Sunday, 14 December 2014

WHEN SANTA SKIPPED OUT ON THE BOYS' BRIGADE...




Memories, memories.  When I was a kid, I was a member of the
Boys' Brigade for a time, who met in the hall of the church across the
road from where I then lived.  One year, we were shown a catalogue from
which we could order various Christmas goodies, and I chose a chocolate
Advent calendar with an illo of Santa on it.  There was something about
that picture that appealed to me, and I eagerly awaited its arrival.

Imagine my disappointment then, when I received a different one
to what I'd been expecting and paid for.  "They must have been out of
them, so they've sent another!" was all the female Brigade leader said by
way of explanation.  However, I never quite forgot that Santa, and many
years later (at least 20 I'd say, perhaps more), I saw a pack of three plastic
hanging Santas, identical to the one on the Advent calendar from so long
before.  (I think I obtained them from another mail order catalogue,
but it could've been from a local shop.)

That's one of them illustrating the top of this post and, as I said, it's
a dead-ringer for the undelivered one from my childhood.  I've also got
a much smaller one, a cake decoration, which I acquired too many years
ago for me to recall exactly when (although it was after the larger ones).
Every Christmas, when I'm hanging them out, a mere glance transports
me back to that church hall (demolished around 22 years ago) and I'm
once again ten years old with almost my whole life ahead of me.

To borrow (and tweak) some lines of verse from
Iain Osborne's poem, HALCYON DAYS:

"Remembering with poignant joy,
the happy lad I was at ten -
And wishing I could be that boy,
if only for one day again."

Do you have any recollections of Christmases past
which you'd like to share with your fellow Criv-ites?  If
so, the comments section awaits.

******

On reflection, I think it was actually a group called the CUBS
that I was a member of when this occurred.  My time in the Boys'
Brigade was from a different period, held in the hall of another
school than the one I attended through the week.

4 comments:

Colin Jones said...

Babycham and homemade shandy always remind me of childhood Christmases - my parents rarely drank alcohol but we'd have beer at Christmas and lemonade to make the shandy. And Babycham too - us kids were allowed to drink that :)

Kid said...

I associate Babtcham with Christmas as well, CJ, mainly because of the TV ads I saw in my childhood. So, even 'though I don't drink, I bought some Babycham glasses about 17 years ago.

John Pitt said...

I'll share with you all my memories of the first Christmas I ever remember way back in the mid 50's. As a toddler I sometimes used to climb into my parents bed with them in the early hours, then after a while I would start fidgeting about and would kick my legs furiously until I had expelled them both from the bed. Once I had the whole double bed to myself, I would then drop off to sleep, like a little angel!
Our family always used to Christmas at my Granny's and at the first one I remember I was put to bed in my Granny's bed to share with her, as I was only small. " Now remember, " my Mother instructed me as she tucked me in that Christmas Eve night, " DON'T KICK YOUR GRANNY OUT THE BED! "
" I won't! " I promised.
That night, in the middle of the night, I kicked my Granny out the bed.
I don't know where she got some sleep, perhaps in an armchair? AND she suffered with bad legs as well!!
In spite of my apalling behaviour, Santa had left me one of Mother's stockings crammed full of goodies, including some little square Noddy books.
Anyway, despite this dodgy start Granny loved me and I loved her DEARLY, so much so that every year I would have a fortnightly Summer holiday at Granny's - a tradition I continued right up until I got married.
EVERY single Christmas I remember magical times at Granny's, so here's to those BRILLIANT childhood times........

Kid said...

And here's to your brilliant childhood reminiscence, JP. Who's next?

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