For as long as I can remember, Christmas was a wonderful time in our house when I was a child. The whole lead-up to it and especially Christmas Eve.
My mother was an incredible woman, she loved Christmas with a passion and as a result, passed on her enthusiasm to us. She was an amazing dressmaker, so was always finishing off work late into the night on Christmas Eve.
What I can remember about that day is, it would be dark early in the afternoon. The lights on the Christmas tree switched on and the carol singers on the radio. The whole atmosphere would be that of excitement and anticipation.
My Dad was a great storyteller. Before we went to bed, he would tell us all sorts of tales, but most especially the one about the night before Christmas and I would just love being drawn into the sound of Santa on the roof of the house and maybe, just maybe, he might have landed his sleigh and all the reindeers on our roof – imagine that!
Then wondering what Santa will bring the next morning, oh so exciting. I am very fortunate that I received beautiful toys from Santa.
Mam would then be busy in the kitchen doing her preparations for her famous turkey stuffing, oh wow nobody and I mean nobody, made stuffing like her. It was delicious. The smell wafted up the stairs on Christmas morning and it awakened me to the knowledge that yes, the big day, was finally here!
As I have grown older we had lovely experiences with our own children, and now they are adults with their own children, Christmas is now a very different one.
Except for one little gift that I have cherished forever, the gift of my son with Down Syndrome. His ability to look at life and his skill to simplify everything never ceases to surprise me.
We told him when he was thirteen, that Santa didn’t come to teenagers, so he did his best to accept that, we brought him out shopping for a beautiful red bike that he so enjoyed cycling.
He has never asked for a present in his life, every year when we ask him what he would like, he says ‘I’ll have a think about it!' But he never comes back with an answer. One thing that he does still love and he’s nearly 34, is a ‘Now that’s what I call music’ CD. When the decorations go up, he still hangs his stocking on the mantlepiece and tells us that he knows that Santa doesn’t come to teenagers, but he just comes to put his CD into his stocking especially for him. So, every Christmas we look forward to Santa putting Geoff’s CD into his stocking! So here’s to another magical Christmas, The wonder never ends!