For me, Christmas is a time of reminiscing of Christmas's Past. The history of our lives is steeped in our traditions and as I move through these days of preparation I am haunted by nostalgia at every turning point.
Getting down the crystal bowls for the salads and ambrosia this morning I remembered the way they sparkled on our Christmas table when I was a child. As I ran my finger over the cut patterns I recalled the story my Mum told me of how this particular bowl was her 21st gift from my Grandfather.
The tattered front cover of our carol music album is decorated with choir girls in 1940's perms and bright red lipstick. They remind me I always thought angels wore lipstick!
Tonight we will go to Midnight Mass, and I know the heady scent of incense will take me back to the Christmases when my children were younger and their warm heavy heads lay asleep on my shoulders and my back creaked as I stopped them from falling off the pew. I know that when Mass is almost over and the Priest puts the statue of baby Jesus in the waiting manger, that I'll shed a tear or two of thankfulness for His great gift to us.
Another memory was refreshed today as I made stuffing for the turkey. The last time I had turkey at Christmas was when I was four or five. My family were holidaying in a little place called Sutton, which is in an isolated part of Central Otago. We stayed in a little wooden house, with no electricity or plumbing. My mind boggles as I remember how Mum packed up everything we needed in the car. Plates, crockery, cooking utensils, linen, special Christmas food and presents as well. All for a family of five. Mum, you were a legend!
But the Christmas I remember the most in Sutton, was the one where Dad decided we would buy our own turkey - alive! I wrote a story about it a couple of years ago and thought I would share it with you. I hope you enjoy it.
*Nov 2012: Sorry, but I've taken down the story as I'm looking at publishing it.