My childhood Christmas memories always make me smile.
I’ll often drift to long ago and stay there for a while.
Remember singing carols long before the date?
Of counting days from Halloween, I really couldn’t wait.
Recalling cherished carefree times that advent used to bring.
The infant class nativity, the songs we used to sing.
The being good, the secret smiles when making Christmas wishes,
The showing off to Santa by drying up the dishes.
“Eat your food, the elves are watching” was often said to me,
And though I’d quickly turn my head I never got to see,
And it always snowed at Christmas, least that’s what I recall.
Standing by the fireside glow, watching the snowflakes fall,
I well recall the bustling shops, not frenzied like today.
The kindly smiles and gestures that set you on your way,
I crave the smells, and seasonal sights, the tastes that were sublime,
The long gone folk who touched our lives so much at Christmas time.
The sleepless nights on Christmas Eve, a mix of joy and fear,
While listening out for Santa Claus (I heard him every year),
And sleep might come eventually, though fitful if at all.
Then up I’d jump on Christmas Day, the greatest time of all,
Waking up the family to see if he had been,
Closing eyes and walking in to see the festive scene,
Running to a pile of gifts, “I can’t believe my eyes.”
“How did you know I wanted that?” and “What a great surprise!”
And then one year the magic did not seem to be as strong.
To believe in Father Christmas was childish and quite wrong,
So I never heard his sleigh bells on Christmas Eve again,
Nor saw snow at Christmas, just wind and sleet and rain.
And so it was for many years, my childhood Christmas gone.
Grown up responsibilities was the order from now on,
Until that is the greatest gift, a child to call my own.
Her Christmas Eve excitement by me was so well-known,
And as I kissed her goodnight last year and closed the door,
I swear I heard his sleigh bells upon the roof once more.
By Paul Hayward
Artist Lisi Martin
Text and image source: Snowwolfs Woodland Nook https://www.facebook.com/531188960392510/posts/1734041263440601/