Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Everybody Writes: Christmas Past 1

Today, in our first-ever Everybody Writes day, over 300 pupils and staff wrote for about 15 minutes anything they wanted on the subject of 'Christmas Past'. In the next period leading up to Christmas, we'll be posting many of these contributions. Most of them are anonymous, and there will be no indication what age the contributor is, or even (usually) gender. There's a huge variety of approach.

Here's the first batch. (Visitors can add their own contributions via the Comments link at the bottom of each post).

Awake, darkness and cold. My breath is like fog as I jump out of bed. The frost forms patterns on the inside of the window. So cold, so very very cold. Dressing gown and slippers on, I run down to the drawing room. The lights on the Christmas tree shining brightly fill the room in a golden glow. Warm and cosy, I just sit on the electric storage heater. Amazed, I gaze upon the presents, so many gifts in a multitude of brightly coloured papers. Nobody awake, the house is silent, and I just sit there, warm and amazed. I just sit and gaze at the tree, the lights, the gifts and all about the room. A heaven of warmth and light, on a cold cold dark silent morning.

Being in Africa, this was normal to me: sure, on all the advertisements on TV he looked different, but I never knew why. All I knew was Africa, and I was too young to know anything else. So when I think back to the first Santa I met or remember, this is always the first thing I think about. The black Santa with his pure, white beard and huge hands picking me up and sitting me down on his knee, and asking 'What is it you want me to give you for Christmas?'

All my Christmases have been much the same - too much food, too many presents, too many family members squeezed into our house. One Christmas though sticks out more than the others. It had snowed, and the garden was completely white. My Mum had just managed to get my four-year old sister dressed, and then she opened the back door. And my sister tore out into the snow and rolled down the hill outside, followed closely by our dog. Both of us spent about two hours doing this, rolling down the hill and then dragging each other back up it. We were forced back inside and my sister screamed for the rest of the day, because we weren't allowed back out. That's all I can remember from that Christmas, not the food or the presents, just the snow. Over time the rest of my past Christmases have merged together into one happy memory.

'Jingle bells, Batman smells,
Robin laid an egg.
The Batmobile lost its wheel,
And Joker got away.'

I remember singing these songs in the playground of my primary school. Another one is:

'We three Kings of Orient are
One in a taxi, one in a car,
One on a scooter with a bazooka,
Smoking a rubber cigar.
Oh star of wonder, star of light,
Fill my pants with dynamite,
Light the fuse and off we go,
All the way to Mexico.'

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