Each year I’ve been blogging so far, I’ve taken the time to do two things: a Christmas themed piece of flash fiction and a Christmas themed non-fiction post. Unfortunately, the former hasn’t transpired this year. I won’t lie: I haven’t even tried brainstorming any ideas for it. Do I feel bad for it? No, not particularly. Big changes have taken place this year in the form of me acquiring a mortgage and getting myself on the property ladder. As you can imagine, that has dominated everything. Writing has taken a temporary backseat.
I thought I should at least acknowledge the coming of Christmas with some kind of post, though, and here we have it. Five specific memories of years past. Some of the memories are vague, but nonetheless sit inside the recesses of my mind. So, without further ado, here they are:
My family’s first video recorded Christmas
In October 1990, my dad came into possession of his latest toy: a brand new, top-of-the-range camcorder. I don’t know if it was top-of-the-range really, but I know the thing endured for years and years and that my dad caught some special memories on it.
The one that sticks out the most is Christmas 1990 when I was just six years old. The first thing you notice on watching it is that the room is absolutely chockful with toys and presents for me and my two sisters. The ones on the sofas and chairs are what Father Christmas brought for us. All my dad is recording is each of us mooching around the living room excitedly, checking out all of ours and each other’s new things. My mum is there to begin with as she doles out all the gifts from under the tree (those were the ones from family and friends). Later on, when my dearly departed Nanna and step grandad (CUNT!) are there, my mum has left for work, but the playing and having fun continue.
Many more Christmases were immortalised with that camera; however, Christmas 1990 shall always be the most enduring.
White Christmas Y2K
One thing over here in the UK that has been rare throughout my life is the fabled White Christmas. It’s usually a grey, drab affair weather wise. The year 2000 was most definitely not though! I don’t remember too much about it technically. I know I was with my first proper girlfriend, Laura, at the time and that she was at my house at some point over the Christmas period as I recall another video recorded moment of me showing my mum what I got as a gift whilst eating a bowl of stew; it was a gold sovereign ring and I gave my mum the bird to display it for the camera. Ugh, Sixteen-year-olds!
Anyway, the memory that endures the most from the millennial year Christmas is that we’d just been to my uncle and aunties where I spent the whole time doing stuff with my favourite cousin. It never mattered what we got up to; I just loved being in his company. It had already been snowing that day and was quite thick on the ground by local standards; however, by the time we came to leave their house, there had been a veritable blizzard and everywhere around us must have been covered in more than a foot of snow. It was amazing! My dad struggled to drive the car in it; he didn’t seem to mind at all as all I can remember is me, my mum, sister, and dad laughing the whole way home. I’m not a fan of snow, but it certainly made things brighter and happier that year.
Christmas Pub Crawl
I know this particular Christmas to be 2003 because ‘Proper Crimbo’ from Bo Selecta was number one in the charts that year and it came on in one of the pubs we went to. Essentially, I spent the day on the piss with my mates. I can’t recall if it was actually Christmas day this happened or Boxing day. Either way, we traipsed around a number of pubs and got good and merry, having a laugh like we did any other time. Except it wasn’t like any other time. It can’t have been for it to have stuck in my mind the way it has.
We went to my parents’ house at one point and had a few beers up in the loft because I have a memory of us all dicking about on my decks and recording ourselves being daft. I know my mum wasn’t best impressed by us, so we went back out again soon after. It was a good time, much like the whole period was when me and the lads used to go out all the time.
Caellum’s first Christmas
I don’t think it’s possible as a parent to forget your child’s first Christmas, especially if, like me, you’ve only had the one. The day itself was quite unremarkable. We didn’t go anywhere. My mum and dad were our guests and Caellum’s mum cooked Christmas dinner. I know my folks were shocked at how much food she’d prepared; that was pretty much par for the course for a couple of greedy sods like us!
I know I was pretty heavy on the booze that day. Pretty much every drink I had contained alcohol, including my morning coffee as I substituted milk with Bailey’s Irish cream. Caellum had no clue what was going on or what a present actually was, so our attempts at getting him to rip them open were unsuccessful, meaning we just ended up opening them ourselves. He was my Christmas present. He’s dominated every Christmas since he came along and is the reason I even enjoy them again. I’m glad I have so many to come and am determined to enjoy each and every one.
The worst one so far…
There can be only one that earns this title. Christmas 2016 is it. The simple reason for it is that it was the year my mum spent Christmas in hospital after an operation to remove a tumour from her liver. We all went to go and visit her and made the best of a bad situation, such as me and all the kids wearing sick bowls as hats. We laughed and gave my mum a reason to smile, but it still wasn’t right. She shouldn’t have been there. We shouldn’t have been visiting her in hospital that day. Her pancreatic cancer should never have happened!
It still affects us all to the day. It’s like a splinter in the back of our minds that never goes away. The knowledge that the evil little bastard didn’t die as a result of that operation and is still festering away inside my mother makes me feel so frustrated and angry. Luckily, it doesn’t stop us enjoying our time together. We still get to make memories and do things we enjoy. It hasn’t stopped us being mother and son. It hasn’t stopped her being Nanna. It never will! Christmas 2016 was a bust; no year since has been and nor shall it be!
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL MY READERS AND I ASSURE YOU THAT I’LL BE BACK BEFORE LONG. PLEASE SHARE SOME OF YOUR MEMORIES IN THE COMMENTS; I’D LOVE TO KNOW HOW CHRISTMAS HAS TREATED YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR LIVES.