Sunday, 22 December 2013

Flying Home For Christmas


Once there was a little boy whose uncle lived far from home. No, wait, that's not really where the story starts...

With grateful thanks to Ruth for the photo here. When I said she took better photos of my home town than I did, she was kind enough to send me a selection

Once there was an man, who wasn't yet an uncle. He was a brother who had gone to study in England. His two sisters missed him a lot, but they kept in touch by writing (this wasn't yesterday. No email); and, every so often, they begged a couple of days off from their very first jobs and they went to visit. That way, they could sleep on the floor in a room in Halls and pretend to be students again and have the treat of going to Formal Dining and an end-of-term revue.

Every Christmas they worked out between them who would get up early to go to the airport to bring him home for Christmas; and they counted the days. There was only one year, back then, when he didn't make it back. It's a long way from Taipei. But, to make up for it, he came home early in the New Year, in time for his nephew's birthday. Because by then he had a nephew and the little boy who knew to call him uncle was a big fan. One of his favourite toys was a photo album about the uncle who lived far away, and one of his favourite outings was a trip to the airport to bring Uncle Dave home. When he was big enough he made a banner "Welcome Home", to hold up so that Uncle Dave could see him; and then, suddenly one year, he was old enough to lift a suitcase and say I'll carry that, in his new teenage voice. And, as he grew, Uncle Dave kept on flying home for Christmas.

Of course, the boy kept on growing until, at last, he was big enough to leave home and follow his dream of studying Law. He wanted to be a student and live in Halls and enjoy end-of-term parties too. He went to Scotland and - well, you know what that means: for the first time this year we have two men flying home for the holidays. You can guess how it goes, though. Counting the days, piling into the car, thinking about a banner.. The student (and his new student beard! and his stories!) got here on Thursday, to be welcomed by a sister of his own, and his uncle arrives tomorrow. We are all looking forward to it. 

The other sister? Well, she has a little boy of her own now - and you know who that is: Uncle Dave has another small fan waiting not so patiently for his arrival. Hold tight, Little E! The big boys are coming home and we'll all see you very soon. We're hoping for a Merry Christmas.



26 comments:

Louise said...

Sian...you brought a tear to my eye. A lovely story of why Christmas is important to you x x a wonderful layout too x enjoy your boys x x happy Christmas to you all

Alison said...

Tears in my eyes too, Sian...you have such a wonderful way of telling stories...a very Happy Christmas to you, your boys (and of course your girl!)
Alison xx

Barbara Eads said...

That choked me up! What a beautiful way to describe your relationships. Just print that out and give it to Uncle Dave. I'll bet that's all he needs for Christmas!

Cheri said...

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas with all your family!

scrappyjacky said...

A very Merry Christmas to you all.

helena said...

a heart warming (and tear causing) festive story - enjoy

Karen said...

With all your family surrounding you, I'm sure it will be very merry! Blessings! Enjoy it all.

debs14 said...

What a lovely story. Make the most of every minute of having all those boys/men home for Christmas!

Missus Wookie said...

Oh so glad the student (and his beard) have returned home. Hope you all have a wonderful festive season w Uncle Dave.

Chantal Vandenberg said...

Oh wow I love this!

Nathalie said...

It's with a little tear on the corner of my eye that I wish you a very merry Christmas with your family! What a joy it must be to have everyone gathered in one place :)

Karen said...

I am glad I am not the only one with tears in their eyes. I had put it down to pre-Christmas exhaustion but really it is your fabulous story telling. Wishing you a very merry Christmas and hope you have a wonderful time with your boys and the NSSO.

Miriam said...

Oh! Sian, what a beautiful story and one I was sure you would write when I realised that your boy (and brother) would be flying home for Christmas. It is such a magical time. I wish you all peace and joy and lets 'do it again' in 2014. x

Sandra said...

Just beautiful ... You write from the heart.

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

Happy for you. Enjoy your family Christmas with everybody home.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Jennifer Shaw said...

I loved this post Sian. Your writing is always so wonderful to read. Have a wonderful holiday with all of your family together. Your page is lovely with that awesome banner.

Linda said...

A lovely story Sian! Hope Uncle Dave has arrived safe and sound by now, and that Little E is super excited for Christmas!!! Have a lovely Christmas and wishing you a very happy new year:)

Melissa said...

So wonderfully told! So glad y'all will all be together for Christmas - enjoy!!! Merry Christmas!

tidbitsandtreasures2011 said...

What a lovely story, especially about how your big boy and his younger cousin react the same way to Uncle Dave (and, of course, the admiration of the younger cousin for the older one). You've managed to capture in this post one of the best aspects of the holiday season, anticipation, in its very best form--of looking forward to being with the people we love. Thanks for sharing!

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Such a fantastic story to share at Christmastime, Sian, and I LOVE the layout you've made to go with it.

Wishing you and your family a lovely Christmas! Enjoy your time together. xo

Gail said...

What a lovely story Sian and the perfect layout for it. I hope you and your family are having a wonderful Christmas season.

Beverly said...

As always, beautifully told and such a special one to record. I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and Boxing Day and that the "boys" are home for a bit.

Sinead said...

Sian, this is a lovely story! It really shows what the real meaning of Christmas is all about :D Hope you've all had a fantastic Christmas, and every good wish for 2014. Thank you for all your lovely comments on my blog this year :D xxx

Ruth said...

I was sure I'd left a comment earlier ...
Loved this story and loved this page. I'm another who had a lump in her throat as she was reading!

Maria Ontiveros said...

I don't know what I adore more - the layout or your writing today Sian! I love the design and details of they layout and how you capture the circle of life in your writing. So happy to have my own boy home this holiday.
Rinda

Jo said...

You do tell a wonderful story and slip so easily from past to present without so much as a "fast forward" moment. I hope you all had a great Christmas x

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