Nora, the organiser of the Diddly, always took me to town for a day in the run up to Christmas. As I mentioned before she had no children, so I was her child for the day! WE went to see Santa before we had lunch, it was as much a thrill for her as it was for me.
In Ireland there was a charge for the visit to see the great man, I suppose it covered the cost of the gift. In every Santa grotto across the land were two large barrels or boxes, one pink and one blue. These large containers were manned by Santa’s helpers dressed as elves. You guessed it – pink for the girls and blue for the boys.
One year while I sat on Santa’s knee chatting away forty to the dozen – probably telling him all the family secrets 😆 I was handed my gift. Once outside his grotto I excitedly removed the wrapping to find a carpentry set, I was delighted, now I was as good as my brothers with my own hammer and saw etc.
Poor Nora, she was devastated. She saw me coming away with a pretty doll or girly game. Nothing would have it, but we go back inside to sort out the mix up! With much apologising to Nora and to me, my parcel was exchanged for another one about twice the size of the original.
This time it was a doll. She came with two dresses, socks and shoes. Nora was delighted and she quickly took me off to have lunch.
Somehow, I think that was the day the magic died.