For this festive blog hop we’re writing about the best Christmas present we ever received, and the one present we really wanted but never got.

There was never any fuss made about Christmas presents as I was growing up.  Mum and Dad never had much spare cash, and every year without any pomp or circumstance I’d be handed an unwrapped present round about the end of November.  However, there was always a big East End party every Christmas night to look forward to, singing and dancing with all the relatives gathered together, and that’s what I remember and miss rather than any food, drink or presents.

It was only once I’d married and seen the trouble my mother-in-law went to every Christmas regarding presents and food, that I realised I might have been missing out on something!  Mum-in-law is too old now to do it, but in times past I’ve known her to bake 400 mince pies, a huge Dundee cake and Christmas cake, decorate most of the house, and wrap tons of presents for children and grandchildren to open on CHRISTMAS DAY ONLY.  There was never any singing or dancing in their house, but hey, if I had the chance to do it all over again I’d still opt for the parties of my youth rather than the sight of 400 mince pies.

I must admit that like my own mother I cannot really get into this Christmas thing of spending all the holidays stooped over a cooker.  However, I always wrapped up presents for my boys when they were small, and still do in fact, although I don’t cook anything special (we are always out on Christmas Day for dinner).  But to get back onto the subject of the best Christmas present I ever received, then I know that it was the time of Christmas 1979.

I was 22 and had known Sam for 3 months.  Sam had been astounded that I had never been encouraged to save any presents to open on Christmas Day, and so he told me that for the first time in my life I would be opening his present on the big day only, and just to make doubly certain he would be keeping my present at his home so that I couldn’t get my hands on it.

Of course I couldn’t wait for Christmas Day to arrive.  Sam picked a moment after dinner when we were alone, and gave me a small box wrapped in tissue paper.  A solitaire diamond engagement ring winked at me inside….

And the present I always wanted but never received?  When I was a kid I yearned for a doll’s pram.  All my friends had one except me.  I never did get a lovely pram with a canopy and a crying doll inside.  Instead I had to wait until 3 years after the diamond ring had appeared to get a pram and a crying baby for real!

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