02 Oct CHRISTMAS PROS AND CONS 1965
T’was the night before Christmas, all over the house, nothing was stirring, not even a mouse……….. Until the kids woke up, screaming and shouting as they explored the contents of their stockings left by Santa. Chocolate money!! A key ring!! Sweets!! A toy car!! Dad stirred and looked at the clock
“Ten past five” he said
“UH!” was the tortured reply from the comatose body next to him. He tried to get back to sleep but it was to no avail.
Bedlam bedlam bedlam from the other two bedrooms.
“Let’s have a go with that”
“NO IT’S MINE! Get off”
“I’ll let you have a cuddle with my Teddy”
“I don’t want to cuddle no teddy, that’s for kids”.
“Hey hey keep the noise down you lot” Dad stood at the doorway and surveyed the scene. The three children had all gathered in the boys room, wrapping paper was everywhere Dan was admiring his new James Bond Aston Martin, Elizabeth was hugging her new Teddy and Adam was just finishing off the last of his chocolate money and starting to unwrap the jellytots.
“Don’t eat too much of that you’ll be sick” Dad said he closed the door and relative peace descended on the house.
“Do you want a cup of tea darling?” he enquired of the body in the bed.
“Don’t you darling me” was the reply from the duvet “I was up until gone midnight getting those kids to sleep, and there you go encouraging them at this time in the morning”
“Oh, that’s a no then”. But he made her one anyway.
The bedlam had subsided by the time he came back upstairs. Then the hyper active trio came into their parents’ room.
“Where’s Barney’s presents, come to that where’s Barney?” said Dan.
“Under the tree…… Oh No!” said Dad leaping out of bed and running downstairs.
“YOU BAD DOG”. Barney stood amongst torn paper and the remnants of dog chews, biscuits, chocolates with a big doggy grin on his face and his tail wagging.
The present opening was full of Ooh’s and Aah’s, plenty of selection boxes, and dolls, footie boots, in fact everything that children don’t need but get anyway.
Then Dad said
“What’s that noise coming from the garage?”
They all went to the connecting door from the hallway Dad turned the key and slowly opened the door he went in
“Oh my goodness, look at this”.
Three little faces peered through the door to see three brand new bicycles a large one for Dan a medium one for Elizabeth and a small one with stabilizer wheels for Adam.
“Wowee” they all yelled together “Let’s go out on them”.
“I think it would be a good idea if you all got dressed first” said Dad, “then I’ll go with you for a ride around the estate”.
The sound of three elephants charging up the stairs thundered through the house, then Dan’s voice
“Mum, Adams been sick!”
“Leave it I’ll deal with it in a minute”.
Down they came all wearing their safety helmets and big jumpers. Adam looked a bit pale. In a moment they were gone Dad, Dan, Elizabeth and a wobbly Adam. Looking for all of the world, like a mother swan taking her cygnets for their first swim. Mum waved them off and turned back to the house.
Up the stairs, clean up after Adam, then all the discarded wrapping paper went into a large black bag. After making all three beds plus their own, she went downstairs and surveyed the lounge – wrapping paper, boxes, bags all went into the black bag. Then she straightened the cushions and vacuumed the carpet.
Barney sat and watched her then threw up an assortment of illegally snaffled doggy chews, chocolate and sweets on the kitchen floor.
Eventually the door flew open and in they came full of excited chatter about their adventurous ride, the thrills and spills and everything.
“I suppose you would all like a cup of tea now” said Mum reaching for the kettle.
Nobody noticed how clean the house was!
After their tea Dad and the kids settled down to watch some television while Mum prepared the Christmas Lunch. The Turkey had been roasting for an hour or so already so she checked that it was all right then she made a start on the veggies, Roast potatoes, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Carrots, Parsnips and of course Sprouts. According to Dad the Geneva Convention had laid down that you could only be made to eat three sprouts at any one sitting.
With all the saucepans bubbling away and the delicious smell of roast turkey wafting through the house, She proceeded to lay the table, Christmas table cloth, best cutlery, best china a special day indeed.
There was just the assorted sauces to prepare Bread Sauce, Cranberry Sauce and of course Mint Sauce for Adam. At last everything was on course for the most important meal of the year.
Looking in on the family the three kids were asleep and Dad was watching an old James Bond film. Looking up as she came in he held up his empty cup and smiled. Taking the cup she returned to the kitchen,
“Any chance of a biscuit with that darling” Dad called from the lounge.
“Don’t you darling me!” she muttered under her breath.
Christmas Lunch was the usual delicious feast, rounding off with Christmas pudding and Brandy Sauce – Ice Cream for Adam. Everybody was full as full could be and they retired to the lounge to watch the Queen’s speech.
Mum cleared the table and washed up.
Meanwhile Dad had fallen asleep in front of the TV while the Queen was making her annual speech to three kids who didn’t have a clue who she was or what she was saying and were more interested in waking Dad up and going for another bike ride. Mum came into the lounge and sat down. Dad stirred and realised he had been asleep the kids were all wearing their cycling helmets.
“I’ll just take them out for a short ride before it gets dark”
With that they all moved towards the door and at last Mum had some peace and quiet and a glass of wine.
When the erstwhile cyclists returned she was fast asleep on the settee.
“What’s wrong with Mummy?” said Adam. “I don’t feel very well”
“She’s tired” said Dan
“But she hasn’t done anything” said Elizabeth “Not like Dad.”
“Come on Kids lets go and play Happy Hippo” said Dad.
These are the Pros and Cons of Christmas.
1112 words Michael White 2020