They say that age can severely distort memories and in my case I would have to say that I find this to be true. Summers were always hot and sunny, winters were freezing and snow was a regular feature. A white Christmas was practically a given.
I remember particularly one Christmas Eve. Being from the heart of the countryside in Mayo (aka the back end of nowhere!) snow when it landed formed an absolute blanket. Even in the dark of night there was incredible brightness because of the snow. This particular Christmas Eve my father suggested that myself and the next up brother and sister go out with him into the snow. It didn’t take long for the first snowball to fly and within seconds it was all out war. I was only about five or six at the time and the also the annoying baby sister. This made me a prime target for the two siblings with my father (supposedly!) doing his best to help me to defend myself.
Suddenly, out of nowhere there was a loud bang....we all stopped dead. Daddy stood there with a look of complete shock on his face-“I think Santa’s sleigh has just landed on top of the hay shed-nobody move!” Take it from me nobody did. We were all petrified. After what seemed like forever Daddy said “I think it’s ok now”.
We all bet into the house like three demented popsicles. Poor Mammy who was sitting in her armchair beside the fire smoking her cigarette didn’t know what was happening. “Daddy said Santa’s been”, we all blurted out. “Don’t be daft”, she said laughing, “sure wasn’t I here the whole time”.
We ran into the ‘good room’ where the Christmas tree was and sure enough there under the tree all the presents were laid out.
Santa had been. Daddy was right, Mammy was deaf, we were thrilled and our very clever parents had just bagged themselves a lie-in on Christmas morning!