A 50s KIND OF CHRISTMAS by Faymarie Morris

This is a true story, it was 1951 and my Dad was still dealing with happened to him at Dunkirk.
Christmas was coming so what should I write?
Should I try the theme of dark winter nights
And shorter days of capricious weather,
Or something lighter like being together?
Maybe I’d write of queues at the shops
Or what’s on the Tele, repeats, hits or flops
Or the price of food or the state of the world;
But while I was musing a thought occurred.
I’d write of a time I remember well
When I was just 5. A challenging spell.
I lived with my folks on a moorland farm
In a tiny cottage, not far from Yarm.
There wasn’t a penny to spare that year
So no tree or presents or festive cheer.
But Dad came up with a wonderful way
To make Yuletide special and keep his pay.
On Christmas Eve we set off for the woods
Bundled up warmly in hats, scarves and gloves
And gathered mistletoe, ivy, holly
And pine tree branches we piled on a trolley
Then dragged it home over crunchy white land
To Mum who had tea on the go which was grand.
We enjoyed our hot soup and decided to
Deck the house inside and outside, too.
On Christmas morning the snow had been falling 
All through the night and the cattle were calling,
But before Dad went off to feed the stock
They showed me something which came as a shock.
That year they said there’d be nothing for me,
They had no money and presents weren’t free.
But Santa had been and he’d left me a sledge
With shiny runners, the rest painted red.
So we struggled and hauled it up the hill
And each took turns coming down. What a thrill!!!
I remember we laughed and laughed ’til we cried
Each time Mum fell off, but at least she tried.
And the farmer had given my Dad some beef
For Christmas dinner, which was a relief.
The pantry was bare, there was nothing to eat
But bread and potatoes. No tasty treats.
It must have been so hard for Mum and Dad,
He’d been ill for a while. really quite bad
But they had to get by as best they could
‘Til things got better, as surely they would.
And it appeared my Dad found a wooden crate
At the side of the road, by the farm gate.
So he made me a sledge with burnished blades
And painted the wood a rich ruby shade.
This was the best Christmas I can recall.
We may not have had much, but we had it all.
War was behind us. The country was free
And we had each other, Mum, Dad and me.
By Faymarie Morris.  Nov. 2015

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