On Sunday it was the 1st of December and many moons ago this date heralded the start of an unusual pre-Christmas ritual in our family home. Since we were small, so small I don’t remember it beginning, my mum encouraged my brother and I to put one of our slippers on the window ledge. It started on the night of 1st December and ran up until 24th December. Every evening in the run up to Christmas we would excitedly place our slipper behind the curtain in the lounge, then go to bed. If we’d been good one of Santa’s elves would bring us a sweet, if we’d been bad we’d get a lump of coal. Three lumps of coal meant no Christmas presents. Quite a good strategy, eh? One morning I flew downstairs to look for my sweetie from the elf, or ‘Father’s Christmas’ helper’ as my mum called them, only to find a lump of coal tucked in there. I couldn’t think why, until I was reminded that I made a right fuss in the bath the night before (who wouldn’t if they had Vosene in their eyes?!).
As I got older I started to suspect that ‘he’ wasn’t real, the signs were there. First up I’d spotted the elves’ sweets in the bottom drawer of the sideboard and secondly I’d found a few presents in the wardrobe. Dang. I didn’t want to stop believing (but I still went back to the wardrobe for a second peek), I didn’t want my little brother to find out and I didn’t want the whole charade of putting our slipper out every evening in December to end. So when our Dave got up one Christmas Eve and discovered my mum merrily wrapping presents one evening I became really upset. Unnaturally so. The magic was lost, I thought our little pre-Christmas ritual it would last until the end of primary school at least.
Sadly I haven’t kept the Christmas slipper on the window sill caper going. My son likes an advent calender and doesn’t wear slippers. I don’t imagine it would work as well with a well worn slipper sock, would it?