Tralee Life Life In An Irish Town


Almost There

Today is the 14th, less than two weeks now to the big day and Fred can’t wait. Since the beginning of the month we’ve been counting down the days; marking an X on the calendar for each passing date and tearing off the doors on the Advent one. As usual we’ve been dealing with Fred’s ‘almost there’ as opposed to his ‘nearly there.’ For Fred almost there is far preferable to nearly there, for whatever reason we do not know, but it’s just one of his figaries. Now we are on day 14 he can see light at the end of the tunnel but still each morning is greeted by the same big sigh and the question that has bothered kids for generations:

“I’m fed up with this waiting, why is Christmas taking so long?”

This week at school Fred had choir practice for the Christmas caroling session in the church. As usual for Fred the excitement was in the bus trip over, not the actual singing, which with the continual practicing would get anyone down. On Friday when I went to collect him he told me he was sick of the waiting in the church and had got too tired. Too tired is one of Fred’s phrases for bored. Can’t say I blame him either; it takes a certain level of dedication to put in the hours at getting a carol recital just right, no doubt Caruso said the same at times.

On the way home on Thursday I asked him where he went on the bus…

“Oh you know.”

“No, I don’t,” I replied.

“The big place, where the people get married,” he said.

“The church?” I asked.

“Yes, that place.”

The actual recital is on Tuesday night, whether Fred will want to go and wait around for a couple of hours is unlikely, especially when he could be at home cuddled up under a blanket.

Yesterday we had a visit from Fred’s Aunty Ella and his cousin Ben. As always, Fred loves visitors and was looking forward to it all morning. When the visitors arrived with presents for him and Ruby he was doubly delighted; though not so happy when he realized that they were Christmas presents and there was more waiting involved until he could open them. All evening he had his present in front of him, looking at it, wishing he could open it, wishing for Christmas to come, again. More waiting; no wonder he’s sick and tired of all the waiting.

Ben was introduced to Godzilla and the other characters from Fred’s movies. For Fred it was great to have someone else to explain the plots and subplots and Ben showed interest which was great for Fred. The two of them, in typical Fred style, were wrapped up in blankets, keeping warm while Godzilla saved the world. Whether Ben will start collecting the action figures is another thing though.

After lunch we went to get the Christmas tree. This is something Fred has been asking about since the beginning of the month. Now the time had eventually arrived and he was delighted. Out to the car he went, holding Ben’s hand and not a look to his Daddy or Mother, very fickle these kids.

At the Christmas tree market Fred was overawed with all the trees, the different shapes and sizes, lots of holly and all the people. It had a real taste of Christmas about it and for us all, Fred most of all, it marked the beginning of Christmas. He chose the tree with his mother, Ella bought some berried holly and Fred stuck close the Ben throughout. Towards the end of the buying I think he got a bit overcome with all the bustle and went back to the car, again holding Ben’s hand. The tree was put aside for collection today and the two of us will go up later after making room in the car.

When Ruby comes home we can decorate the tree.

Then Christmas will have begun.




Posted by John Verling

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