Let­ter of the Week

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AS we grow older and Christ­mas ap­proaches we re­mem­ber things from both our own, and our chil­dren’s, child­hood.

One year with our chil­dren re­mains in­grained on our mem­o­ries.

It was the mo­ment ev­ery par­ent dreaded for, un­like them who go to bed early on Christ­mas Eve, par­ents still had many things to do such as presents brought out of their se­cret hide­aways and placed un­der the tree ready for the fol­low­ing morn­ing.

But such things can­not hap­pen un­til you are sure your chil­dren are fast asleep and, as ev­ery par­ent knows, ev­ery sound will have their chil­dren sit­ting up and lis­ten­ing, con­vinced that Fa­ther Christ­mas has paid his visit to their home.

But at last, sleep will claim even the strong­est-willed child de­ter­mined to stare out of the bed­room win­dow search­ing for a fly­ing sleigh, and pos­si­bly hear the cry “ho ho ho.” And so it was with us. Our two chil­dren had suc­cumbed to sleep and, with their presents placed be­neath the tree, we re­tired to bed.

Only to be awo­ken around 5am the fol­low­ing morn­ing by the sounds of our chil­dren talk­ing to each other from their bed­rooms and each ask­ing the other if they thought he had been?

Well as you know, it is sim­ply no use on a Christ­mas morn­ing yelling at your chil­dren and or­der­ing them back to bed, but 5am was far too early for ei­ther them, and in­deed us, to get out of our beds. Christ­mas was a long day for both them, and us, as Christ­mas din­ner had to be pre­pared for our fam­ily and the chil­dren’s grand­par­ents.

But how do you make ex­cited chil­dren re­turn to their beds, if only for a lit­tle while?

I looked around the bed­room, search­ing for some­thing that might just help me in our quest, and my gaze set­tled upon the dress­ing table.

On it was one of those lit­tle china bells that we all seemed to buy in the 60s and 70s as a re­minder of a visit to Llan­dudno or Scar­bor­ough.

So armed with this, I tip­toed along the land­ing ring­ing the bell. The re­sult was per­fect. Our son, (the youngest child) said to his sis­ter: “Can you hear that? It’s sleigh bells, quick back into bed, he hasn’t been yet.”

And there they stayed for an­other cou­ple of bliss­ful hours.

But there was also a lit­tle Christ­mas magic that year.

Our roof was far too steep for Fa­ther Christ­mas to land his sleigh on, and he de­cided to land on the roof of our Hill­man Hunter es­tate.

That year we had a slight fall of snow, and there on the roof of the es­tate were two per­fect mark­ings, sug­gest­ing that Fa­ther Christ­mas had in­deed low­ered his present laden sleigh down on to it.

Well Christ­mas is a time for magic, isn’t it? The writer of the Let­ter of the Week wins a box of cakes from Lili­bets of Paris, South­port. To col­lect your prize take in a copy of your let­ter to­gether with photo ID to the shop at 24 Stan­ley Street dur­ing open­ing hours. For times go to www.lili­bet­sof­paris.com Fred McCann South­port

Christ­mas is a time for magic

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