Sunday, 14 December 2014

Christmas Club


So, what do you say? Shall we Christmas Club today? I was feeling pretty festive last week after reading all the stories. I can't wait to see what we've got this time round. Mmm...I might have to open a seasonal tin of Quality Street here. Hazelnut in toffee, anyone?

Now I'm unwrapping that purple foil and I'm looking at it, thinking that's too pretty to throw away: surely I can make something with it. Because that's what we do in this family. We make things. And

at Christmas we

make presents.

Once, we made part of a present. And that part we were to give to ourselves, although we didn't know it at the time.

I must have been about seven, the others younger; and, as we sat there on Christmas Eve, willing ourselves to get tired, our Mum set a cardboard box down in front of each of us. We were to make shops, she said. Here's some wallpaper  for the walls and some felt for the floors. Make them look nice now.

So we worked on our shops, cutting and sticking, and before we realised, it was time for bed. The waiting was nearly done. As we climbed into our pyjamas we worried that we hadn't finished, that we had more bits to add, and our Mum said we mustn't think about it, Santa was coming and we needed to sleep, and the shops could wait until after Christmas. 


We slept, Santa came (though we didn't hear a thing), and we woke up to a pile of surprises. But what do you think? Right in the middle were the shops! Neatly finished off, they were, and tricked out to perfection with tiny scales and paper bags, and little scoops and a whole row of glass jars, full, of course. We had other presents (maybe that was even the year of last week's toy kitchen mincer), but if we talk now about our Christmasses in that house, my Mum always asks if we remember the shops. We do remember, that year we were a family of shopkeepers.

And that was to be the end of my story for this week. I had planned to tell more about the presents we have made over the years, but Nicky the doll, and her dresses, probably deserves a story of her own, I decided, so I went looking for a picture. I found this one:

which shows us, that year, in our special Christmas dresses and holding our new dolls in their long party dresses. All made by Mum. But when I looked more closely at this picture, I jumped. for there, in the corner, is the desk. You know the desk. Or you will if you've been following Me On Monday (right here) It's the one we took to Scotland at the beginning of the autumn, for that boy of ours to work at. I took pictures of him carrying it up the stairs to his flat. From the 1970's to 2014: isn't that the way it goes at Christmas? Little bit of then, little bit of now, all wrapped up together. I wouldn't have it any other way.

At Christmas we

remember. And record.


Like to give it a try? It's only a suggestion. Any story, any Christmassy post at all would be perfect. Come join our Christmas Club!

23 comments:

Becky said...

Oh how sweet! And I love your dresses, we always had long party dresses for Christmas Day too. I've blogged my story and will lpublish and link up later :). Thanks for another great story - feeling in the Christmas spirit now!

Maggie said...

What a lovely picture! Your creativity was obviously encouraged at an early age!

Lesley G said...

More great stories and an oh so cute picture :)

Ladkyis said...

I have done my story here:
http://ladkyis.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/at-christmas-we-buy-cranberry-sauce.html

Take a look

iwillbloom said...

Oh Sian...exquisitely written. "Willing ourselves to get tired" (perfect description!)....love that Santa (or his elves) magically finished your shops (wonderful!) and, obviously, love the continuity of the desk.....it must be just marvellous for you to have taken it all the way over for the Tall One to use...wonderful, wonderful, all of it. (Am filled with even more decidedly Christmassy cheer now. Thank you!!!!).

Miss Smith said...

That's such a wonderful photo, and I LOVE the story of the shops (it makes we want to do that one day, what a brilliant and beautiful idea of your Mum's!).

I'm so glad you've brought back Christmas club; thank you for sharing the stories, and Merry Christmas!

Gail said...

Oh what a lovely memory Sian. What an ingenious gift your mother thought up that year. I remember we always used to have special dresses for Christmas too but sadly no pictures of them unless there are some on the home movies.

Lizzy Hill said...

Geeez I hate it when my comment disappears- I was saying those dresses look gorgeous & festive & it's fabulous how useful that desk has been over the years---- good on ur mum surprising u guys like that with the shops, too:)

Cheri said...

Your description of those shops really makes me want to see the finished pieces! How wonderful. Love that your Mum was so crafty and obviously passed it on.

Melissa said...

What a fantastic Christmas photo! And how FUN that your mom thought to have y'all work on your own Christmas gifts while waiting for bed time - great story!

Ruth said...

Fabulous photo! Just love how your dresses match the tree skirt!

Barbara Eads said...

I just love it when several stories converge! Your Christmas dresses are so 1970's!! Knowing you, those dresses are probably packed neatly away somewhere!

Jennifer Shaw said...

Love this Christmas story and that photo is so cute. Your dresses are beautiful, including the doll dresses too.

Abi said...

That's such a lovely story. I remember the christmas when santa left us a dolls house all set up to be played with. I think that story may have to come next week though. That father christmas is a clever fellow!

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

Great photo. How sweet for you and your sister to have matching Christmas and handmade dresses for your dolls too. How clever of your Mum to come up with the idea of the shops to keep you busy until bedtime. Lovely post.

JO SOWERBY said...

I am so loving reading all the blogs and remembering. Hope you find time to make lanterns. I love your pictures of you in long dresses, we had those too and my mum added a ruffle on at the bottom as we grew so they'd last. We wore long dresse to parties too
Jo xxx

Karen said...

This is truly another one of your inspired ideas! I'm loving the stories, and in particular, the wonderful photos that accompany them. Those dresses are really special. I don't think I ever owned a long dress until I was of prom age.

Sandra said...

Oh Sian! Over the years you've told and I've enjoyed so many of your stories, but this one just melted my heart. I could just picture it all, but then including that gorgeous picture. Yup. I so remember wearing long party dresses like that. Thank you ... You've bought back happy memories x

Rachel B said...

This is so lovely Sian, I'm feeling very festive now :)

Julie Kirk said...

I like how your skill for storytelling means that even a desk has become a regular walk-on / lift / drive / carry up stairs character here.

I love the idea of the shops - we always played shops [and pubs!] under my great Aunt's table. Amazing where a drop of imagination can take you. [And becomes more memorable than the bought toys too!]

Louise said...

Your mum was good wasn't she. Sounds like a perfect Christmas eve. Loving those dresses :) x

Jo said...

Your mum was amazing, what a great way to keep you occupied and what a lovely surprise in the morning :) I'm so sorry I couldn't take part this week, hopefully next week x

alexa said...

Oh my goodness, I have had a sudden flashback to a little cardboard sweetshop I had with tiny little jars ... What a resourceful Mum you have :).

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