Thursday, 12 December 2013

Christmas Eve

My sis and I had attic rooms
and cold they were on winter’s night
and I was certain in that whispered gloom
hid bogeymen intent to do me harm
once I had lain my head
on cold feather-down yet hot water-bottled bed.

So the ritual:
heart in throat I looked in wardrobe first,
gingerly opening door then scanned the floor
neath wooden cot with metal springs
and then the most awful thing:
pull the curtains back check window ledge
that large enough could seat a man
and phew   phew
no-one there.

And so it was on Christmas Eve
envelope(d) betwixt the sheets
I lay in fitful sleep
dreaming the dream of Christmas Fare –
turkey (yum yum) and all the trimmings
plus the most important mushy peas –
and stockings brimming
with gold-wrapped chocolate coins
and satsumas tangerines –
and of course beneath the tree
wrapped treasures of Judy doll,
magic set, books,     sweets and smellies.

And so it was on Christmas morn
to celebrate the Christ Chikl born
we children came sleepily down the stairs
yet in excitement of the presents waiting there
beneath the tree, in room 
with blazing fire warming
even coldest nook and nose
pressed into Bunty book
how glad was I to be alive.

And I didn’t want to go to church…

Anna :o]

Gay at dVerse has us writing of ‘Hearth, Home and Common Speech.’  I attempted to write of my life now – but whatever I wrote, because of present circumstances appeared full of gloom – and my life is not like that.

So I decided to return to my childhood.

My parents hailed from Yorkshire and though having its accent were not broad Yorkshire, although did use some of its dialect.  Flower and luv are Yorkshire terms of endearment and I can remember having moved to colder climes, my dad calling the milkman luv…(dint go down very well.).  I too had a slight Yorkshire vernacular – dint=didn’t and cunt=couldn’t - the latter caused much amusement and sometimes offence…

I loved my parents so much and hope they have found their place in Heaven – if it exists.  Despite being brought up in a (non-oppressive) religious household – I hold no beliefs – never have, too much time in children’s wards as a child…  But I do love Christmas and the closeness it brings.

The rhyming thing is not false.  Although my mother never wrote poetry – most of the time (except for but sometimes including serious conversation) we would speak in rhyme – often with hilarious results.  Lovely lovely mother.

And so I offer the above as my contribution to the dVerse prompt and when doing so offer my heartfelt thanks to all at dVerse for making my life so much richer.  Merry Christmas to my friends there and look forward to joining in the fun in the coming New Year.

Kind regards
Anna :o] xxx

Image: courtesy of Wikimedia Commons– I couldn’t locate a Christmas(y) one


Manzanita said...

Hey luv, that was lovely, lovely. Christmas eve has always been special for little kids fortunate enough to believe in Santa.
Cold attic rooms ...... I had one too. Sweets and smellies...I like that. So many memories.

The Sentinel said...

Glad to be your neighbor on the link list. :) You really made me feel that attic room. The fragile relationship with fear. And the rich, if not tinged with melancholy, night of Christmas Eve.

Brian Miller said...

that is pretty cool you spoke in rhyme and i imagine it was quite fun...smiles...and i like warmth of coming down those stairs...and the excitement...i love re-living that through my children and like to sneak in before them ans watch their faces.....

Mary said...

Your Christmas reminiscences are a joy to read. Wasn't it a joy to find a full Christmas stocking?

Nara Malone said...

What a heartwarming picture of Christmas. Nice contrast between cold attic rooms and that blazing fire Christmas morn.

rallentanda said...

Blimey...Merry Christmas Luv!

Anonymous said...

Love the divine childhood here in all of its silliness and deflected danger -- a safe, happy place to celebrate Christmas.

Gabriella said...

I also, at one point in my childhood, had fears about someone hiding in my bedroom and I used to check everywhere before I could sleep.

TALON said...

Anna, when you said you used to speak in rhyme with your Mom to hilarious results - what memories that brought back my young sister, my mother and I would have what we called "silly Sunday" when we'd speak in different accents (all badly) and end up with sore tummies from laughing so hard. This was a beautiful post. All these memories tumbling into my mind and I thank you for it. I miss my parents so much, but Christmas makes it a harder hurt. ~~Kim

TALON said...

Forgot to add my Mom was English (born in Liverpool) so I wonder if the goofing around like that is an English thing? Anyhow, I kept up the tradition with my 3 when they were younger. :)

Wolfsrosebud said...

I remember an attic room with my sis... tons of blankets to keep our cold feet warm

Tigerbrite said...

My mother hailed from Yorkshire and we spent many a Christmas at my grandparents there. Your poem took me back, you describe the cold and the roaring fire and presents as I remember:)

Tigerbrite said...

And I used to see strange and threatening faces in the design of the bedroom wall paper.

Glenn Buttkus said...

Yes, a wonderful trip back to the attic room you shared with your Sis (so many of us as kids had an attic room). Somehow, even as youngsters, my siblings & I, the eldest, never bought the Santa myth; we knew the presents came from other family members--so the joyous memories for me are all family oriented.

Nataša Dolenc said...

can relate to the cold in the attic rooms.. :) lovely memories.. christmas is great when you are a kid.

Beachanny said...

This was delightful - Christmas in Yorkshire. I spent a four days in York and a day in Scarborough. My landlady called me Luv but I could tell she didn't love me. She was chock full of rules. Still I thought it beautiful, different and yet a little like the Texas plains but softer. I felt at home there and I felt at home in this piece. I love all your special words, made me feel as though I were there!

michaelt said...

This is lovely Anna, I do so relate to the bogeyman concept. Then in later years I read Fungus the Bogeyman and that put the fear of him in some perspective.
I very much enjoyed your story of Christmas, hope you have a good one.

Björn said...

What a wonderful trip back into a Christmas in Yorkshire.. so different yet the same.. In Sweden we get Christmas gifts on the evening of Christmas eve... guess it originally was so we could go to church early on Christmas morning... (never did that I think).. those attics sound scary and I can recall the waterbottles from my childhood.

Sabio Lantz said...

I'm pretty sure that making your kids go to church on Christmas is a sin, isn't it?

Well done anna

^.^ said...

Never had any of this to experience in my childhood ... neat read, nonetheless ... wait, St. Nicklaus, he came to visit on the night of Dec 05/06 and put sweets and Chinese oranges into our shoes ... if we where good ... smiles.

Victoria said...

What a delight. A fun image of your childhood, your fears and fun at Christmas, nicely written.

Loredana Donovan said...

Delightful. I love the rhymes & rhythm of this poem. Wonderful memories :)

Akila G said...

Heartwarming Anna. :)

Anonymous said...

I too say luv - my mum is from Lancashire :-) I really enjoyed this - thank you so much. I also want to thank you for your candour in what you wrote at the end of your verses.

Pealogic said...

Did you hear the sleigh bells?

Heidi said...

Wonderful Anna! I was terrified for years and had bedtime rituals as well. Depending on what kind of peas are in the mushy peas, that, too could be scary or awesome (my feelings for sweet peas are similar to my feelings for mayonnaise). I loved your memories and your note at the end. I think having rhyming conversations sound wonderful and would probably help my sweet girl with her speech. Maybe we can have a nightly "Anna" game. :)

ND Mitchell said...

What a great recollection of times gone by Anna. You really capture the atmosphere of christmas so well. My kids can't believe that people got tangerines for Christmas :)

Jenny Woolf said...

What an evocative Christmassy tribute to times past! I am sorry your present circumstances are hard, but it sounds as though you are feeling positive nonetheless. Last Christmas was my worst in my whole life, but I was still able to find things to appreciate thank heavens.

~T~ said...

Lovely memories! May your peas be truly mushy this Christmas!

Brother Ollie said...

Your poem has some deft imagery...cinematic!

Jenny Woolf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenny Woolf said...

I hope you have a good CHristmas Anna, and all the best for 2014.