This evening I was asked what is my favourite memory of any Christmas
What a hard question this is to answer.
I’m feeling rather anti social tonight, and the hospice remains quiet , so I busied myself with some mindless checks of sell by dates of the unit’s drugs, and I thought about specific Christmases of note.
Having a Christmas review, I think, is very much like owning a succession of dogs. Each one has its own personality but there is a tendency of every one merging into each other.
Some stand out for the oddest reasons.
The year my father fell under the Christmas tree in his underpants with one of his more glamorous but equally pissed in laws.
The year each one of the family had to share some sort of dramatic or comic performance, each one excelling the other.
Lying on a sofa with a partner covered in dogs one sunny and lazy Christmas morning
Last year listening to a colleague sing silent night with a dying patient at 6 am
Childhood memories are a collage of 1970s tv, warm prawn cocktails and peanuts in glass bowls that before had been used as ash trays .
A visit to a poor psychiatric patient in their home , which had no carpets but still being offered me a mince pie and a cup of tea
The memories feed off each other and bounce around like poleroid photos in the wind.
I am reminded of a late shift one Christmas Day ( always the most hated) when I was charge Nurse on Osborn 1 at The Princess Royal Spinal Unit in Sheffield
It was dark, perhaps late afternoon and the majority of bed fast patients had many visitors surrounding them ,like musk oxen surrounding their young and weak
Three African nurses were on duty with me and they were pushing a very drunk and smiling patient on his bed back to the ward from the smoking room .
He was nursing a rather robust looking bottle of port
And true to form, they were singing all in low easy voices......one pushing the bed, one pulling and the other holding tight to the patient’s hand.
Several of the relatives came and stood in the corridor to listen, as I did at my office door as the procession went passed and I cannot hear this song without thinking of the pure humanity of that little moment
What’s your special Christmas memory ?