The Other Santa

As Christmas looms ever nearer, I thought I would tell you a little about the funny, artistic and honourable man I called Dad.

Dad was the only surviving child in his family, so it was no surprise when he went onto have six children of his own ( me being the eldest). Some would say how did he have enough time to share between that many, but Dad did.

We were not wealthy by any means, we lived in a back street in Fulham, which I can promise you was not as fashionable as now-a-days, but where we were poor on material things, we were rich in laughter and love.

Dad was a builder and master carpenter and would spend all the year picking up old bits of wood or tea chests he found and then as autumn came he would take all his findings into his workroom and lock himself in. Some might find this strange, but for us excitement would reach feverpitch as we knew Christmas was coming and Dad was turning all those useless bits of wood into toys of such wonder that no body else ever had.

The tea chest became my ever cherished dolls house ( I still have) and the wood became toy trains or toy guns, pretend kitchens and anything else you could think of that a child would love. He even made a steam train once that we could sit in and push along! My Sisters had high chairs for there dollies and cradles to put them in and my Brothers would have forts and garages, the scene of many a battle!!

It is no wonder that with such an upbringing, I too would find the joy of creating. Dad instilled in me the gift that whatever I made should be the best I ever made, and I keep that lesson with me to this very day.

It seems ironic to me that with such fond memories of the time leading up to Christmas, that that should be the very time my Dad left us in this world. That wonderful brain was taken over by alzheimers and Dad died on a quiet Saturday in December.

I like to think he is now forever in his workroom, creating those wonderful toys for all boys and girls everywhere. I will always remember the lessons he taught me and always make each thing as best as I truly can.

Merry Christmas Dad XX

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