Thursday, 4 August 2011

Your stories

For Wicked Christmas this year, we'd like to include your favourite true festive stories - embarrassing, heartfelt, sad or funny! Submit your story using the form on our Christmas Tales page. One winner will also receive a Buchanan Galleries voucher and tickets to the show. Deadline 1 Sep 2011. Here are a couple we have received so far - NB. They don't have to be long, short and pithy is fine:

SARAH'S STORY


My Christmas story begins when I was a baby. I am the 13th child in my family. My Dad brought us up cos my Mum died of cancer when i was 13 months old. The Christmas before she died was spent in hospital. My Dad and 10 of my siblings took the bus on Christmas Day across Glasgow to see my dying Mum. Me and My twin where kept in hospital cos my Dad could not cope cope with 2 tiny twin babies & 10 kids. On that day we where brought to my Mums bed and we all spent Christmas together as a family. It got to 10.30pm and my Dad realised that there would be no buses or trains running. He said he began 2 panic. How would he get 10 kids home? he would have to phone at least 3 taxis a expense he could not afford. So he tried a couple of taxi firms, None could help? He said he was at his wits end.


Photo by mrpattersonsir

Praying for a miracle He tried the last Taxi number he had, The Lady who took his call listen to My Dad"s story about his dying wife and 12 kids. 10 of which he needed to get home. The Lady Was an Angel sent by God. Because her husband owned the Taxi firm, And instead of 3 Taxis She sent her Husband in a limo to take my family home and did"nt charge my Dad a penny! Christmas Dinner was toast and beans but It was the best Christmas ever cos it was the last one we had with my Mum. She died two month later. My Dad died when I was 22 and I miss him terrible. He was an outstanding Man, And i am so proud that i was his Daughter.Good night Godbless Dad i love & miss you.
Love SarahXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sarah Caldwell


A BLAST OF CHRISTMAS PAST!

By Wilma G Stark

Ah remember wan Christmas Day lying in the set-in bed. Ah knew it was Christmas, we’d put up our stockings the night before. We’d all had a bath in front of the fire in the big zinc bath – it was good for me, cos ah wis first in, so ah always enjoyed that. An the fire was great – a big range fire, an ma mammy opened the door at the bottom, an you could see fairies in there, dancing about in their sparkly costumes. Straight after the bath we went to bed, ma sister an ma brother an me. For once they didnae hav a carry on. They knew if they did then Santa widnae come. Ma Mammy had warned them. Ma Daddy didnae say anythin. Ah don’t think he believed in Santa. Anyway Christmas wis jist like any other day for him. He still had to go to work.

So… ah wis lying behind the curtains. The excitement inside me was jaggin me right in the middle of ma chest. Ma arms and legs were stiff with it. Ah wis scared tae move. Ah jist lay and listened…

…somebody was up, probably ma Daddy, raking the fire, getting it going again. The range was used for cooking too so it was never allowed to go out, but at night just like us, it slumbered. Ma daddy was usually first up even when he wasn’t working. But he would be working today. In those days there were no days off for Christmas – not in Scotland, anyway – holidays were kept for Ne’erday [New Year’s Day]

Ah heard the sound of the kettle being filled and then placed on top of the hob. Then the rustle of him rolling a spill of paper to light his first cigarette of the day. He smoked a lot, Capstan Full Strength. More evidence of that came next – hacking and coughing and clearin his throat followed by a spit and a hiss as it landed in the fire. I screwed up ma face at that bit and tried to cover ma ears before it happened, but ah heard it… yuk!

A rattle of cups came then, and ah knew ma mum was up too. They didnae speak. They just went about their individual business [ the story of their marriage really, come tae think of it.]

Even tho ah was absolutely fit tae burstin with excitement … it was Christmas, it was Christmas Day – an ah was sure Santa would have been – ah’d been awfy good, really really good, honest! An anyway ma mammy said he would come… ah still knew no tae peek out the curtain.

‘wait till yir daddy’s away tae work’ she had said. ‘ he likes his peace in the mornins.’ Course ah didnae know then that he didnae believe in celebratin Christmas, didnae approve of it. But ma mammy loved it and even tho we didnae hav any money, she still managed tae make it special.
Ah lay there cozy and warm under the big black coat ma Uncle Willie had given ma dad. It was a Crombie, he said. Ah didnae care whit its name was . all ah knew was it was as good as a big woolly blanket for me an ma sister.

Ah could smell toast now. Ma mum usually made it for ma Dad. She stuck the bread onto a big long-handled fork [ that was one of the brass things ah cleaned on a Friday] and then held it near the fire in the range. Ah could picture all this in ma head, and ah tried tae imagine what Santa might have brought. Ah’d written him a letter and posted it up the chimney. We knew not to ask for too much, and anyway it wasn’t within our imaginations to know what we could have as there was no televisions or even mega advertising coverage in the papers or on billboards, so we just didn’t know. Ah hadn’t asked for what ah really wanted, even by then ah had accepted we were poor and what that meant. It didn’t trouble me. Ah just wanted to know what was inside ma stocking. That was always exciting. There was usually a tangerine, maybe an apple, a sweetie, and sometimes a wee silver threepenny bit. Maybe a pencil, and a rubber, or a bouncy ball or some other wee special surprise. Sometimes there were even crayons and a colouring-in book.
Last night tho ma mum had said there were some special presents cos ma uncle willie had been to America [ far far away… to look for his dream ah think she said] and he said that Santa had given him some extra things for us. Oh…ah couldnae wait. Much as ah loved ma daddy, ah wished and wished he’d hurry up an go tae work…


Photo by tsuacctnt

Ah heard him say Cheerio… ma mammy never answered as usual.

We could get up now. Ma brother an ma sister were quicker than me an ah stayed on the edge of the bed while they delved into the parcels. Ma eyes couldnae leave what ah could see over at the window. It was like a dream. Ah blinked and blinked and pressed ma finger and ma thumb hard into ma leg tae make sure ah wisnae dreamin. Ah stared at it. Ah looked at ma mammy. Ma brother an ma sister were yelling at the tops o their voices. Ma brother had got two cowboy guns, and they were already having their own gunfight at the OK Corral.

Ah looked again at the vision by the window. Ma mammy said. C’mon then down ye come. Ah scrambled down, but as ah made ma way across the room, ma sister spied ma goal and let out a shriek. She was 6 and three-quarters, nearly 7… ah was only 5.

‘a pram… Santa’s brought me a pram… wi’ a doll in it tae!’ she grabbed the handle out of ma reach. Ah stopped and looked at ma mum.

‘No! No!’ she shouted ‘Santa left the pram for yir wee sister!’ ah plucked up the courage tae grab a hold and cling on tightly, ma sister tried to take it further away, but ah held on.

‘it’s mine’ ah cried. ‘Santa left it fur me. Ma mammy said it. Isn’t it Mammy?’

‘it’s no’… it’s mine’s’ she shouted into ma face…’ah asked him fur a pram wi a dolly in it. It must be mine… it’s too big fur you… you’re too wee tae push it. Gie me it. Leave it go. It’s mine!’

Ah burst into tears as the pram was wrenched from ma too-wee hands. Ah couldn’t beat her. She was bigger and stronger than me… but ma mammy could… and she did, smacking ma sister across the back o the legs and made her let go. Now ma sister [ and ma brother] have got red hair… and you know what they say about red-headed people and their temper… well it’s true… she let rip..

‘well take the stinkin old pram. Ah don’t want it.’ An then she delivered the sucker punch… ‘it wisnae Santa that brought it anyway… it wis jist Maisie Baxter’s old pram an ma mammy painted it when she thought we were sleepin. There’s no such thing as Santa Claus. It’s jist yir mammy and sometimes yir daddy that puts the presents oot.’

What was she talking about?

Ma Mum sent her and ma brother out onto the landing to play. Ah blocked out what ma sister had said. Ah cuddled ma new [ all the way from america doll] and pushed it about the limited space, in its lovely pram… ma lovely pram. Santa had brought me what ah really wanted… ah was that happy!

Ma happiness was short-lived. The next day after the usual morning rituals, ah rushed out into the lobby to say good morning to ma dolly and give her a wee shuggle in her pram… there was no sign of it tho’ … the pram, that is. the dolly was there, lying on her front, her bendy legs aw bent. The pram was not there. Ah don’t remember much else except ma mum goin about mumbling and ah didn’t know what she was saying. Ma brother and ma sister were nowhere to be seen either. Of course at five years old, altho ah was pretty good at basic sums, ah still hadn’t learnt to put this kind of two and two together.

Ma mum kept me busy playing with the dog and ma dolly until ma dad came back from work at night.

Ah remember he immediately went out to find ma brother and ma sister and ah hoped ma pram. Ah’d heard her sayin to ma dad that them two were somethin to do with the disappeared pram. She was right of course [ mammy’s usually are, at least when ye’re wee, eh?]

Ma dad returned with the Terrible Two in tow, and took us out to the landing. There in full glory was a bogie – now that was a home-made go-kart … three bits of wood, one long and two short struts onto which were fastened - yes ah’m sure you’ve guessed it – FOUR WHEELS.

So where had my wonderful siblings acquired the wheels for their fantastic-best-bogie-on-the-block, on which they [ and all the other kids around] had been wheeching all day long down the very steep brae beside our building when finally caught in the act by ma Dad?

After much interrogation and denials, and threats… they eventually admitted to stealing the pram and removing the wheels to make their prize bogie…

So… ah had ma treasured pram for WAN DAY… cos the body was never found… somebody had lifted it, probably to take to the Scrapyard…

It’s funny really cos ah remember this with amusement. Ah laugh and ah smile.ah know ah should have screamed and shouted. Had a tantrum or two. ‘ah hate you two!’ ah shud’v said tae ma brother an ma sister. But ah didnae. Ah jist cuddled ma dolly wi the bendy knees under the table, an we went off tae a world where people were nice aw the time.

Copywright wgstark 2009

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