Christmas time. A stuffing of Turkey. A blanket of snow. A slice of Christmas pudding. A stocking of presents. A pine smell of the tree. A rustling of wrapping paper. An annoyance of carol singers. A clanging of cutlery. A gathering of those close to you.
I remember the carol singers banging the door down madly on a bitterly cold December night. If I didn’t open the door soon there would’ve been no door left to open. So I reluctantly opened the door and they burst into ‘Silent Night’. To be honest a parrot could’ve sang better than them, they were out of tune and couldn’t even remember the second verse! When they had finally finished I gave them a measly twenty pence piece and slammed the door shut.
I remember waking up at 3am on Christmas morning, an hour earlier than last year. I shot upright on my high bunk bed and without thinking I leapfrogged over the metal bars down to the floor. The tremendous noise when I landed heavily sent shockwaves through my whole house. I then sprinted as fast as Maurice Greene, but as quiet as a mouse, careful as to not to wake my parents. My brother didn’t need to woken up by me, but he still bolted up at the sight of me. We mouthed ‘Happy Christmas’ to each other gleefully and we raced down the stairs together, taking them three at a time.
There was no need this Christmas morning to shout my brother and me down to breakfast, as we were already down there at 3am. Every Christmas we weren’t allowed to wake our parents till 7:00, or for that matter we weren’t allowed to open any presents except our stockings till 7am. As my watch beeped 7, me and my brother bolted up the stairs into our parent’s room and together bellowed ‘Merry Christmas’. The only reply we got was my dad murmuring ‘What time is it?’ As they finally woke from their deep hypnotic sleep, they ambled slowly down the creaking stairs.
And if you could have listened at some of the open door of the house, you might have heard
“Have you stuffed the Turkey?…”
“Wow, look at this!…”
“What did you stuff it with?…”
“What is it?…”
“Auntie Sue got me a new video game…”
“Sage and Onion…”
“A new games console!…”
“Did anyone put the Turkey on?…”
“Don’t forget to thank Auntie Sue…”
“I put it on at 6am…”
I remember the smell of sweet tempting chocolate. The pine smelling tree needles on the floor. The grotesque smell of the brutal Brussel sprouts cooking in the chaotic kitchen.
The succulent smell of roasting Turkey filled the whole house, the perfumed smell of mom’s new bath goodies, the strong smell of my Granddad’s brandy, the ever-so tempting smell of home-made gravy being poured over the cracking smell of the appetizing Christmas dinner, the fruity sweet, scrumptious smell of steaming Christmas Pud. The alcohol-smelling brandy butter in the dish ready to be gobbled down.
And the noise of the clattering cutlery on the table, the rustling and ripping of wrapping paper filled the room, Christmas carols blaring out of the CD Player left a ringing in my ear. The annoying sound of my brother’s new video game coming from upstairs. The ear-splitting sound of the electric carver going loudly in the kitchen.
Dusk came down, and the curtains were closed, the stale smell of cold Turkey filled the dining room, the room was half empty as my brother and sister were upstairs enjoying their new presents. The only sound was from the TV as the Only Fools and Horses Christmas special was switched on. In the dark, but happy room, the dull-white tree lights flashing in different sequences generated the dim light. The subdued atmosphere in the room was driving me crazy, as the excitement of Christmas has passed.
In the distance, I heard the clock strike twelve. As I silently lay in bed, I thought to myself. Christmas is over, only another 365 days till Christmas.