Christmas is well underway at Mum’s care home. With less than three weeks to go, the home is liberally decorated and plans are in place for the Christmas party, which sadly I can’t go to this year.
Christmas was always a very special time for our family. At this point in the build-up, Mum would have ordered the turkey, made mountains of mince pies, one (large) cake and a substantial pudding. Dad would be raiding the cupboards, his eye on any festive fare.
Mum and Dad went as far as they could to make Christmas memorable for my sister and I and in later years, as we hosted them, we tried to do the same.
So, this time of year is always a poignant time for me. As for the last few years, I’ll visit Mum on the 25th but it’s no different from any other day for her. I asked her yesterday what she’d like for Christmas. She peered at me, trying to make sense of what I was saying. No sense was to be found. So, instead, I pulled a face and she started giggling. It
helped that she was wearing a Rudolph hat with a “nose” on the brim which obligingly hooted when pressed. Mum thought this a great wheeze and giggled some more. A pattern was emerging. Mum’s attention drifted, I pressed Rudolph’s nose, and Mum giggled. It was like playing with a new-born baby.
I played some carols, via my phone not in person you understand, and Mum seemed drawn to “Silent Night” but there was no conversation at all. Once again, music was our shared language. We sang – Mum trying to read my lips as we went along – and we laughed. And laughed.
At Christmas 2015, I’m lucky that Mum and I can share music, laughs and silly hats.