I have just realised it is one week to Christmas. In the topsy turveyness that is our life at the moment – Christmas seems to have passed us by.

Normally by now there would be a great big tree in our home, under the tree would be stacks of prezzies – all of them opened “just a little bit” by quizzy Rosie. The real prezzies will be hidden at a secret location. Cupboards, fridges, bowls and tupperwares would be groaning with all sorts of Christmas goodies. Father Christmas would be floating in a canoe in front of our house with a fishing rod. Flashy lights will decorate the canal side of our house. Menus planned, bedrooms made up for family and the inevitable Boney M playing on the CD on and off – me on, Frans off.

But this year we are not at home, we have no tree, no gifts and we are living on a steady diet of tuna and salad. Chocolates are too expensive in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean.

Late last night – and it is hot, hot, hot here – the Salvation Army starts singing carols in the main street, and the whole of main street lights up with Christmas lights – every tree is decorated and the whole street is covered with festive cheer. All the shops have lights, all the homes have lights – Christmas has arrived. In our little home nothing, not a tree, not a light, not a present and not a chokkie.

What starts are a little rumble deep inside me, suddenly bursts into full Christmas mode – so here one week before Christmas Eve with no tree, no prezzies, no chokkies, no home and sitting in the middle of the South Atlantic we go into full Christmas mode.

The first thing I have to deal with is THAT Christmas talk, you know the one………. where you gather all the kids and talk about the REAL reason for Christmas, so I open the conversation ………

“Why do we have Christmas every year???”

Jamie has been around long enough to know whats coming and answers

“Cheers…………. I’m going to climb Jacobs Ladder.”

Now I know my annual Christmas talk must be a. Old Hat, b. Too much for a pre-teen or c. Downright boring. If he is prepared to climb the ladder which is, in a nutshell sheer hell 699 steps going straight up at a gradient of 89.9 degrees – boy my Christmas story cant be great.

Frans quickly ducks out of the house with him.

So poor Rosie is stuck alone with the talk………..

“So Rosie do you know the real reason for Christmas?”

“Yep ……. Jesus was born on Christmas day in a stable” – she has been listening to the Carols.

“What was Jesus Mom’s name”


“And what was the donkeys name”

Blank look – well tough I don’t know either.

“And Jesus Dads name………?”

“Ummmmmmmmm…….. I think he came from a single parent family …… maybe his parents were divorced ……. but its OK he turned out OK” She sweetly replies.

“Rosie, isn’t God Jesus Dad?” ……. Gywwwwwwwwk, gwwwwwwwwwwwwk I can actually hear the big can of worms being opened and there is nothing I can do about it.

“I suppose so.” I can see the cogs in her mind working overtime. “But ……. what ……. how????”

I cannot deal with the details of the Divine Conception right now……

The front door bursts open “Hey Mom”, its Jamie – bless his Christmas picking socks, “We have just seen Father Chistmas!”

Yeh right, “where Jamie?”

“At the top of Jacobs Ladder”

Frans comes staggering in … “We’ve just seen Father Christmas at the top of Jacobs Ladder” at least he speaks in full sentences.

Apparently they staggered to the top of the ladder (this is the only way to get there) and as they got to the top old SC himself comes trotting past – picture the scene – at the top of a hideously steep 699 step ladder – in the middle of a hot rock in the middle of the South Atlantic.


Frans – “Hallo SC – what you doing here???”

SC – “Ho Ho Ho (think he always says this before he talks) north pole too cold decided to move here …. have you been a good boy this year?”

Frans – “Yes SC”

At this point Jamie standing still (rare occurance) doing his best fish impression. “Hi”

SC – “Ho ho ho – bye bye boys see you on Christmas day” and off he goes down the ladder.

So now I now that the world as I know it is completely topsy turvey – no Christmas as we know it, Rosie beginning to ask THOSE questions and Santa living on St Helena Island. To all my friends MERRY CHRISTMAS from a Topsy Turvey Loots Mob.

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