I have many vivid memories of happy times as a child - in the days before my parents became Jehovah’s Witnesses and stopped celebrating Christmas, birthdays, and well.....just about everything that was joyful.....fortunately that didn’t happen until I was a teenager, so I didn’t miss out on the joy of waking up early after the midnight visit from Father Christmas and find a pillowcase (an English tradition) full of toys and surprises!
One of my favorite annual childhood gifts from Father Christmas (Santa), was a Pelham String Puppet. I had quite a collection. I’m not sure why I was so fascinated with puppets; I had a vivid imagination and for me, the puppets became very real playmates and friends.
The Pelham company published a catalogue, and like Ralphie in “The Christmas Story” - I would memorize the illustrations and descriptions and make a list of the ones I wanted.
One of my most vivid memories of Christmas was when I was still very young - perhaps 7 or 8, and being so excited about Christmas that I was unable to sleep. My parents must have been frantic...but somehow they managed to sneak Father Christmas into the house so he could deliver his gifts!!!
That year I received one of my all-time favorite puppets....SANDY MACBOOZLE!!!
Why I loved an ugly, boozing Scottish puppet I will never be able to explain - but I made Sandy come to life - I could make him dance and drink from his bottle at the same time. I can remember walking him around the house with me - dancing and drinking!!!
I had other puppets that I’d collected: