We were broke.
I mean, really and truly strapped for cash.
We’d done all of our Christmas shopping at car boot sales, managing to get something for everyone and just hoped no-one minded their gift wasn’t new or expensive.
Actually, in a way it had been fun shopping on such a strict budget, even more so as this was our first Christmas together and we’d tried to be inventive in our choices of gifts.
We were renting a one bedroom flat, which happened to be the downstairs of a detached house. There was little if any garden, but we could get both cars off the road and there was a park almost opposite where we could walk the dog.
He came home with the top of a Christmas tree that had broken off and the guy let him have it for a pound. We put it in a bucket of bricks and decorated it with tinsel and a few cheap baubles we got for pence from the market.
The turkey had defrosted and I would be cooking that overnight.
The Bank had given staff a Christmas hamper, and the little fridge and cupboard had the rest of our Christmas fayre in it.
We had no dining table or chairs, but the plan was to sit on the floor at the coffee table for our Christmas dinner. The dog looked pleased at the prospect of everything being at her level.
We’d done the Santa run to family and our little tree had parcels round it, plus a large cardboard box with balloons attached. That contained my gifts to him, most of which had cost just pence.
He taught me Christmas was nothing to do with money, having, getting or buying at cost. It was togetherness, love, understanding and sharing. The most precious gifts of all.