneath each door. By the time my sister, Amy was born when I was ten, advent calendars had become chocolate themed and so we always had one of those - I don't think Amy would have been impressed with a picture and no chocolate! . You know, I never did understand why there was no door for the 25th......
My family was not well off when I was a child but my Mum always made sure I had plenty on Christmas day - I never went without, always having a stocking full of gifts from Santa - usually with a cuddly toy poking out of the top and some nuts or lychees in the bottom! (lychees were considered to be quite a luxury fruit back then and were pretty expensive.)
My best Christmas present ever was probably my "My Little Pony" dream castle when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I had coveted this completely, although it was newly out and would have been quite expensive for my parents to buy at the time. I wasn't 100% sure I was getting it - but on Christmas morning there it was! For some reason the box was a bit bashed in, but the castle and pony (A unicorn pony called "Majesty" ) were all in one piece. I loved that castle and played with it loads, until Amy inherited it years later and trashed it as she was prone to do with toys! (You would never guess it now, she's so house proud )
It was only many years later that I learned my Mum had traipsed round practically every shop in the City to try and get me that elusive, sold - out dream castle - until one shop found her the last one in the storeroom, still intact, but with a bashed in box......