Somehow Christmas is almost the focal point of the year. As the Christmases roll on - and boy do they roll on as one gets older - June arrives, you blink and the shops are full of tinsel and tinny muzak carols.
As we sat around the fire on Christmas night, just the two of us, having had a lovely day and a lovely meal, we got to thinking about other Christmases. You can always remember what you did on Christmas day, memorable meals, memorable company, memorable presents. We thought back to when our parents were alive. David is one of six children and in the latter years they would all come home for Christmas dinner, sharing the work load between them and giving their parents great joy. It was nothing for there to be twenty two sitting down to dinner at the kitchen table, the dining room table and the little gate-leg table only used on such occasions.
I come from a much smaller family and there was never a dinner when we could not all get round the big square table in our dining room. But still there are the memories.
My father was a great one with his "sayings" (tomorrow will be Friday and we've caught no fish today!) being one of his regular utterances on Thursday evening (I still find myself thinking it often, even if I don't say it out loud.))
And at Christmas dinner he always quoted the same nonsense rhyme. Where it came from I don't know - but he managed to say it every year - if he forgot we soon reminded him. So here it is. Where does it come from? Has anybody heard it before? I know there is a poem with the same first line, but the rest must have come from somewhere and I would dearly like to know where. Does anyone else know any nonsense rhymes? Or were they only known in our family?
It was Christmas Day in the workhouse,
The rain was snowing fast.
A barefooted boy with shoes on
Stood sitting on the grass.
One fine day in the middle of the night
Two dead men got up to fight.
Back to back they faced each other;
Drew their swords and shot each other!
Ah! nostalgia, nostalgia. What daft things we did and said in our young days (says she from her dotage).
Hope you are all gradually recovering from the excesses of Christmas.