Christmas Memories with Morton S. Gray

Earlier this week we celebrated the release of Morton S. Gray’s new novella, Christmas at Borteen Bay. Today we welcome her onto the blog to talk about her memories of Christmas past. Do any of her Christmas traditions match up with yours? 🎅

Writing Christmas at Borteen Bay, my first Christmas novella, made me think about what Christmas means to me and to examine my childhood memories.

We always had a very traditional Christmas when I was growing up. Mom and Dad would take us to choose a real Christmas tree each year and there would often be a disagreement about the size and shape of the tree. I can remember at least one occasion when Dad had to cut the top off the tree to fit it into the room!

We would then open the boxes of decorations retrieved from the loft. Cue more angst as we tried to get the lights to work – in those days you had to check each bulb, as just one not screwed in correctly would result in the whole set not working. It was always a relief when the tree was at last illuminated and then we could get out the decorations, some of which were quite old. The glass icicles Mom’s Dad had bought home in the war from goodness knows where (I still put these on my tree now). The cardboard glitter house with Santa on the roof, which had been on Mom’s Christmas trees for as long as she could remember. The glass candy cane my nan bought for me. The Santa and sleigh for the fireplace shelf. It always seemed (seems) magical to get these items out of the boxes.

My father’s employer usually gave staff a Christmas bird and a bottle of alcohol as a Christmas bonus. They must have had some unwritten rating system, as if you got a chicken and a bottle of cheap sherry, it seemed they weren’t pleased with your performance. One year, Dad got a huge turkey and an expensive bottle of whisky. Mom wasn’t very keen on how the turkey sat on the refrigerator shelf and it was almost too big for the oven, but I guess Dad must have worked well that year.

We used to have much deeper snow when I was young. I had a huge sledge which my uncle had made. On one occasion I took it to the local park with friends. Four of us hurtled down a steep bank and hit a bump at the bottom. The three friends at the front fell off into a snow drift and I was the only one still sitting on the sledge.

We placed empty pillow cases at the bottom of our beds for Santa to fill. At that time, I shared a room with my sister, who was seven years younger. I always enjoyed watching her open her presents before I looked at my own. One Christmas morning, my sister woke me very concerned that Santa hadn’t been. Our pillow cases were still empty. We went to tell our parents and discovered that their room was festooned with Christmas gifts. Mom and Dad must have overslept their ‘Santa alarm’. My sister and I then had to guess which gift was meant for each of us – which was actually quite fun. A Christmas to remember for sure!

Christmas at Borteen Bay is now available to purchase as an eBook and in audio. Click here for purchasing options: https://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/christmas-at-borteen-bay/

2 thoughts on “Christmas Memories with Morton S. Gray

  1. Lovely memories Morton. I remember being at junior school and one of the girls telling us all how she’d actually met Santa one Christmas Eve when he was delivering presents to her room. Of course I had to stay awake didn’t I? If she could meet him then maybe I could too. And that was the moment the childhood magic of Christmas came to an end for me!

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