Well, here it is 17th November and just over 5 weeks until Christmas Day. Thoughts have turned to what Phil and I would like for Christmas as the family has devised a clever way of doing gifts for the festive season. We all write a list of what we would like (up to $100's worth...bet that amount surprises you eh?) and lists go in one hat and names in another and we then receive a list and have to buy gifts for just one person. Fantastic idea and it means that nobody has to scratch their heads for days wondering what to buy each family member and everyone receives the gifts they want.
This got me thinking back to Christmas when I was a child and I realised that of course from when I was about 8 years old we spent every Christmas down at Mandurah House and it was rather like a big family gathering as the same people were there year after year. I know Mrs Turner used to put on a great Christmas dinner for everyone and there were some decorations in the dining room. How old was I when we stopped going to Mandurah House? I truly can't remember but do know I was down there when I was in my very late teens, possibly until I was 19.
More thinking then made me realise that we never had decorations or a Christmas tree in our home and of course presents during the war years were hard to find and often comprised secondhand books that Dad found in the auction rooms or clothes you had made for me. I still remember those times with a great fondness but realised as an adult I just didn't know how to 'do' Christmas at home.
That may sound weird but never having had those things in my youth or been involved in putting up decorations or decorating a tree sort of left me unprepared to do those things when I grew up. I always tried to make Christmas great for my two children (their father unfortunately never helped make it 'merry') and I think they were always happy with what I did but I often wonder. I do so hope their Christmases were special, or as special as I could make them.
These days I hear younger people talk about all the wonderful things that are in the shops and I see the trees ranging from $10 to $300 or more and all the fabulous decorations and the food and everything that is available. None of those things were ever really part of my life over the years but do I have regrets? Yes and no. What I do remember though is having the love of two wonderful people and to me I think that is probably the best gift one can have at any time of the year as there are so many folk in the world today who never receive that gift. I was so fortunate.
Thanks to both of you for your love and will be thinking of you at Christmas as I always do.
Love you still