Dad’s Christmas

My father’s mother died when he was about 5, and he was actually brought up by his grandparents, uncles and aunts. He told us few things about his childhood, but I particularly remember this about Christmas.

The story goes that Dad wanted toy soldiers for Christmas and although I don’t know how old he was at the time, he had been pestering everybody for weeks. He didn’t just want half a dozen either. He wanted armies, legions, battalions, the works.

He was all organised on Christmas Eve too, deciding to hang a pillow case on the bottom of his bed instead of a stocking so that they could all fit inside, so convinced that he was going to get them.

He was absolutely speechless on Christmas morning though when his pillow case was full of……….. coal.

coalI always felt sad at the thought of this little boy waking up to find no stocking full of goodies, and his wish not being granted. I could feel his disappointment, and hated the idea of my Dad being unhappy, particularly on Christmas Day and especially as a child.

However, when he went downstairs, apparently the entire floor was covered with tin and lead soldiers in varying colours and poses, lined up in regimental rows ready for Dad’s inspection and to do battle.

Great grandpa, Grandad, and the three uncles had all chipped in and hand painted about 300 between them to give Dad his armies. Just to give you an idea of the soldiers I’m talking about, these are not your action man figures or mass produced plastic moldings. If you have seen the films Ronin or The Forty Year Old Virgin (now there’s a contrast in movies!) , there are scenes where soldiers are being hand painted under magnifying glasses.

soldiersThese were the kind that Dad wanted, and got. Just imagine what painstaking patience and time it took hand painting 300 tiny figures, to make one little boy feel special. But then to me, my Dad was.Β  Always.

 

 

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have recently lost our beloved dog Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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18 Responses to Dad’s Christmas

  1. Pingback: Dad Tales 1 | pensitivity101

  2. Oh my goodness! That is such a heart warming and special story! I hope you do a re-blog and share it with Blog-landia this Christmas season! Was your father’s coal, actually coal they could burn in the fireplace or was it candy, like mine was? What a surprise for your dad! Love is the best present of all!

  3. Reblogged this on pensitivity101 and commented:

    In the true spirit of Christmas, this is one of my favourite stories about my Dad. He died in May 1996, the day after my 40th birthday and I miss him. Mum joined him in 2018 and I have visions of them happy, well, young and whole in the afterlife. We shall be lighting a candle for them and FIL on Christmas Day, and sweet Maggie will also be included in our thoughts.
    Enjoy a special Christmas gift for a special boy, who grew up to be a special Dad. Mine.

  4. Grace says:

    Now that’s Love…

  5. That’s so beautifully special and heartwarming! What a great memory to honor your dad this time of year.

  6. willowdot21 says:

    Di this is the beautiful story , thank you for sharing πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

  7. Sadje says:

    This is such a loving gift.

  8. A beautiful story, Di. We have a few of these hand painted soldiers and I keep them carefully.

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