Avoiding a house full of dead memories
A personal story at Christmas by Andrew McKimm
The dream of Christmas is strangely close to the dream of boy-meets-girl -- one to which most of us are inevitably drawn. It carries with it the illusion of perfection and the treacherous belief in the attainability of simple, static happiness.
I'm listening to Nat King Cole's Christmas Album, thinking of other times. It takes me back to two periods in my life -- one happy, the other anything but. My happy Christmas times are probably similar to most people's -- sleepless Christmas Eves as a child, waiting for Santa to arrive; the pungent smell of whiskey and lemon juice, as I stirred the plum puddings for my mother in a steam-filled kitchen; the pine-green, crackling perfume of frosty backyards as we tried to choose the perfect Christmas tree together.
It was a time of simplicity and safety when life was suffused with an other-worldly, undying magic. It's a feeling that many of us spend whole lifetimes trying to recapture.