xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' The Font of Noelage: Christmas! Somebody put a sock in it.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Christmas! Somebody put a sock in it.

Everyone loves Christmas. I especially look forward to it because my birthday is on Christmas Eve. In fact I was the first boy baby to be born at Christmas at St Anne's Hospital in East Perth.

I was born at 10-30pm. on Christmas Eve. When my mother came out of labour and as she was returned to the ward she heard beautiful music. It was a choir singing "Ave Maria". She thought she had died giving birth and had gone straight to heaven.

In fact it was the hospital’s Sisters of Mercy nuns singing some hymns prior to midnight mass. Soon afterwards, a nun brought me into the room and Mum very soon realised that, for her, heaven would have to wait for a while.

I should have been christened John Patrick, after my father and grand father, but Reverend Mother Gertrude convinced my parents that, as St Anne's first ever Christmas boy baby,  I could only be called Noel. And that's the way it has been ever since. I suppose you could even say I was the first Noel...at St Anne's anyway.

Quite often people say to me, "You poor chap, fancy having a birthday at Christmas. You must miss out on so much."

In fact I really enjoy having my birthday at a time when everyone else is in such a celebratory mood. Indeed, over the years I'm sure it has been to my advantage.

My mother, no doubt feeling a little guilty, always insisted on giving me a birthday party on Christmas Eve, a situation my two younger sisters have often suggested was rank favouritism. To their good natured complaints I could only reply that I was obviously my mother's favourite son. I'm happy to say that my beautiful wife, Lesley, has continued what I, at least, believe is a very fine family tradition. A family gathering on Christmas Eve is the very best way to start Christmas.

Because Christmas is a time of giving, I'm sure that over the years I have received presents from many people who would only have sent me a card if my birthday was in June. Mind you some of the presents have not been very substantial.

In 1962 I was sharing an apartment in Toronto in Canada with six other Australian friends. We were slowly working our way around the world. As our first white Christmas approached, none of us had a lot of money to spare. We realized that buying Christmas presents for each other could leave us with very little to see in the New Year...or even to make it that far!

It was agreed that that we would only spend $2.00 (I suppose about $15 to $20 in today's values) on each others’ presents. Finding such inexpensive presents provided quite a challenge. Considering our unhealthy financial situation, for we certainly lacked fiscal fitness, I didn't hold out much hope of getting any birthday presents that year.

However, when my birthday rolled around on Christmas Eve all of my friends managed to present me with some little gift. Including my good friend, Mike Jones, who came up and said, "Happy Birthday, Noel".

Mike was a very funny fellow. Still is. His gift was one very well wrapped white sock. 

I said, "Thanks, Mike, but gee, one white sock. What do I do with one white sock?”

He smiled and said, "Wait till tomorrow!"

Sure enough, Mike’s Christmas present was the other white sock.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to hear your opinion! If for some technical reason it won't let you leave a comment, please email me at bourke@iinet.net.au