Monday, 21 December 2015

My Childhood Christmas Gifts

It's at this time of year when one's memories drift back to our childhood and the many Christmases we had with our family and siblings. The lovely memories (hopefully for most of us) come rushing back and we smile with nostalgia and a sigh or two. Personally, I don't like Nostalgia, whoever she is. Never met her but old people around me always seem to mention her in conversation. The other day an old aunt of mine, sitting by the fire, said "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be!" So I took the bottle of whisky from her, and the blanket that covered her, and went to another room to watch TV.

Anyway, back to my memories ... this is my Blog after all. Let my aunt get her own Blog and nostalge on it as much as she wants.

I remember as a child I used to love playing hide-and-seek with my siblings and parents too who used to join in. We used to go out in the garden, I would lean against a tree and close my eyes and count to 100; and then I would look for my parents and siblings. I would search for them in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and even London. They were very good at hiding from me. I would enter the house and find out my parents had sold it. What fun that was. When I eventually found them I could see from the grin on their faces that my family loved seeing me again. They often suggested widening the area of search to the whole of Europe and beyond.

As a child, I was not a demanding kid at all. Apart from the odd piece of bread, I sometimes asked for presents to mark the occasion of Christmas or my birthday. As a joke my parents used to say that I was not born as such; but dropped from the clutches of a tired stork which had picked me up thinking I was a bundle of old clothing. 
 
Because of their love for me my parents often bought me books for my birthdays and at Christmas. Books like how to maintain and fix a car, how to unblock the drains, clean the chimney and so on. Dad used to say that they were practical and would be useful should they need me to do these jobs around the house. In my innocence I liked such educational books and knew that they could be very useful in life. For instance, the Encyclopaedia Brittanica set I was given one year proved very valuable for many years. I soon discovered that by putting two volumes on top of each other I could easily reach the cookies jar. I then put the books back on their shelf and my parents never worked out how the jar of cookies got a little emptier day by day. 

I also used to read the books given to my siblings on their birthdays and Christmas. The thing is, I took the books I read quite seriously and quite literally. Take Jack and the Beanstalk for instance. I always worried what would have happened if Jack ate the beans and they grew big inside him. Would they grow so big that the beanstalk would come out of his bottom and raise him up to the sky like an elevator? And where did the giant live exactly? Up in the sky? Was it another world up there?

And how did the goose come to lay golden eggs? Did it happen all of a sudden or did she always lay golden eggs? What if you fed her chocolates? Would she lay chocolate eggs all year round or just at Easter?

And why did the three little pigs have to build a house of straw, and sticks and bricks? Could they not afford a good mortgage from the bank? And why did the surveyor and architect not warn them that a straw and a sticks house would not withstand the huffing and puffing of the wolf? They were probably badly advised by their accountants.

And was it the same wolf that ate Little Red Riding Hood's Grandma? Riding Hood must have been very short-sighted not to recognise the wolf in Grandma's clothing. Perhaps she should have visited an optician. 

As for Goldilocks! She should have been arrested for entering a house that does not belong to her.

So, as you can tell, I took all these stories seriously and believed what I read. I used to ask my parents all these questions that crossed my mind. They used to smile and suggest we go outside and play hide-and-seek.
 
One year I asked my parents for a real live unicorn for a birthday present. I'd read about it in a book, and now I wanted one. They tried to convince me that there are no such things as a real unicorn. I argued that if that was the case, then the writer of the book would not have written about them. Perhaps he should be prosecuted for mis-representation of the facts. Anyway, I still insisted on having a unicorn.

To satisfy my young desires, a friend of my parents brought in a horse on which he had stuck a large carrot on his head. To me, this was a real unicorn. Oh, I was so happy to be the only one in the world with a real unicorn.

My parents had nowhere to keep him. So he was kept at a nearby farm and I visited him every day for a week.

Sadly, one day the other horses he was with ate the carrot off his head. 

When I saw this I was distraught to find my unicorn had lost his horn. I was beside myself with grief. Which is quite an act considering there was only one of me. Have you ever been beside yourself? If so, who else was beside you at the time?

My parents had no explanation to offer about the lack of horn on the unicorn - lack of imagination I suppose. The friend who had brought the horse in the first place explained that in modern times unicorns have edible horns. So it was quite normal for the other horses to eat my unicorn's horn. 

I think I almost quite believed this. But I'm not sure though. What do you think? Are unicorn's horns edible or not?

8 comments:

  1. I'd explain the loss of a horn like a parable- the unicorn saved someone and loss it in the process!

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    1. Good idea Michael. But my parents didn't have much imagination, I think.

      God bless.

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  2. Everyone knows real unicorns hide their horns to protect themselves, Victor!

    Funny, Friend!

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    1. Now that's mew to me. I never knew that Lulu.

      God bless.

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  3. I bet Red Riding stole the carrot because she couldn't afford an optician!

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    1. Good point Mary. Wonderful to see you visiting again. May I take this opportunity to wish you and your family a Very Blessed Christmas and a Splendid New Year filled with hope, joy, peace, faith and good health.

      God bless.

      Delete
  4. Haha, hilarious. You're very funny Victor. You know, the one time I went to the circus they did claim to have a unicorn. It did look like a pony with a fake horn.

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    1. Glad I made you smile, Manny. Best wishes to you and yours.

      God bless.

      Delete

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