AN XMAS TALE

A short story about the meaning of the Stolen Pagan Festival; when it had one.

It was Christmas 1940, WWII: my young Great Grandmother, Mavis, and her sisters, Gwyneth and Poppy, wanted to find something special for their mother. With the War in full swing and rationing in place there was little to be found or afforded.

The three sisters were walking through the town of Ebbw Vale one day when they came across a large, red apple in the window of the general store – such items were considered luxuries for the poorer families in those war torn days.

The siblings pooled together what was left of their ration allowances, which was just enough to afford the tempting apple. My Gran would always recall the joy on her mother’s face on that Christmas day, when they presented to her a rosy red apple. After Christmas dinner, she sliced the apple into four pieces and shared it with her daughters to reward them for their love and kindness.

During modern times when families horde the shops like gannets; purchasing the latest fashions and gadgets – price no object, nor failure an option – it is warming to think of times when the thought really did count; when the true spirit of Christmas was as much about giving as it was receiving. Where kind words and the pleasure of warm company was the most priceless gift of all.

Perhaps we all need to take a trip back in order to move forward.

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