“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life” – Richard Bach
CONFESSIONS – In preparation for the suggested snow that may be coming I did a quick roll over to the mall to grab the last “essentials” I may need for the next couple of days. It was a sunny day here but cold as a witches…well you know the saying and a strong wind was blowing.
Got to the mall and it was chaos. There was what looked like a line up for the munchkin characters auditioning for a remake of The Wizard of Oz. This was the first crowd I had encountered that I could actually see over. It is that time of year when I am eye level with more people and they don’t all have pointy ears. As I got closer I realized it was the line-up for the photo with Santa. I haven’t given it much though recently because everything I need to do is done. All that is left is to get the gifts over to my son and grandson.
Christmas for me has become very simple. I kind of prefer it that way. Takes me back to part of my youth. When you’re spend more Christmas’s in the Children’s hospital than in your families home then you may have a different perspective of Christmas. A lot of kids would get “hospital leave” over Christmas and go home. However those who weren’t well enough or mobile enough stayed in hospital and the staff made it very festive.
I was from a working class family, the “middle class” was in development. I had five siblings at home so a good Christmas would produce three or four gifts plus a stuff stocking (which were usually one of our own socks back then). Stocking’s tended to be filled with nuts (screw the allergies, nobody talked about those), maybe a Christmas orange, maybe something chocolate and little things like collectable cards, some marbles or some small toy (like Jacks, don’t even know if that game is played anymore) but you get the idea.
Plus a Christmas at home came with it’s own inherent dangers. At the time I walked with braces on both legs and they weight about forty pounds. They didn’t have the materials then we see in today’s healthcare. This was a time when you would lie down on a large sheet of industrial paper, the “crutch guy” would draw an outline of where the braces were going to go and then into the maintenance shop to be made. Steel and leather, they were heavy. So it wasn’t uncommon for me to take them off at home and scoot around the floor on my butt. Scooting around on the floor at Christmas with at least five adults and ten kids held a high risk of being stepped on. I have a personal appreciation for how Ivar would feel at a Vikings gathering.
The energy and excitement of the day would eventually work into a rambunctiousness the adults would no longer stand for so off they would send us to the community centre across the gully. There were two outdoor skating rinks so the older kids would skate or play a bit of stick hockey. The younger (and usually smaller) ones would use the toboggan hill. Needless to say I wasn’t a skater so… Continue reading “The Santa Shadow”