My darling Doodlebugs,
My childhood Christmas always had a precision to it. I awoke on Christmas morning, more often than not was awoken by my younger brother, and sat on my bed unpacking my stocking. Once I'd reached the tangerine and gold chocolate coins that were tucked at the bottom, I'd take my stash into my parents' bed and show them all that Santa had given me. After my brothers had done the same, mum would go downstairs to get us all a drink. I never understood until I was older and she told me, that is was actually to turn the Christmas lights on and check the turkey.
Once we'd all had the obligatory drink and put on our dressing gowns, down we'd go, picking our places in the sitting room and then waiting whilst Brother Neal distributed all the gifts. Only when the last present had been dispensed could the carnage of paper ripping and box trashing begin.
There was a routine that followed which included having chocolate for breakfast, getting dressed in the new outfit that Santa had given us, and filling the house with young squaddies from the local barracks who didn't have anywhere else to go. And I have so many funny memories of those days, but it's the first few moments in the day that I treasure most. The quiet before the chaos, when we were just five, illuminated by lights and surrounded by love and carols.
All my love,