Working Christmas eve was always fun but hectic, Fun because of the excitement burning through the air of shoppers scouring for that last special present. Wives, girlfriends, husbands, boyfriends slipping away for a quick moment to get the beloved that extra surprise that will put a smile as big as the sun on their beloved’s face .
Staff cheery but tired after each shift shouting season’s greetings to each other as they melt in to the festive crowd to begin their own gathering of gifts. Ladies still needing advice on clothes in the Women’s Department or Men buying that suit for Christmas day service in Men’s Wear. Staff scurrying to find the tie and shirt to match those suits.
Ladies needing higher heels and a bag with more glitter to out shine each other at the Christmas events on the red carpet. Displaying their photographic pose when all dressed up in front of the mirror and asking us Managers and staff for our truthful opinions. At time’s tongue in cheek they are told ” you look great “. But then the dress in a bigger size is brought and the excuse of seeing a torn thread is used to get Madam in to this. WOW ! Now she truthfully looks awesome. Soon we will see FB pictures of the couple on a red carpet at some event. Friends will comment and we will know both outfits went down well. Then of course the children all have to be dressed in new clothes. What a task the patient staff in Children’s wear have. Children pick exactly the opposite to what Mammy has in her minds eye, Compromise is the name of the game. Nothing to formal but yet nothing to casual… Its a wrap …………eventually the store is locked and tidied.
Groceries are purchased, ticking off that long list before leaving town as the village shops will be cleared of all treats. Santa’s presents hidden safely away from probing children’s eyes. Children’s eyes are like radars picking up items that we think are hidden. Batteries bought: never again spend the day swapping batteries between the TV remote and Christmas toys.
Christmas carols on the car radio as the miles to the village speed by. Home at last to four eager little people. Four sets of hand all wanting to help… Funny this help is not forth coming all year round. Ha ha Children a massive gift from God..
Out of the business suit in to the jeans and woolly jumper, Get the fire stoked and get heat booming through the radiators. A quick coffee with beloved before he escapes in a blur of official uniform. Christmas eve a busy time for the worlds law enforcers .
Knock, knock and laughter from the back door area. The free range turkey has arrived from my friend. A massive bird, That’s the turkey now not my friend. More coffee and good cheer. Hungry children are then fed bathed and put to bed. Excitement makes it impossible to get them settled. Threats of Santa not coming soon calms the four down, Each telling the other to be quiet . Soon calm has descended on the little people in the bedrooms and its time for the kitchen at the far end of the house to come alive..
Potatoes are peeled for roasting and mashing. Sprouts are peeled of off coloured leaves and washed. Carrots prepared for those who frown at sprouts. Pots filled as the oven is cleared in preparation for the bird. But first the bird has to boned stuffed and rolled. The bones make a mean stock for a beautiful soup.
Knives sharpened, Turkey held tight and the task begins, Slowly, gently drawing the meat away from the bone, Eventually the bone’s are free and put in a pot to simmer. The turkey meat is spread out flat then covered in stuffing and then sliced of ham . All is ready to roll together and tie together in to a neat roast. Christmas dinner is shaping up as children send ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!S up to the sky.
Time has flown by and now its time to scour the house for hidden Santa gifts and to empty the car of Santa gifts there. Putting together any toy that needs to be assembled can be tricky as tiredness is showing on this long long day. Eventually everything is laid out in such a way that no one’s gifts will be mistaken for another’s. Children’s new outfits are placed in a line on the sofa and shoes are polished for church in the morning as Christmas is about Christ who was born on Christmas day. The visit to the crib after mass is so important as each family member wishes Baby Jesus Happy Birthday.
Time flies and a fast quiet shower is called for. Then a quick rummage to see what will Mammy wear for Christmas day. Something practical stylish and warm . ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
Sleep comes as soon as my head hits the pillow, Sometime during the night the mattress moves as the law enforcer drops to slumber. To soon the bed shakes and the room is filled with delightful excited screams . ” SANTA HAS COME ” “QUICK SEE WHAT I GOT ” ” I GOT ” ” MAMMY < DADDY LOOK ” The joy of Christmas morning mayhem, The blessings of four children are truly seen in the moments when they appreciate even the socks and underwear given to them. The carpet is hidden under a sea of wrapping paper, the fire is lighting and the coffee pot is sending an aroma through the house along with the screams of very happy children.
Yes Christmas past was a busy blessed time. Christmas Present is quiet blessed time as I enter the second phase of my life. To you I say treasure every moment with your children. When mine were small I never dreamed one would be in japan, one in Australia and two here in Ireland. I encouraged my children to follow their dreams and I’m so proud of them despite painfully missing them every breathing moment. But that’s being a Mammy.
All the Christmas eve of a full time working Mammy . XXX
God bless you Catherine. Shane. Bernice and Keith my awesome forever loved children/Adults. Always children in my eyes