Saturday, 3 January 2009

Ho ho ho

One year, we got school supplies for Christmas.

I was nine years old, and lest anyone picture the wrong kind of "school supplies", I'm not talking cute Snoopy lunchbox, fun Smurf pencil case, pink Barbie ruler, glitter-covered notebooks. I'm talking a wooden-ruler-cheap-Kmart-lunchbox-plain-Tudor-exercise-book kind of misery.

There just aren't enough disclaimers for presents like that, but I'll give them anyway. We'd just arrived home in the nick of time for Christmas, after a two-thousand-mile road trip from Brisbane to South Australia where Dad was – seriously – picking up a vintage car. (Now that's the kind of trip you take your wife and four kids along for. At the height of summer, pulling a trailer, in a non-airconditioned car meant to seat only five.)

So where was I ... oh right. Mum didn't really have much time to think up good presents – or perhaps to think at all. Maybe she had the school supplies already in the corner and thought if she wrapped them in festive paper, the kids might not know the difference. Uh... wrong. That was not a fabulous Christmas.

I say all this not to embarrass my mum (sorry Ma), who did arrange excellent Christmases on other years, but to illustrate the contrast between my childhood Christmas expectations and those rapidly forming for Berry and Kickbaby (yeah, SEE PICTURES). This is the Christmas version of "when I was your age I walked twenty miles to school in a blizzard every single day".

Trust me, I plan to milk it for all it's worth.


  1. I know this happened. I remember it. But it doesn't really stand out for me as much as for you it seems. Perhaps it is all the Christmases that followed that made it blend into the scenery for me. Combs anyone?

  2. Yes, it's all very Brady Bunch Hel - you've got to stick some heart-ache in there before it's too late.

  3. mom likes to say how, to get to school when she was a kid, she had to march 5 miles in knee-deep snow, up hill, BOTH ways! She says that...up hill, both ways. Oh and as for the snow part, she went to school in Los Angeles. At least your 'back in the day' stories will stand up to scrutiny :)