Monday, 19 December 2011

Something about an old-fashioned Christmas is hard to forget

...said Hugh Downs who I've never heard of, or, if you're feeling particularly hot on grammar today, of whom I've never heard.

I have two Christmas stories (apart from that one in the bible) and they're both about my father.

He was born on Christmas Day. (Poor fellow. Always hard done by with the joint Christmas-birthday presents)

Now, this might not be true but it's a good story anyway...

His father was a vicar. According to the annals of family history,  Grandfather was taking a service on Christmas morning when my father made his grand or possibly squally entrance into the world. Someone raced to the church to announce the glad news, flung open the door and was met by the sound of the congregation singing...

Unto us is born a son

Christmas story number two, also set in church. This time, St.Matthew's Church, Northampton, when I was a child. There, the seating consisted of rows of wooden chairs with slatted backs,

....just like that only all joined together in twelves.

In front of us was a young family with a podgy toddler. Half way through the service, she stuck a leg through the slats of the chair in front of her and couldn't get it out on account of the bunching up of all her rolls of baby fat.

 Oh,the screams!

Daddy to the rescue. He raced home, grabbed a saw and during the sermon... skwee,skwee,skwee, skwee... he sawed through the back of the chair. (No, he DIDN'T amputate the baby's leg, even though, as a doctor, it might have crossed his mind - which would have been a better story, really)

Funny, the things that stick in my memory...