Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The Christmas pudding and the gap

When my brother's sixth child (and fourth son) was born in September 2003, one of my aunts sent a little outfit for him to wear for his first Christmas. It was a cute little red Christmas pudding outfit with a hat to go with it, rather like this:

He wore it for his first Christmas, then it was sent to my sister in the UK for UK Niece #1 to wear for her first Christmas in 2004.

In 2005, it was the turn of SA Nephew #1. Because Christmas is in the summer in South Africa, Jeannie said she would take him into a refrigerated bottle store to dress him in the Christmas pudding outfit and take the requisite photo.

In 2006, there were two contenders - US Nephew #5 was born in May and UK Niece #2 was born in October. US Nephew #5 is a chunky little chap, so the outfit was too small for him and UK Niece #2 wore it.

In 2007, SA Nephew #2 wore it.

In 2008, UK Niece #3 wore it.

In 2010, my sister will be maintaining her record of claiming it back for every year that ends in an even number.

2009 was meant to be our year. When we got married in May 2008, everyone knew we would start trying straight away. There were all sorts of comments about how we would be needing the Christmas pudding outfit in 2009. After UK Niece #3 had worn it last year, my sister said she was putting it away and would keep it safe for me.

But there were no new babies at all in our family in 2009, so for the first time in seven Christmases, the Christmas pudding outfit won't be worn this Christmas Day.

That gap in its history will always be there, and will always remind me of the issue that dominated 2009 for me. There's a place in our family history that will always be empty - and I just don't know whether the corresponding empty place in my heart and in my home will also remain that way.


  1. Your story pinched my heart. What a symbolic gap this Christmas is for you, I'm sorry. Sometimes our lack of children it's just so tangible.

    (((((((Big Hugs)))))

  2. I can't even imagine how upset you're feeling right now. I wish so much that this wasn't happening to you. I wish you had gotten to use the Christmas pudding outfit in 2009. I pray that you get to in 2010 (surely your sister wouldn't mind). *hugs*

  3. It is rather crappy that there are so many reminders along the way. I do hope that you get an opportunity to claim next year for that little outfit. You could be closer than you think!

  4. Christmas is always such a poignant time when things are as we want them to be in our lives. I really feel for you and wish I could say something that would help. Big gentle hugs xCocox

  5. Sorry - typo - 'when things are NOT as we want them'