And, just like that, Christmas is over…
Gifts have been exchanged, exclaimed over, captured for posterity in photos
on mobile cameras. I have even already received two sweet thank you letters, reminding me that I need to spend some time writing my own Epistles of Appreciation. I did manage to make a list informing me to whom I needed to give thanks for which present - with
the unfortunate exception of the two gifts, from two different friends, which were given to me in the same Christmassy gift bag at the bottom of which I found the two labels which had somehow both become detached from the presents. Meaning, of course, that
I don’t know which friend gave me which present. The potential for embarrassment when it comes to my thank you letters is considerable.
The Youngest of the
Darling Daughters and her family succumbed to the pesky pandemic and spent a Covid Christmas, one to be remembered for all the wrong reasons. At least, I tried to comfort her, they were all four in the same boat so nobody had to spend Christmas Day in not-so-splendid
isolation from the rest of the family. It was small comfort, I fear, and I missed them terribly on Boxing Day which has been, for some time, their day to visit us.
I cannot grumble, however, because my Christmas was notable for the fact that, aside from the Poorly Ones, I saw almost all my family over the festive period. I managed four Christmas feasts (“Winner, winner, Christmas Dinner!” became my
rallying cry); two pantomimes (why have one panto experience when you could have two? as I always say. At least, at Christmas…); played various games without winning any of them; and managed to weep happily through any number of classic festive films.
For two nights I was able to share my bedroom with Young Morgan, which meant not one, but two, fascinating Early Morning Conversations, one in bed, one over breakfast. I
never have to think up ways to initiate a conversation with this grandson, I just stay quiet until I hear him say: “Nanna? SO….” At which, off he goes. On the first morning we covered music, the second World War including evacuation (“I
think I would have been frightened but excited at the same time,” he muses while spooning generous portions of fruit and nut Mini Weetabix into his mouth), slavery and the play his class performed during Black History month. On the second morning, an
even more challenging conversation focussed on Lego, of which I am decidedly not an expert. I was relieved when he moved onto Cubs and the possibility of setting up a fifth “Six” to accommodate more Cubs. Would he like to be a Sixer? I asked him.
Morgan sniffed; apparently, he said, he wasn’t considered old enough. The outraged sniff said all that needed to be said - couldn’t Akela (or whoever) understand that, in his own mind’s eye, he was every bit as old as his teenage brothers?
I did notice, however, that at the panto, during a singalong version of The Twelve Days of Christmas involving items including randomly directed water pistols and a string
of loo rolls hurled into the audience at frequent intervals, Morgan completely reverted to his actual age - that’s the Magic of Panto. Mind you, my all-time favourite panto moment with the boys came one Christmas some years ago. Their Dad, the Darling
Daughter-in-law and I were sitting in the row behind the three boys when, at the end of the show, fake snow - as soft, cold and wet as the Real Stuff - floated down from the ceiling. We three adults held outstretched palms on high to catch the flakes, wondering
at the sheer magic of it. In front of us, the three boys were hurriedly pulling on their hats, coats and scarves to protect themselves from the “weather”!
Last year, Mr B was in hospital and completely missed Christmas, New Year and his birthday. I refused to take down the festive decorations until he was safely back home with me - so Christmas lasted until the middle of February. I don’t think
I’ll go that far this year but I’m not ready, quite yet, to let go of the magic of Christmas - not till Twelfth Night.
With or without the water pistols
and string of loo rolls…