I have always loved Christmas. It's a magical time of the year and has meant different things to me at different stages of my life...here are a few of my favourite...what are yours?
The red bike of 1979
It's 1979, I am 5 years old and very, very excited. I have just started school and I can recall walking past the bike shop in the village and seeing a red raleigh "penny" bike. It has a white leather saddle and silver spokes and a silver shiny bell. I can't remember wanting for anything, but I really, really wanted that bike. I can remember feeling so upset when the bike was replaced with a boys bike. I thought that was it, it had gone to a good girl who hadn't pulled her little cousin's pigtails or bitten her brother on the arm, so you can imagine my delight when on Christmas morning, there it was under the tree. I loved that bike so much, it lasted until I was about 12 and I then gave it to my little Cousin whos pigtails I had pulled.
What do you mean there is no such thing as Santa??? - 1986
I got a bright yellow Sony Walkman in 1986. I was on the cusp of becoming a teenager and I can still remember the excitement of opening my present that year and thinking "Santa Rocks". I spent the rest of the holiday walking around the house, listening to my music ("Now that's what I call music 13" no doubt) and I can recall looking really forward to getting on the bus and going back to school.
The day dawned, I had my skirt rolled up, the walkman on show and my socks rolled down. I put on my frosted pink lipstick and green eyeshadow and was epitomising the look of the 80s. Oh yeah, I was so grown up.
I got on the bus, went upstairs to the back and sat just in front of the "cool kids". I was always on the outside looking in, not quite getting the jokes and desperate to be one of "them". If I am being honest, I was trying to impress. There was an older boy, let's call him Steven, he was gorgeous and everyone fancied him. "Nice walkman" he said, "Who got you that?" . I blushed and said "Santa, he is the best isn't he, he always knows what to get". "Do you believe in Santa then?" he enquired. "Of course I do".
I didn't live that one down for years. They ripped it out of me for months, I still cringe now when I think how innocent I was. Incidentally, I went out with Steven a few years later, he wasn't all that.