My Perfect Christmas Morning… by Andy Jones
My perfect Christmas morning starts at 6.30 a.m., the same time my girls exploded into supercharged, gibbering wakefulness on this same day last year. Today, though … nothing. A silence so thick you can almost cuddle it. The little ones are still deep asleep, dreaming, perhaps, of Santa or elves or landslides of chocolate.
I, however, am oblivious. As my pixies sleep, I sleep.
Some time later, I think I hear a rustling. I half open one eye and squint at the clock: 8:01 – a new record. My eyelid slides shut and I am immediately returned to the land of odd – Judy Garland carving my turkey; 007 stealing all the purple ones from the Quality Street; me playing Scrabble with Dickens (he’s rubbish; the old duffer has B-H-U-G-B-U-M, but he’s too sozzled on sherry to put it together).
When I next open my eyes the sun is leaking though a gap in the curtains. I am replete with sleep and haven’t felt so rested and relaxed in 5 years. A glance at the clock tells me – surely some mistake – it is 9.31. It’s only now that I realise I am alone in our big double bed. Strange.
The bedroom door opens, and there they are: Mrs Jones and the two girls.
‘Happy Christmas, Daddy.’
‘Happy Christmas, Babe.’
‘We made you eggs!’
They walk into the room. Quietly. Ruby – the 5-year-old – opens the curtains. It’s snowing (of course), and in the blue-tinged daylight I see Mrs J is holding a tray: eggs benedict, a full cafetiere of coffee and Curly Wurly. My wife kisses me, a proper smacker, and sets the tray down on my lap.
Evie – 3 and a half – climbs onto the bed. ‘Santa’s been! Santa’s been!’
‘Yes!’ says Ruby, snuggling up beside me. ‘Rudolph ate his carrot and there’s presents under the tree.’
Evie tugs at my elbow. ‘What did you wish for, Dad-dad?’
I look at them, my gorgeous wife and two beautiful children, and smile. ‘That would be telling,’ I say.
And I cut into my eggs benedict. It’s perfect.
Quick Fire Round:
Q: What’s your favourite Christmas song?
A: Elvis: Mele Kalikimaka
Q:Baileys or Mulled Wine?
A: Mulled Wine, piping hot, please.
Q: Favourite ever Christmas present?
A: One year, I must have been about 7, my younger brother bought me a small plastic tank. It can’t have cost much, so to bring it up to budget, he’d put 15p inside the box. I thought that was wonderful.
Q: Mince Pie or Yule Log?
A: Got to be the pie.
Q: What would you like to find in your Christmas stocking this year?
A: Well I don’t have a stocking (poor me). So how about, inside this hypothetical stocking, I find a real stocking. Then next year I can really start thinking big.