Julia and I were reminiscing about some of our favorite Christmases' past. We both agreed that one of our most memorable Xmas' was the one we spent in French Polynesia on Bora Bora with our friends Penny & Jerry - which has to be one of the most beautiful group of Islands in the world. It was not exactly our usual Xmas weather! But definitely preferable to the usual mix of cold and rain or snow! On Xmas Eve we went to church on Bora Bora, the Church was packed with the natives in their very colorful clothes. They sang with such joyous happiness and gladness, not at all timorous or bashful, but instead loud and almost raucous. We were acknowleged and invited to join in, It was indeed a Christmas Eve to remember. Christmas Day we spent snorkeling and visiting a pearl farm, where I bought Julia a black pearl ring.
There have been other Christmas days spent in various parts of the world including Mexico and the Carribean. These locations are always nice because of the weather and as they were all on cruises, involved no cooking or other preparations on our part.
Of course there is nothing quite like a Christmas at home. I particularly remember waking up on Christmas mornings as a child and feeling the weight of the sack of presents laying on the bottom of the bed. The small window had been left open to allow Father Christmas to get in! I don't suppose in these days of I-Pod's, computers, digital camera's et al that the contents of our sacks would bring much excitement to today's kids, but they certainly did to us. It was a frenzied pair, my sister Mary and I, that tore into the pillow cases with with frantic curiosity. There were always dozens of items in there, my parents must have spent weeks preparing them. There were always nuts, an apple, an orange, wrapped sweets, and all kinds of odds and ends as well as some wrapped packets and some items unwrapped. Toy cars, dolls for Mary, books, pencils, pens, gloves, socks, every year was different, but the same - mases of things, we never knew what they would be. And then later would be the 'Big gift' or gifts, under the tree. Not as many as children get now, but usually there were several for each of us. I was always overwhelmed. One year I received a bicycle! True it was used, it had been Dad's for years, he rode it through the blackout during the war and to work for years after the war. But now it was mine and I was almost big enough to ride it! I cannot imagine that a boy nowadays who got the latest shiny new bicycle for Xmas could possibly be more excited than I was when I got that rusty old bike, lovingly washed, oiled and polished and fitted with a new seat than I was that Xmas day.