Christmas present, tomorrow, 25 December '08, just a mere 24 hours away, is overlaid with memories: some sharp and clear, others diffuse, hardly conscious recollections of Christmases long past. For it is not only Scrooge who was visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, so are we. Especially if you, like me, have a couple of decades behind your back! Fortunately I have been blessed with a happy child - and adulthood, so my combined, layered, interwoven memories of Christmas are all good ones.
I remember my 'walkie-talkie' doll propped under the pine tree in the corner of the lounge.
I remember my brother and I putting pillow cases out at the foot of our beds to receive our gifts.
I remember waking up in the night, staggering into my parents' room with the sack of gifts annoucing,"It's heavy!" before returning to sleep.
I remember cold ham and creamy potato salad and grated carrot and pineapple for Christmas lunch.
I remember hanging the Christmas cards on pieces of string from wall to wall across the lounge ceiling.
I remember being chosen to be Mary in the Christmas Tableau at St Peter's, Camps Bay for two years running.
I remember silver bowls of chocolates and nuts on the Christmas table.
I remember Aunt Helen polishing Grandmother's best silver.
I remember eating too much fruit cake and and too many minced fruit pies.
I remember the Nativity scene unveiled at Midnight Mass while my brother and I sang 'Away in a Manger'.
I remember the snowflakes that danced through the night sky on my first and only white Christmas in North Dakota.
I remember the silver marquisite earrings Richard gave me on our last Christmas together.
I remember persuading friends to adopt a stray dog on Christmas Day. They called her Cinders.
I remember Christmas spent in the mountains, at the beach and at holiday resorts.
I remember hot Christmas days when the funny hats stuck to our sweaty foreheads and left red and green marks.
I remember Dad carving the turkey and Mom sitting down with her apron still on.
I remember being loved and a little spoiled. I remember joy. I remember worship.
What do you remember, dear friend?
PS The nativity scene is courtesy of FreeFoto.com