Advantages Has made some of my best childhood memories...
Disadvantages Has made some of my worst Adulthood memories...
I have always looked forward to Christmas, expecting someday to have that all perfect, organised and joyful day, the kind of Christmas time that supermarket commercials promote rather than the kind Eastenders display. Most of these idealisms and feelings comes from my childhood, I was lucky to be around a large section of my family back then, and Christmas was a time for a mass coming together. Of course, things have altered, family members have passed, and houses are no longer populated, but I still have a deep fondness for this time of year. This is not a discussion on what Christmas means, where it's future lies, or it's ridiculous modern over-commercialisation, but what it represents to me and my family. A peaceful time, a loving time, a fun time, a giving time.... A Christmas time.
Now we have all array of different sets, varying in colours, design, type, numbers and features. First of these to be bought by me was a 4 meter rope light, which I placed alone my garden path creating a multi-coloured walkway to the house. One thing that never changes though are the very unnecessary fittings and connections of the bulbs seem to retain during the years. This is a annual annoyance whist making your older sets work again for another year, because for some inexplicable reason fail to operate correctly, apparently being damaged whilst in storage for a year. Mysterious.It's amazing how inanimate decorations can become so customary to my Christmas. Two such items include a dog collar made out if blue and silver tinsel. Me and my brother made it for our family dog Ellie, and when she passed away, it became a ritual to place the collar on the picture of Ellie which hangs on my parents lounge wall, to honour her memory at Christmas time. The other item was a set of silk Roses with Poinsettia leaves which had small bulbs that lit the flowers up. This was given to me by my nan upon her passing, as she knew I loved them in her house whenever Christmas came. They must be over 40 years old now, and I still have them still in a presentable condition, I really should repair them one day though.
It's strange I still dabble with the wonders of Christmas lights, because during my pre-teen years, and having a very limited understanding of electricity, I foolishly tried to wire 6 spare fairy lights to a working set of 24. Apart from the mathematics, I also neglected to turn off the power, and predictably found myself on the floor three meters away from a smouldering set of ex-fairy lights. Embedded in my psyche is the resulting tearful dash down the stairs and haphazardly falling into the arms of our next door neighbour, a harsh early lesson in the dynamics of electronics!
The highlight of the day however had to go to when the sun had gone down, my nan was asleep in the big armchair, and encouraged by my older brother and cousin, would play 'Murder in the Dark' with the rest of the family. This classic game in a 5 bedroom farm cottage totally blacked out is the creepiest and funniest ever. Although I often lost, the time I was the 'Murderer', I made my cousin bang his head underneath the dining room table, and tripped my uncle up in the kitchen! The lounge was always the safe-room, and it took half an hour to find my older brother once when he didn't return, we found him in the coal shed!
Although my childhood is littered with positive memories, some of my elder teen years and certainly my adult years things have been a little hit and miss. Unfortunately, and like a lot of celebration times in life, alcohol has been a major antagonist. I'm proud to say not because of the amount I consume, but my family members inability to hold themselves whist tanked up.When I was a bratty 15 year old, me and a friend thought it would be fun to throw stones at the bulbs on a Christmas tree placed atop a local Methodist church, taking my interest in Christmas lights to an entirely different level by seeing them explode. Our parents were not impressed after we were carted back home by the church caretaker, and needless to say the big day was a little tainted for me.
On reaching adulthood, I still preferred to spend Christmas day with my family, I will always do despite the fights and rows that have taken place. My mother was having a bad time with the booze for a while, and whilst she made and promised a great dinner and cosy festive home, she also was the source for a drunken barrage at any of us come the afternoon. My younger brother had issue too with the drink, and a temper that couldn't be reasoned with. One such very bad time was when both my mother and brother began to verbally abuse me and my father, I decided to return home quickly, with a 1 year old, my girlfriend in tears and a furious father. Christmas evening was spent at my home, without my mother or brother, and so again didn't really feel a time to be happy and joyful.During the last few years however, these sibling alcohol problems have dissipated, and now we can again relax, even when the booze is flowing, but I always have one eye on the feelings that can run high because I never know if it will escalate. It's odd that such at time like Christmas can bring so much hope and dread in equal amounts.
I hope you have enjoyed these snippets of my Christmas times, and I would like to wish all of you a wonderful Christmas and a Happy new year. Personally, this Christmas is unusual in the fact that I will be spending it entirely at home with my family, first time I haven't planned to be at mine or the girlfriends folks houses. I must admit, I'm looking forward to opening the presents with my daughters, and then setting up a massive Thomas and Friends track set up on the lounge floor!Whatever you may think of Christmas, it does, in my mind stand for the good in all of us, no matter what culture or religion we are. It can be celebrated in many different ways, it doesn't have to focus on it's Christian origins, but the message remains the same. Peace and joy to all, or at least the idea of that can be a positive factor for many. Spend time to think about those not so fortunate at this time of year, it can be humbling to realise just how privileged we are sometimes. Make of Christmas what you will, but it should never be a negative or pessimistic time, and for me it provides the annual glue that hold our family so close, no matter about any problems we have along the way.
Merry Christmas to all my fellow Ciao'ies. I will see you all a lot more in 2011, and thankyou for all your support and help. Cheers. :DThanks for Reading. © Novabug
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