Today we continue our look into the Christmases of my past, in order to remember the good moments and the lessons learned throughout the years.
Christmas with Granny
When I was growing up my granny was my very favourite person, she always had a hug and a cake for me, and stood up for me when I needed it. One year she came to Christmas Dinner when I was four, I was really excited because I loved my granny, but also so I could show off my Minnie mouse roller skates.
I spent the afternoon rolling about on the living room carpet, showing off and getting hugs from my favourite person. I could even overlook the fact that my mum had me dressed in a horrible red striped sweater and a tartan skirt because when Granny was around us were allowed to act like proper children.
The moment came when I was rolling about on the carpet, my mother had been cooking all day for her guests and hadn’t noticed my practise moves. Then she noticed, in all the stress of everything she forgot guests where here and she screamed at me for playing with my new skates inside, then it came from my grandmother, there’s two foot of snow outside where else is she meant to go?
I’d never had anyone stick up for me, I remember feeling that very clearly as it happens, my father was scared of my mother when she got mad and would let her lash out at me. I’d never seen anyone talk back to my mother, she was very small but when she got angry she was scary, and I couldn’t believe it had happened to me.
Moral of the Story – Let kids be kids on Christmas, it’s their day basically, yes my gran may have hurt my mother but she was right. I was happy, I wasn’t annoying anyone, and my mum was taking her stress out on me instead of the situation. Yes, I may have been wrong to rollerskate indoors but it’s also a day for having fun and showing off presents from Santa to your Granny.
The first year my brother went to midnight mass
He was old enough to stay up to one o’clock at night, I had been sleeping in bed when I heard the door, rushing to the window looking for Santa I saw my brother and father going to midnight mass. My mum came in the room and we both watched and waved as they disappeared down the street, it was just a nice touching moment where she knew I should be in bed sleeping but she let me watch them leave.
Then it was just me and mum, she tucked me into bed, kissed me on the forehead and said, “Santa will be here soon, Christmas Eve is almost over so you better get to sleep little one otherwise he might not come.” As I curled up with my teddy and drifted off I remember my mother smiling over me watching me sleep.
I’ve told you she wasn’t a monster, she hit me when she’d just lost the plot with me, it wasn’t right but she wasn’t really a monster. She was human, she couldn’t regulate her emotions properly and when they came out she lost it. But my mother and I had a great relationship before everything went to pot, and we have a pretty good one now.
Moral of the Story – It is such a small moment in my Christmas memory vault but it’s rather sweet and touching, I couldn’t tell you what presents I got or who came over for dinner but it is the entire moral of the season. Christmas is about family and spending those precious little moments with them, not buying a whole load of stuff to make them happy.
The Christmas Play
I was rather shy so I didn’t audition for the school play, the older kids usually stared in it, my brother was even playing an apostle, so it would have been a bit embarrassing to have his seven-year-old sister in the show with him. However much earlier that year I was accepted into the school choir, but my choir teacher was running the school play so she took me out of class one day and I thought I was in trouble.
However I wasn’t, she wanted me to play the part of a certain Angel which included actually rehearsing alongside my brother, I actually had to sing a very shaming song at him. It was the best time of my school days, I got to meet the older kids my brother hid me from, and he even had a great time spending his after-school time with his sister.
We ran lines together, I sang at him constantly, and we had fun putting on the show. I was the youngest person in the production, all my friends were there opening night, but I wasn’t nervous because my brother had my back and the same went for him. I had to wear uncomfortable tinsel, sing alone in front of friends and family.
I can remember the changing room excitement, the smell of the varnish, and finally finding out what was behind the stage curtain in my old school assembly hall. I had the best time of my life in that school production, it was my brothers last year in primary school so I’m so glad we took part in something together.
Moral of the story – It can be a dreading experience to be around family members, especially with the added pressure that comes with school, but it might, in turn, make you much closer, and the little embarrassing sister may become your best friend. Yes it didn’t last and I went back to there again after the school break but for a moment we where close.
Yes, I am too dreading the thought, but after writing this I feel a bit more hopeful. I have a ton more of these happy Christmas memories that I could talk about for days but I think I should stop here.
Christmas might be the best one yet but if it’s not its ok.