Percy’s RamblingsChristmas, that wonderful time of the year when the world collapses in on itself, but for the few who keep the whole thing running. The remainder go on holiday, party and over imbibe, although very few recognise the real meaning of the event.

We, like every other family, had never let the season pass without celebrating in grand style, renting trestle tables so we could increase the size of the dinner table to be able to fit in more guests around the festive meal, in a room decorated with fairy lights and the Christmas tree aglow standing in all its glory in the corner.

It is a delightful time of year with forward planning the great day comes around and families are biting their fingernails, so to speak, hoping everything is going to go to plan. Then one year things changed, and the World was in turmoil, businesses, industries and enterprises came a tumbling down.

After years of care and love lavished on our two girls it was now belt tightening time and having had to move from our lovely home into rental accommodation, it was very sad.

The thought of the festive season took on a new light whereas before, money, while important, was adequate to make the happy season perfect. Now we looked on it with dread because how do you ‘unspoil’ your children.

We had been helping out in a pub ‘The Paultney Arms’ it was Christmas Eve, by the time we left It was the twenty fifth in the early hours.

There was no tree this year and few decorations. We were puzzling how to enhance and make more fun of the meagre and small presents we had bought for our two girls.

In one of the drawers in the furnished house we had rented there were two balls of different coloured thick knitting wools, one green and one red.

Our minds circulated around them, how could they change things? I am smiling vividly as I write this, as in the following few hours of arriving home we put our thoughts into action.

To the bottom of our eldest bed we tied the red ball of wall and then slowly unravelled it and pinned it to a point on the wall with a note saying ‘good morning’.

We did the same with the green wall tied to the end of our youngest bed, who slept in another bedroom, taking the wool in a different direction with a similar note.

We continued to unravel the two balls in different directions, forming a coloured web in the hallway and down the stairs. Each stopping at certain points with a note, or one of the presents we had bought them.

Both balls had finished in the fridge with another note asking them to make a cup of tea for Mum and Dad.

When we had arrived in the kitchen with the end of the two balls of wool, looking behind us it was like a colourful giant spider’s web, and the only way we were going to get to our bedroom was to crawl beneath it.

It turned out to be a lovely Christmas, starting on a high note the two girls, and all of us laughing. In fact forty plus years later we still remember it well, and probably better than other festive seasons, certainly more distinctly.