This is Christmas Eve

Our children are grown up now so they can entertain themselves on Christmas eve; at the moment a jigsaw is being completed and quizzes on TV are being watched. Sooner or later we no doubt will head to the Dolphin.

When the children were small they always wanted to go to bed early on Christmas Eve in anticipation of Father Christmas coming to visit! We tried to keep them up a little later so they would be tired when they actually went to bed – but little hope of getting to sleep, far too exciting! We used to go out for a walk, to try and tire them but also to fill the time. W would look at Christmas trees and decorations in people’s windows, look up to the sky to see if we could see Santa’s sleigh, and pick dead grass which they thought was hay for the reindeer.

My son, like me, has never needed much sleep, and like me when I was a child, bedtimes for him were always a struggle. Even when he was very young, he used to listen to radio 4 in bed so at least he was relaxed. This had an added advantage of giving him an excellent general knowledge and interest in politics form a young age! So sleep for him on Christmas Eve was frustratingly elusive. In fact, sometimes I had to get up in the middle of the night to help Santa with his stocking!

Santa still calls every Christmas (fingers crossed that we have been good enough for him to return tonight!!) but apart from a stroll to the pub, we no longer go out gathering hay for the reindeer!

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