About aged six in one state-run children’s home
my sister and I went to a huge Christmas party.
It seemed we were late and there were hundreds of kids
(probably about 50)
all seated at joined rows of tables
wearing party hats, shouting, laughing
eating bowls of jelly, trifle and cake.
Suddenly a man arrived, I had never seen before
his name was Father Christmas
(some call him Santa Claus)
and, I thought what he did was magic.
Before Christmas day I walked into the big kitchen
and several grown ups were busy, busy, busy
baking, making an abnormal amount of bunches of things
and, I had never smelled such delicious food before
in all my life.
Some were making sausage rolls
(sausages in pastry)
someone else, sweet-mince pies
another was putting icing onto a
perfectly square Christmas cake
(icing left to dangle from the spout
until it hit just the right spot)
and, in the middle of all the chaos there was
a table and a woman I didn’t know had the
biggest mixing bowl I think I’ve ever seen.
“You want to mix it a little dearie?”
She saw me looking.
“What is it?” I asked, wide eyed.
“It’s going to be a Christmas pudding darlin’.
‘ere…have a little taste.”
My tongue danced across the offered clean spoon
and its content disappeared way too soon.
I tried to stir the mix but, it was so
thick it wouldn’t budge
she gave out a huge belly laugh and said
“This pudding will have some magic in it
maybe you’ll find some on Christmas day.”
I didn’t know what she meant, but, I went on my way.
When it finally arrived, the kids and I were quite stuffed on
all that lavish food but, even to this day
I remember her laugh, her mixing and the magic
as I found a silver sixpence in the pudding
she had made.
© Daydreamertoo *All rights reserved
In the 1960’s in England it was still traditional for everything to be baked at home and not shop bought ready made. The Christmas Puddings made at home each had several silver sixpences or, silver threepenny pieces in them, and the kids were all warned to really be careful when they ate their puddings….lol
It was the first Christmas I truly remember knowing it was Christmas.