xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' The Font of Noelage: No matter what others may call it, it is still Christmas time to me.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

No matter what others may call it, it is still Christmas time to me.



LET US CALL IT CHRISTMAS!
If you are one who greets people at this time of the year with, “Compliments of the season,” ‘Seasons greetings”, “Happy festive season” or “Happy holidays” please look away now.

Merry Christmas, everybody!
There I’ve said it. And I feel so much better for it. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas.

Yes, it is Christmas time all over the world. Hip, hip, hooray! Let us hope that some of the great joy and hope that Christmas brings falls upon those who want to make it a crass commercial spending spree. It is patronising and very condescending of me, I know, but I do feel sorry for those who do not experience the spiritual and uplifting joy of the real Christmas story.  To me, that would be like having a toy without the batteries included, to make it work properly. Perhaps, a bit like that Dean Martin line when he said he felt very sorry for people who did not drink, because, “When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they are going to feel for the rest of the day.”

Fifty per cent of Australians indicated in the last Census that they have no religion, so many will not agree with me. Thank God, that we live in a democratic country and njoy freedom of opinion. To most of those people, The Festive Season is just another excuse for a party. Not anything really special. 

However, I think that that the Christmas message of, “Peace on earth and goodwill to all” is a far more life altering sentiment than “Roll out the barrel” or “Spend, spend, spend. There are only three shopping days left till Christmas.” That last one is the credo of the retailers whose favourite Christmas carol is the Ker-chingle bells ringing of their cash registers.

Christmas is a time of much happiness and joy, spent with family and friends. I have had quite a lot of Christmases and it is that overwhelming feeling of family joy and happiness that I remember, rather than the presents I received.But, I do remember a lot of those presents and the happiness they gave me. My first tri-cycle, my first two-wheeler bicycle, my first cricket bat, a Don Bradman bat, of course.  My first wrist watch.

One present I remember was one that I could not use. At least not for several days. I was about eight years old, living with my family at 7th Avenue, Inglewood. That Christmas, my Uncle Ben Magee and my Aunty Margaret and their three children, John, Noreen and Patricia were staying with us. Uncle Ben was a station Master at Mt Barker, but the family were in Perth for Christmas. Aunty Margaret was my dad’s sister.

On that Christmas morning I woke up just before 5-00am and quickly searched the end on my bed for any presents that Santa had brought. There was the usual bright red Christmas stocking packed with all sorts of goodies and two cardboard boxes, one quite large and a smaller one. The morning light in my bedroom was still dim, but I soon figured out that the large box was filled with chocolates.
Chocolates! You beauty! It was Christmas, 1946. The Second World War had ended sixteen months earlier, but wartime shortages and rationing meant that lollies and chocolates were almost impossible to find in any shop.

I immediately started ripping the cardboard to gain access to all those oh, so beautiful chocolates. It was not easy. The box was about thirty centimetres long by 15 centimetres wide. Of course, in 1946 we said it was 12 inches by 6 inches. It was very well wrapped. I could only succeed in pulling very small bits of cardboard off at any one time. It did not seem to have lid that I could open.

Well, I eventually ripped away a fair bit of cardboard and felt the chocolates, which seemed to be arranged in two layers, with four lots of two on top and the same underneath. With some difficulty, I prized one of these chocolates apart from its comrades. In the darkness it looked a dull creamy colour. I shoved it in my mouth and took a huge bite. Ugh! 

It was hard and inedible. It tasted horrible; like nothing I had ever tasted before. I knew straight away that it was not chocolate, but I did not have a clue as to what it really was.

What it really was, was a cell from a large dry cell battery that was to power my Morse Code Set which was in the smaller cardboard box. My Uncle Ben, being a Station Master, was a whiz on Morse Code.  Santa, in his wisdom, obviously thought it would be great to give little Noel a Morse Code Set so that Uncle Ben could teach him how to use it over the Christmas - New Year holidays. 

My Dad seemed to think it was splendid idea, too. In fact, my dad seemed much more upset than I was when Uncle Ben eventually saw the havoc I had caused to the large dry cell battery and said it was impossible to use the Morse Code Set until a new battery was purchased. That meant a three day wait. In those days the shops were shut on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and the next day was Sunday, when the shops were also shut. After that experience I always waited for full daylight before I opened any Christmas presents.

My wish for you this Christmas, Dear  Blog Reader, even if you only think of it as the Festive Season, is that enjoy a joyful and loving time with your family and friends.

May the joy and peace that Christmas brings stay with you

through a healthy and happy New Year.





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