Christmas is a magical time, especially for young children. We were privileged as my parents made sure that the festive season was a wonderful time for brother and me. And so, the anticipation mounted in the weeks running up to Christmas Eve. I have many fond memories of us both rustling around the Christmas tree getting excited for Santa’s imminent visit; how illicit to prod, poke and shake the gifts and how we giggled in delight when, pushing the paper close to the package we managed to decipher clues as to the content of the package! I have vivid and cherished memories of the scent of the first Satsuma of the season. Browsing the TV and Radio Times – (two long forgotten UK publications which scheduled all the Xmas viewings with reviews) – and planning our holiday viewings. Lazy afternoons with sweets and treats watching charmingly innocent and corny Christmas films. Ferrying the dropped pine needles, in Dinky toy dumper trucks, across the mustard coloured embossed carpet which chaffed my knees. In the weeks leading up to festivities we truly embraced the Christmas Spirit.
Then Auntie Olive and Uncle Dave would arrive from Brightlingsea, a small unspoilt seaside town in Suffolk, to do their Christmas shopping. Croydon had one of the first UK indoor shopping centres: The Whitgift Centre, and, in the 1970’s, the first ever UK branch of McDonald’s opened, but that is another story!
Auntie Olive and Uncle Dave would get up early and, for two days, shop until they were just shy to drop. They would return happily laden with bags, for the family in Brightlingsea was large, and would, wearily but full of wonder, settle down to show us all of their purchases. Brother and I were small, I was about 6, and we would enviously ogle and eye the gifts whilst understanding that they were not for us; but, at the bottom of the bags, there was always a little something for myself and brother. I particularly recall a small plastic blister pack brooch, with a small door that opened, which housed a beautiful, small doll with auburn red ringlets.
On Christmas Eve Mum and Dad would boil the Chestnuts for the stuffing and would sit convivially in the backroom scooping the flesh from the steaming skins whilst brother and I grew excited to open the one gift deemed appropriate for us to have before Christmas morning. We were just about fit to burst! After Gran passed Grandad would stay for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day night and sleep in my bedroom. This meant that I would sleep on a camp bed made up in my brother’s bedroom which was a rare and wonderful treat. Getting to sleep was nigh on impossible as we excitedly whispered about what Santa might bring us both. One year my brother, who is two years older than me, startled me from slumber with the words;
‘Quick, quick Linda or you will miss him!’
I speedily scampered to my brother’s side, both peering from behind the curtains at the night sky he sighed;
‘Oh no you missed him! I saw Father Christmas and his sleigh fly by!’
I remember the magic of this moment clearly and thank my brother for this precious gift.
In the early hours Mum and Dad would fill two white pillowcases, which sat at the foot of the stairs, with all manner of delights and, in the ridiculously early hours of the morn, we would creep downstairs to get our sacks! We would then open, always by torchlight to avoid detection, the wrapped gifts as quietly as possible – but each rip and tear amplified and echoed in the still of the night. Once opened, and shared, we would systematically put everything back into the pillowcase and settle down to sleep. My parents were generous and our gifts were always what we asked for with nuts and sweets a plenty.
On Christmas morning we would innocently share what Father Christmas had brought us with Mum and Dad before tucking into a hearty plate of fresh cut ham, and eggs! We would then hurriedly tidy up and rush into the front room where the mound of gifts sat winking and waiting under the tree. By the time the unwrapping was done the floor would be a patchwork of colourful wrappings, rosettes and cellotape which filled a large black bin bag. We were all truly blessed.
Mum would then start the cooking as we readied ourselves for our Aunt, Uncle and cousins to arrive. They would rock up early at about 11.00am and then the fun would really begin! Our stuffed full pillowcases would then be dragged from room to room as we showed and shared our bounty with our cousins. What great Christmas’s we shared with food, games, love and laughter aplenty.
All of these marvellous memories got me thinking about my daughter in spirit, Little One, who never had the opportunity to enjoy such joyous times, for she passed impoverished and without her parents at a very young age. She has a best friend called Jacob who has also never had a Christmas such as I just shared and so I got to thinking – what could I do for these two wee souls to give them a small taste of the spirit of Christmas.
And so I decided to remodel my remembrance alter table into a festive spot for the children to visit. I wanted to share the festive season with them. Initially I imagined a twig with fairy lights and my crystals arranged as gifts underneath but this soon seemed a little sad and the concept grew legs!
Little One and Jacob were most grateful for their Christmas twig but a little disappointed at its haphazard form and this made me realise that my efforts had been a tad lame. They asked if I could find a prettier twig and then Jacob continued by asking if I would be his Mama too! After a bit of a muddle I agreed to be his ‘Special Auntie Linda,’ rather than Mama, explaining that I had no nephew and that this would make my heart sing to be his adoptive Auntie. Happy they then dotted off into the ether to play whilst I considered what I could do to up the ante Auntie!
So, feeling the Christmas Spirit within, I decided to make a small grotto and set to immediately. When Little One and Jacob next visited they were delighted and were so excited that my guardian angel Matthew tells me that they then did the rounds in the spiritual realms explaining how wonderful their Mama/Special Auntie Linda was to have created them their own special winter wonderland.
Matthew then continued;
Knowing how happy these beautiful small souls were with such a trifling gesture made me even more determined to improve on my plan and so, each day just before retiring to sleep I have been adding items to the Xmas winter wonderland so as to delight these children in spirit.
And, Matthew tells me;
‘Delighted they are. As are we Linda for your small trifling gesture is something that we have never before witnessed and it has gladdened all our hearts and added magic to what is already a most wondrous time of year; but Linda there is more for your one small deed has been seen by many here in spirit and next year all lightworkers who speak to us here in spirit are to be encouraged to do the same for the children who passed young and rest with us here! So, in honour of your initiative these winter wonderlands will be known as ‘Linda’s gift to all.’
Amazed at this revelation I am instructed to request that all who read this piece share this article far and wide for, in a world consumed with greed and materialism, it is truly the simple things that count the most and make the difference. I am also asked that those who have lost children at a tender age should commit to doing this too as it brings their lost ones close at what is a very special family time.
Bright Blessings at Christmas.
Be Happy xox
(Since November 2018 my writing is truly collaborative with spirit as I am now a channel for them and charged with bringing truth and hope to humanity.)