Please remember...

...the places, the people, the love...

One of the things I remember most about Christmas as a child, and something I absolutely loved, was the trips around the family on Christmas Eve.

Dad would finish work around lunchtime and late-afternoon the tour would start.  We would travel to the other side of town to Maureen and Sid's, who mum used to work with.  We would then head over to the next county to mum's cousin and his wife (my absolute strongest memory of this house is one Christmas watching Paul McCartney and The Frog Song on the TV at Tony and Val's house), we would then head nearer to home to my Gran, on to my Dad's cousin, Marilyn and her husband Phil, and then home to leave the car and walk to my parents' best man's house - Stan and Eileen.  We definitely spent a couple of hours here and I ate my bodyweight and then some in crisps, nuts and chocolate drops...!  On the walk home my dad would always pretend he could hear sleigh bells, or Santa laughing ho ho ho, anything to get me to want to leave Stan's and walk home quicker.

Looking back it always felt that we spent hours at each house, but we couldn't have done, and my parents must have been exhausted at the end of it all.  We haven't done the tour for quite a few years now, sadly it's only Tony, Val and Marilyn still with us, but every Christmas that is hosted at my parents' I always drive past the house that once was Stan and Eileen's, and even though Santa has already been, I still hear those sleigh bells ringing and Santa laughing ho ho ho...

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