Friday, December 22, 2006

Our very first Christmas

Yuletide at home was always a very big affair. Ever since I was a small child, it was a time for family reunions and parties.
My cousin and I grew up together; we were more like brother and sister. We lived next door but one to each other and although we went to different schools we were always very close. It was a great time for us at Christmas. Aunts and uncles would descend on us and we were one big happy family.
There was always a huge turkey on Christmas Day and a roast loin of pork for Boxing Day. With my birthday falling on the 27th, we always had an extra day to celebrate! As kids, my cousin and I would invite our friends to my birthday party and, living in a large house, we could indulge in party games like ‘Murder’ and ‘Sardines’ etc.

Although we weren’t a snobbish family, it was traditional for us to dress for dinner on special occasions; Christmas and New Year being two examples. I remember at the age of 14, being measured for my first dinner suit. It wasn’t so much of a rarity in those days as it would have been now. A dinner suit also came in handy when my cousin and I entered ballroom dancing competitions. In actual fact, we were pretty good as under-sixteen competitors.

Christmas 1973 was, I remember, a cold but dry one. Iris, being on her own, had decided to surprise me by cooking a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings! She so very much wanted this Christmas to be special. In years past, she usually spent it with her stupid sister and her stodge of a husband whose only idea of festivities was to pull a cracker, wear a silly hat and sleep his lunch off listening to the Queen’s speech!
Iris was determined to make this Christmas a different one and she told me she was going to enjoy it in her own home with me beside her. She said she was going to invite our friends over on my birthday and throw a party for me. Dearest Iris; she’d never done this before and she was so enthusiastic about it. I could see the pleasure she was getting from thinking about the holidays and I didn’t want to dampen her zeal. I could see that some period over Christmas, I would have to choose between spending it with her or with my family as usual. I wondered just how I was going to manage being in two places at the same time!
More later.


Carla said...

A very Merry Christmas Graeme.
I know you'll be thinking of Iris a lot right now. I'm so glad you've shared your memories with us.

Graeme said...

Merry Christmas to you Carla.
Iris will not be far from me; just a memory away.