Tuesday, November 8, 2011
It's almost that time again. Christmas.
Christmas had always meant 'family' to me. It was a time to be spent with family, where presents were given and received. By family. When my Pop was alive, he ALWAYS arrived with Red Tulip after dinner mints (the thin square ones in the paper sleeve) for everyone and Tweed perfume for Mum. She didn't like Tweed perfume, but she never told him that and he continued to buy it. He would also have a packet or two of Mackintosh's Toffee De Luxe.
The Egg & Cream ones were my favourite. I used to leave the Coconut ones for Dad because coconut is foul and gets stuck in your teeth and to the roof of your mouth. Let's not talk about how I left the almond part of sorched almonds for him.
Christmas day involved lunch with everyone around the family dining table, eating too much home grown roast lamb and the best pavlova in the world made by my Mum. After lunch we all had a nap and then had leftovers for tea.
Later on, when my siblings got married and had families of their own, it was traditional for us to spend Christmas Day at home, or with the in-laws, then we would all get together on Boxing Day. It was an unwritten law.
That changed two years ago.
Well, actually, four years ago was the last time we were all together on Boxing Day. Three years ago Chyken and I spent Christmas in England. We spent Christmas Eve in York and Christmas Day having lunch with his extended family, including his Grandma. Despite me holding out hope until 11:50pm, it didn't snow, however I did see my first and only squirrel that day. We spent Boxing Day in front of a fire in a 300 year old barn that had been converted in to a house. Different, but still involving family, and we had celebrated Christmas with our Australian families earlier in December.
Two years ago we had our usual Boxing Day thing, but my Dad wasn't there, he was in hospital. The rest of us had lunch and made plans to do it all again when Dad came out of hospital.
Dad didn't come out of hospital.
We never had a 'proper' Christmas that year.
I doubt we will again.