edited: Wednesday, November 29, 2006
By Patrick J McCormick
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Monday, December 06, 2004
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How many times have you heard people say to you, "never look back always look ahead". I think when they say this they are referring to unpleasant memories. It is nice however to look back at good times, and more important it is nice to have good times to look back on.
As Christmas approaches I find myself looking back at some good times at Christmas, both as a child myself, and the happy smiles and excitement of my own children. One Christmas, however, comes often to my mind these days and that is the first Christmas I remember. I cannot remember for sure which one it was, but I believe it was my third. Obviously since I was born early in November, it was not my first and as I recall the words spoken to me that morning I do not think it could have been my second.
It was a long time ago in Ireland, before the second world war, and my parents like everyone else in the district were poor. The presents they bought for their family of four (my youngest sister had not yet appeared on the scene) would pale in comparison to the lavish amounts spent on the many gifts children get today. It was a magical moment for me, however, since I was not aware such a day existed until my brother (a year and a half my senior) and two older sisters awakened me that morning. They came into my room, full of excitement to show me their presents from a wonderful person they called Father Christmas. Understandably at that age, I had difficulty taking it all in and at first I felt I had been left out. Although I was not interested in the presents my sisters had, I was very interested in a beautiful little tin horn my brother was blowing with great gusto and excitement. I reached for that horn, as most children of my age would, and started to cry for it. As my sisters led me out of the bedroom to show me what had been left for me, I was still reaching for the one my brother was holding. I could not take my eyes of that wonderful little tin horn sitting on the mantelpiece as my sister reached for it and gave it to me. My brother and I forgot breakfast as we walked around blowing these horns incessantly. In later years I often wondered if my parents had by the end of Christmas day regretted their choice of tin horns. For me, however, I had just discovered a new experience that would continue with only one interruption over the next nine years.
I never got another tin horn and I guess they learned that they needed to forego some of their enjoyment at my excitement to retain their sanity. We got other presents though, usually only one that would be somewhere on the mantelpiece and I often wondered how my mother always knew which present Father Christmas intended for each of us. Our everyday stockings hanging from the mantelpiece were easier to recognize. They always contained the obligatory orange and red delicious apple (we called them American apples that we only had once a year) along with a few candies. This was not much when compared with the presents children get today, but my siblings and friends always looked forward to it, and were happy with what we had. I do not think any child today could be any happier than we were then. Yes, we were all disappointed that one year during the war when Father Christmas was not able to come. That year we all got some money to do with whatever we wanted, but the excitement was missing.
Yes, I often think back to that first remembered Christmas with nostalgia. We did not have much then, but since our neighbours were in the same situation, we did not know we were missing anything. We were happy. My three siblings from that morning have all passed on; remembering them too, is pleasant. I am not sure how many Christmases I have left, but I hope they will all be good ones. That one, however, was very special.
Web Site: Website of P.J. McCormick
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|Reviewed by Aubrey Hammack
I enjoyed this article. I know that people usually only like to read Christmas stories around Christmas but I like to read them anytime. It's interesting that just recently I had a conversation with a friend about how I long for the simpler times of yesterday when the world I do beleive was a better place to live in for many reasons. Yes, it is nice to look back on the good times. I do that quite often nowdays. Sorry for your losses. I've had some of those and I can identify.
|Reviewed by m j hollingshead
|enjoyed the read|
|Reviewed by Tracey L. O' Very (Reader)
|1st I want to say I'm sorry to hear of your siblings there but they are always there aren't they as you so clearly showed here in this smiling and happy article ~~The true meaning of Christmas. I'm going to have to think about my very first Christmas now. I'll probably need some aspirin by the end of the day like your parents probably did that Christmas, for racking my brain for that one but Father Christmas I like that so much better than anything I've ever heard. Thanks. I Love that. Thank You so much for sharing this cute and absolutley warming smiling memory. Kids now a days should feel this spirit that you've shown so well here. Would really help alot. True Love. True Christmas.
Merriest of Christmas' and Most Blessed of Years.
|Reviewed by Silke Lance, Dr. Ph (Reader)
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|Nice write, P.J.! Well done; enjoyed much!
(((HUGS))) and love, a new friend in Texas, Karen Lynn. :D
|Reviewed by Sandy Knauer
|Thanks for sharing a special memory. I agree, it is always good to look back (at both the good and bad, in my opinion). The older I get, the more I realize that it isn't the 'things' that bring the happiest memories, it is the people and emotions. That might be a good thing to keep in mind during the 'shopping' season. A couple of years ago, my daughter wanted us each to write a letter to the others, telling them what are favorite memories and qualities of them were. That same year, (she was fifteen, I believe) she cut out pictures of what she would give us if she could. Some were things, but many were places, smiles, nature. I believe your example illustrates that it is the specialness that matters most. I really enjoyed you article, and the memories it encouraged me to bring back.|