Christmas 2017 will be the first year I have spent without my Dad being here. My Dad died in April of this year and the first couple of Christmas’ without a loved one can be hard. When my brother Piers died 25 years ago, the first few years were not easy, especially at this time of year.
My dad and my brother would make my Christmas each year. Mum is not a great lover of Christmas. She likes the going to church, seeing friends and family, believing in the birth of baby Jesus but she doesn’t like the commercialism of it. As I get older I can now understand her point of view.
However, my dad loved Christmas especially when my brother and I were little. He would organise everything when we were growing up. Dad would buy all the presents and he was also the main cook in our house so he would make Christmas dinner. I always remember him in the kitchen on Christmas Eve making sausage rolls and mince pies ready for the festive season ahead. We were so spoilt with his cooking and these are the memories of him that I treasure. He loved being in the kitchen but especially at Christmas.
Piers on the other hand was annoying for most of the year until Christmas. I always remember him waking up before the sun had risen. He would then come into my room and wake me up to tell me that Father Christmas had been to visit. My parents would leave our stockings which were pillow cases outside our bedroom door. Father Christmas, shh my dad, would fill them with our presents. Piers would grab my Christmas sack and I would follow him into his bedroom.
The excitement and anticipation of what presents we had received from Father Christmas was so over whelming. I loved opening my presents with my big brother. My husband, Howard, finds it strange that my parents did not get up with us to watch us open our presents. Personally I think mum and dad enjoyed the lie-in. If we were happy playing with our new toys at Christmas the less chance they would get disturbed.
There is one year that I can not forgive my brother. It was the year he told me Father Christmas was not real. When I was about five or six I remember waiting up all night and then suddenly I saw him. The man in the big red coat was outside my door tucking all my presents into my pillow case. I remember feeling so excited that I’d seen him and the next morning I told Piers. My brother looked at me with sorrow in his eyes as he announced that Father Christmas was not real. It was our dad in his red dressing gown.
It broke my heart when Piers told me and that Christmas I spent going between my mum and my brother. My mum told me that my brother was lying and that Father Christmas was real. Piers would simply shake his head at me and he would say that the adults were lying. I didn’t really want to believe my brother and secretly I still don’t today but it did kind of make sense that it was dad in his dressing gown.
Even though my brother ruined Christmas that year I still cherish the time I spent with him. He was the best person to spend Christmas with when I was a kid and I am so lucky to have these memories of him and my Dad. As Christmases come and go, I will always try to look back on this time with fond memories.
For me, I know I was very blessed to have these two great people in my life and I am so grateful for my brother and my Dad. Now I look forward to the future with my little family. Howard and my son, Ted now help me to make new memories at this time of year. I’m looking forward to Ted opening his presents and believing in Father Christmas for a few years yet. I still have fantastic memories of my dad and my brother and I will go on making my own brilliant memories. Christmas is a time to celebrate and that’s exactly what I plan to do for as long as I’m on this planet.
Have you lost people at Christmas? If so, what do you do to try and remember them? Thank you for reading this blog and please feel free to like, comment or subscribe to my channel.