Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Ghosts of Christmas Past.

Growing up in Australia meant hot Christmas days spent playing beneath a homemade sprinkler, sucking cool flavoured ice blocks hoping the Aerogard, which kept the mosquitoes at bay, didn't wash off our skin as we ducked in and out of the water. Our entire family—cousins, aunts and uncles—regularly gathered at my grandparents' place in the Hunter Valley because it was big enough to accommodate the lot of us. Our parents scored the bedrooms while we kids slept on the lounge room floor, laughing and tousling with each other till eventually sleep overcame each one of us.
My grandpa had built a replica Matterhorn, a miniature Swiss chalet and life-size toadstool beneath the boughs of a massive Canadian spruce he'd planted many years before. At night he would switch on the fairy lights he'd decked around the lower branches of the tree, and to a child with my fertile imagination, it was like being transported to fairyland. He'd then gather all us grandkids around him, the older ones perching precariously on the toadstool, the younger ones on his knees, and begin to tell us stories - Czech fairytales, myths and legends - that have stayed with me forever.
Those were magical Christmas nights under the stars, as I clutched my favourite toy and listened rapt imagining I could see monstrous trolls, water sprites, wood fairies and mischievous elves peering at me through the thick branches of the trees above us. The chirping of night crickets and frogs only added to the enchanted atmosphere my grandpa was able to create.
Decades later, I look back on those Christmas times as among the happiest of my life.
I love Christmas, with all its memories of good things past, but the hope it promises for the future is far greater than a fairytale. A king was born to take our sins upon his own shoulders so all who put their trust in Him will have the certainty of Heaven. What a perfect happily ever after.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and God's blessing into the new year.


Elizabeth Ellen Carter said...

Merry Christmas Tima,
Thank you for your friendship and encouragement in 2014 and wishing you and your family a wonderful 2015.

God bless,

Tima Maria said...

Thank you, Elizabeth, and I wish all the same to you. May you have a truly lovely Christmas and may all God's blessing shine down on you and your family.

Diane said...

Lovely post, Tima. I hope that your Christmas is a very happy one.

Tima Maria said...

Thank you, Diane, and I hope you have a lovely Christmas, too.

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