© Geoff Brookes
My Christmas memories…..
My earliest Christmas memories are celebrating Christmas at my Grandparents’ house (on my Mom’s side). My grandparents had a tree, full of decorations. My grandfather liked to play Christmas hymns on the piano. We would sing along. My uncle was like an older brother to me. He’s about 15 years older than I am. He used to play football in high school, and he’d hold my brother Trevor and I on the ceilings with one arm each, just to tease us.
The family dinner was usually boisterous, with a very animated dinner conversation. My great-grandma Phyllis was a lively participant, as she was very alert and involved in the family gatherings well into her later years. My uncle would usually sit beside her, and tease her all supper long. If Grandma Phyllis happened to drop some mashed potatoes onto her Christmas outfit at the supper table, Terry would say, “OK, Phyllis, we’re going to take you out back and hose you down!”. She would just laugh in an embarrassed kind of way, and try to push him away, good-heartedly. We had a lot of good laughs together.
In those early years, I would sleep over at Grandma’s house sometimes during the holidays. I remember my Grandad Geoff (who I am named after) asking me “How’d you sleep, old chap?”. I told him that I had trouble sleeping because of all the bears. He said “What do you mean, ‘all the bears’?”. I said that, late at night, when I was trying to sleep, there were bears growling upstairs. After quizzing me, Grandad finally figured out that I had been kept awake by all the adults snoring. Grandad had a great, hearty laugh, that made you feel that the world was a wonderful place, and that it was wonderful to be in it with you.