My parents didn't have alot of money in those days but you wouldn't think it looking at the amazing gifts we had. We didn't realise it at the time but alot of our gifts were second hand. I am thinking of my very first Raleigh 14 bike..... blue with white tyres and a huge box filled with Sindy doll clothes which amazed me. I can still recall the feeling of excitement and sheer joy at receiving those! One year, mum had been putting money down on a red pram I had wanted then literally a week before Christmas, I changed my mind and said I wanted a dolls house instead. My mum really wanted to please me and she made the most amazing dolls house you have ever seen. Oh I wish I had photographs of it! She made it out of a cardboard box and covered the roof with "tile" paper and brick paper for the outside. It had a door that opened, windows with curtains, she drew a rose tree climbing up the outside of the door. She made little pictures to hang on the wall papered walls and the floors were covered in carpets. She also made the furniture to go inside out of match boxes and bits of material. I loved that dolls house because of the detail and years later when I was bought a "real" one, it just couldn't compete with my first one.
I am lucky that my children are part of a Christian school and they are taught not just our faith but those of other religions too. They understand that Christmas is not just about getting the best presents but its about Jesus and being good people.
I have always taught them about money. When I used to empty my pockets after a days work, my son would say "wow, what alot of money" so I would then seperate it out and explain that this much is for fuel for the car, this much is for my groomers insurance, this much is to pay the phone bill etc etc. They understand that we don't have a bottom less pit of money and they request their gifts with that in mind. Joseff wants a really nice chess set and Harry wants a PSP like his brothers but ONLY a PSP because they are so expensive! His words, not mine. We have actually got him a reconditioned PSP at half the cost and he will have just as much fun with it.
I love Christmas and I always feel bereft on Boxing Day when it is all over for another year. I also feel quite emotional because I miss the loved ones lost. Nain, Taid, Peter, Auntie Lizzie.... This year I am going to light a candle and say a little prayer to them all.....
Fighting cancer this year has changed me so much. I have never been one to hold a grudge or do ill to others, gossip or wittingly do bad turns. I have always tried my best to be a nice person. This year I have let go of futile fudes and differences. I have forgiven but not forgotten and this year I am at peace with myself.
Peace be with you too.