Rudolph comes but once a year (thank God)

December 26, 2012 § 14 Comments

rudolph

I’m not going to write a post about being ill or my bad leg today. No, this post is about my new Rudolph jumper and some memories it has invoked.

My brother, Andrew, whom I love and adore and with whom I shared a difficult and mad 70s childhood, is one of the worlds worst buyers of presents, ever. Some of his presents should go down in history for their tackiness, the teddy bear on a ย bike is one that springs to mind (I ended up giving it to the scouts for their jumble sale – isn’t that awful). But I have begged my brother to either let his wife, Bev, buy the presents (she is very good) or give the money to a charity on my behalf, or better still, don’t buy me any presents at all, I really am happy to just see him at Christmas, that is present enough for me (at this suggestion, he said I was being selfish, not allowing him to give me a ‘proper present’).

For several years this worked and Bev bought the presents and all was well. Then this year I woke up on Christmas morning to one of the worst presents anyone could have possibly bought me…a Rudolph jumper….ARGGGGGGGG

Now I know they are ‘in fashion’ but really, I don’t care about that, I actually screamed when I opened the package, then sat, face aghast for several seconds while it sank in, then realised, “Oh God, Andrew has bought the presents this year”.

Now me and my brother have a very close relationship, born out of particularly horrible shared experiences of Christmas. Let me give you an example. We were brought up in a very poor household, by quite old parents. Our mam and dad had a full set of grown up children by the time me and my brother were born and so by the time we were around and wondering if Santa was on his sleigh, they literally couldn’t be bothered. Coupled with that, they were of a generation that had lived through rationing and World War 2, so gift giving was not at the top of their agenda.

One year, our mother actually told little Andrew and Susan that they had a choice this Christmas, “food or presents, which will it be?”. Being sensible children and knowing our mother didn’t have that good a sense of humour, we chose the food – ย however, it still turned out to be egg and chips for Christmas lunch that year.

So out of this close relationship I am able to be quite frank and honest with my bother, so I called him up after the shock of Rudolph had worn off and I just had to tell him it was possibly the worst present he’d ever bought me and that is saying something. He got quite upset at this and I did feel a bit guilty, but I held my ground, otherwise god knows what might turn up next year. I said that under no circumstances would I be wearing it when I came round to his for Christmas dinner today and in fact I would only wear it under several other layers of clothes, to keep warm. He continued to be upset and I did feel pangs of guilt about being so honest about Rudolph and his merry nose.

That morning I continued to hum and har over that bloody jumper and as I got ready to go to my brothers for Christmas lunch the guilt took over and before I knew it, I was wearing the jumper and you know what…I think it actually quite suits me.

When I walked into my brothers house, he saw me wearing the jumper and clapped his hands with glee, his big ugly face lighting up, how I love him: My brother is one of the best things about my life.

Oh and you can see in the picture of me and Rudolph above, my moon face from the prednisolone has come down a bit, but its still quite puffy.

andrew2

Andrew with Bev and Daughter Abbie

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