CHRISTMAS memories …. I'm transported back to when I was a little girl with no worries or cares, only what Santa Claus was going to bring on that special day.
I was one of six children, sharing a bedroom with three of my sisters, my baby sister sharing a room with Mom and Dad and my lucky brother having a bedroom all to himself.
We used to sit and make the paper decorations and hang the balloons in readiness.
Then the tree, which almost resembled a chimney sweeping brush, was put in pride of on top of the television, laden down with an assortment of chocolates.
On Christmas Eve, Nan and Granddad would arrive, armed with the traditional bumper package of beer and sherry and we were dutifully sent to bed.
One minute after midnight Mom would shout for us to come down as 'Santa Claus' had been and gone.
In the hall were pillowcases stuffed with presents for each of us.
In those days it wasn't 'monetary' gifts, it was things we had yearned for all year like the Beano annual, a dolly, compendium of games and a tin of toffees.
I never realised until years later how hard it was for Mom and Dad to make our Christmases so special.
Mom would go every week throughout the year to Woolworth's and save for me and my sister's twin dolls which we had for many years.
Christmas Day was chaotic. The table was laid with an assortment of chairs around it, there wasn't room for me and my sister so we had to have our dinner on the radiogram!
There was always music and laughter. When dinner was finished, all the men would have a snooze while the women washed up, leaving us children to play with our presents.
No sooner had the washing up been done, it was time for salmon sandwiches and trifle! Only then could everyone relax at the end of the day.
Christmases were never the same after my little sister died so near to Christmas and I'm sure it was a struggle every year for Mom and Dad, but they put on a brave front for our sakes.
Nan, Granddad and Dad have all gone, the siblings are now 5 and not 6 and my two eldest sisters live some distance away.
But I can close my eyes and still see us all in the chaos of one minute after midnight on Christmas Day and wish I could turn back the hands of time. Thank you Mom and Dad for the memories!