My ghost is waiting patiently for me, but I want to know more.
"Scrooge had three different ghosts visit him" I said, " Am I to being visited by another two?"
He looks at me with disdain, shakes his head and says,
"My dear, you're not in a Dickens novel, are you?" I shake my head as I am a bit afraid to speak.
He answers, " I'm your one and only ghost and I think you should be grateful I've fitted you in. This is a very busy time of year for me. Now let us just get on with it."
He takes me back to back to Christmas 1965. Peeking through the window of the ground floor tenement where I grew up I watch my eight year old self stretch her legs and kick at the bed covers to find out if Santa has left any presents on top of the bed. I know they will include a Sindy doll, Petite typewriter and a scooter with a siren, the handlebars festooned with red white and blue ribbons. I really wanted a bike but as we lived near a busy road my dad would not allow that and the first time I road a bike was in my thirties.
My brother is running about with his James Bond Car complete with a bullet proof shied and an ejector seat. The house is decorated with paper decorations (fire hazard?) Coloured paper balls and star shapes hang from the ceiling and foiled swirly streamers which I used to jump up and blow to make them turn.
Mum is cooking Christmas dinner, dad is messing with the lights on the tree, gran has her teeth in because it's a special day and we are waiting for all the aunts and uncles who will drift in throughout the day, mainly to visit my gran.
Christmas is always magical when you are young. Either my brother or I would be given a compendium of games and all the family would sit around the table playing snakes and ladders, tiddlywinks, ludo and draughts, no Wii or PlayStation gamesback then.
I remember the day my mum first broke the news to me that Santa didn't exist (no really he doesn't)
I pretended that I already knew, I think I had my suspicions but I was devastated when she confirmed them.
The ghost moves me away from the scene before I become too emotional. He says he hates blubbering women.
The most emotional part of a nursery Christmas came at the end of the party, we put all the lights out apart from the twinkling ones on the Christmas tree.The children sat
cross-legged on the floor, very quiet and if we listened carefully as we sang Jingle Bells we could hear sleigh bells in the distance becoming louder until we could all see Santa was ringing them. He came with a huge sack full of presents for children and staff. The look of wonder and amazement on the faces of each and every child and most of the adults would bring a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes and still does to this day.
In all my years in nurseries both working and taking my own children, only once has a child ever said, "that's not the real Santa" and it was his shoes that gave him away.
Every Christmas Eve we would take the children to see a Disney film or pantomime and then to visit the the centre of Glasgow and look at the fairy lights and huge Christmas tree in George Square, it was magical. When we got home they'd be so exhausted it was straight to bed to wait for Santa. A very happy family Christmas and as I see myself as a young mum getting ready to have my parents and parents- in-law for dinner I want to stay awhile and be with them all again even for a moment. But I am dragged away to......
My ghost is showing me, as I was last week, dressing the tree, decorating the house with sparkly things for the big day. Christmas shopping with my now grown up daughter. Onto the day itself and as I promised myself, I look relaxed and not stressed out at all. My table is decked with red and gold, crackers are waiting to be pulled and wine is resting waiting for the toast to Christmas. I am wearing my,"I'm a glamorous Granny" apron and my new chef's hat and yes I do look quite glamorous (for my age). I'm sure my husband would say that anyway, if he could tear himself away from his latest Christmas gadget.
As is usual at this time of year I will be thinking of the empty chairs around the table, another family member gone this year as my husband's mum passed away in January. These people will always be sorely missed and never forgotten as we are surrounded by their photos.
I am pulled from the scene by........
Christmas yet to come.
My ghost sits me down and tells me that although part of his job is to show me the future he doesn't think he should, it would spoil the surprise.
Now, part of me would like to know, hence the reason I enjoy going to fortune tellers, but I only want to know the good parts but this ghost is persistent, he is insisting I have to know any bad as well as good, so I have declined to take part.
In my own mind I see Christmas yet to come as just getting better and better. As my granddaughter gets a bit older the magic will start for me all over again. I will make my house a winter wonderland, with fairy doors and twinkling lights. I will sing her Christmas songs and read her stories of a far away land where Santa lives with his elves and make toys for good children just like her. Maybe I will have more grandchildren and my husband and I will be exhausted when the big day is over, but it will be a happy exhaustion.
My Christmas ghosts is leaving now, seems he has a few more people to take on a journey. Who knows, maybe he's heading your way.
Before he leaves he tells me, "It doesn't matter if you're a child, young adult, mother or grandmother you can always find something magical about Christmas by making it magical for the loved ones around you"
And he's right!
I wish everyone a very merry Christmas and the best of New Years and thank you all for viewing my blog.
I'll finish as I started with Charles Dickens, and that famous quote from Tiny Tim,
" God Bless Us, Everyone!"