“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder
It’s about this time of year that I start waiting for Matooluff.
When I was just a tiny little girl, maybe three or four, my baby sister and I stayed overnight at my grandparents’ house while Mum and Dad went out to a Christmas Party. Pa promised that while they were gone we would have a party of our own.
Before dinner Pa invited Nana, my sister and I into the TV room, a modest room at the front of their house. It was Pa’s lair – set up with his desk, a television and two chairs, and a wooden cabinet built into the wall that housed a radio, a record player and Pa’s bar where he made the Happy Hour drinks for he and Nana each night.
Pa made my sister and I pink lemonades in stylish glasses with little paper umbrellas poked into glace cherries on the rim. It was incredibly glamorous. There were also snacks – cheezels in a little crystal dish, and some cheese and biscuits in a wooden bowl. Nana and Pa drank scotch and ice with soda water from Pa’s special soda-making bottle.
Then Pa placed a record on the turntable for us, and I was mesmerised by a song about Matooluff bringing twelve days worth of incredible gifts for Christmas. Lords leaping, maids milking, swans swimming and partridges in pear trees.
The whole tune played out in my head in fantastical images.
When the song finished I asked Pa, “Who’s Matooluff?”
Pa thought for a minute, and then he said, “Santa’s most magical elf, of course.”
I heard the same song on the radio yesterday, and I was transported back to that time in my life where I’d wait in bed each night, hoping for Matooluff to turn up.
I’m still waiting, and I’m sure he’s out there somewhere. 🙂
Here’s the song, from the very album…
18 thoughts on “Waiting for Matooluff”
It’s been lovely reading your posts for the last little while, getting to know your blog but it was your magical post about Matooluff and your Pa that resonated with me, made me smile and reminded me of my own wonderful Pa and Nanna Christmas, as you say in the comments, can be fraught but for me treasuring good memories, making new memories and traditions of our own keeps its place as a special day. UnChristmasy Christmases have been done, are do-able but simple festive efforts a la your Pa & Nana’s are part of believing in the magic.
Bless you Nicole I had no idea your past Christmases have been bad , my heart goes out to you and the lady above .
For the last fifteen years or so, Christmas had been hell for me because my problem has been social phobia, but in the last twelve months I have been so much better . I have pushed myself socially , that and a little professional help, I’m winning .
I’m so pleased to hear that, Cherry! Sending much love and a really big hug to you, Nicole xx
Nicole, I restled with the thought of skipping this post altogether but didn’t. Alas, for too many of us things like ‘holidays’ and ‘childhood memories’ are nothing more than Pandora’s box of nightmares. For those who had a different experience, enjoy! In the future, I shall refrain from imposing on such posts but I just wanted to acknowledge that this time of year is not for everyone. Thank you.
Thank you for your courage and grace in posting this. I completely understand. I am also someone who finds Christmas incredibly fraught. I don’t have a big close family with whom to celebrate – in fact at Christmas I have been shunned, forgotten or ignored more times than I have cared to remember. For a long while Christmas has been a misery – a day to endure and get through the best I could, or a day to ignore, hoping it would pass quickly.
But a few years ago I decided to reclaim Christmas for myself. I was done with feeling so bad about it all. I have some happy memories from when I was very young, and I am glad for those. Now I aim to make new memories, new traditions, and to celebrate being alive and having a life that itself is a gift, even if it has not turned out as I had once hoped. I am mindful of how hard this time of year can be for so many people, for so many reasons.
I know my Christmas won’t look much like the ones you read about in popular magazines, see on television commercials or that is flaunted in shopping malls. But I will quietly celebrate life, eat a little tasty food, listen to some music, read from a good book, gather a few other Christmas orphans under my wing and be grateful for second chances. I refuse to let my past hold claim over my future.
Wishing you peace in your heart. Much love to you, Nicole xx
simple pleasures of Christmas always seem best to me…
we have eggnog…decorate the tree with Christmas carols playing on the radio…Wrapping small gifts with pretty ribbons…watching our cats play and sleep under the tree…putting out the manger with the Baby Jesus and Mary/Joseph…that we’ve had since we got married…YES!…what small treasures…but, grand in my mind…
A friend of mine has”Home baked, made or grown” . All presents. A great idea.
Love this. Reminds me of my son Sam (you know him, Sam Deslandes) when he was a little boy and said to me, “I know who Adamaneve is but what was his wife’s name?”
thank you Nicole! that version of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” took me way back to my childhood in the 50’s. My mother went to town decorating our whole house and making it a very magical time for us. it was my favorite time of year. and i swear i saw Santa and his reindeer up in the sky one night! my father used to drive us around the neighborhoods when we were little to look at all of the pretty lit-up houses so that Santa could pay a visit while we were gone!
Aw Christmas. Here in the states it has become so commercial. Just read the news about our Black Friday brawls, and Christmas starts in August, I swear, in all the department stores. However, I just don’t buy (no pun intended) into that part of Christmas. I don’t have kids, but I have great nieces and nephews. I make sure I am around them during the season. And family. I like to go downtown and see all the lights. I listen to the Christmas songs( the best are the old original ones) I try to remember And live the Christmas spirit. Thanks Nicole for reminding us all. I love this story. It reminds me of my own childhood. (Christmas was a big event and holiday for my Mother. She loved it)
“Who’s Matooluff”? LOL!!!! You had me going Nicole…..I was thinking perhaps it was an Australian Christmas carol not even thinking of the “twelve days of Christmas” So I just had to play it, then when I listened I started to Laugh …….oooooh Nicole thank you! Out of the mouth of babes as they say! It reminds me of me when I was little and how I confused my parents and siblings by calling the day after Christmas “clobber day” so innocently mistaking the meaning for ‘boxing day” ! I still haven’t to this day lived that one down” lol…Thank you for stirring the memories of Christmas’s Past Nicole!
Sorry, I meant pa.
When my children were young, life was overwhelming for me or maybe I wasn’t in the right head space. And maybe they missed out a little. I want to make Xmas magical this year especially for my 2 year old grandson, and I can. I can do all the corny stuff for him and it doesn’t need to cost much. Thank you Nicole, you reminded me of my Xmas’s when I was little. I could picture the excitement and wonder you and your little sister had and the memories you have about your father just by that one song. Wow, I’m really excited about Xmas this year. Thank you Nicole xox
What a fabulous story Nicole, and an imaginative granddad! Love this tale – it could be a Christmas gift in itself. And I was led to walk to the door as soon as I finished reading it, and there was beautiful young dove sitting on the railing! 🙂 <3 xo
Well, haven’t you gone and dun it! I had announced that this year Christmas is “off” due to lack of funds (and the fact that I generally can’t stand it.) There would be no presents, instead we would do something, ie free camp somewhere we haven’t been. Reading your story has made me realise this is not good enough and the kids deserve better – even though 2 of them were ok with the idea. Yes, I shall have to get my thinking cap on and find a way to make it a special Christmas for us all.
Deirdre, I’ve had Christmases where there has been no money too. But so many things don’t cost money. Like Christmas music, or setting a pretty table, or even gifting homemade or really simple gifts. (One year my present was a bar of soap!) Christmas was also about swimming, running under the sprinkler on hot days, board games and cricket in the back yard. Thinking of you and sending love xx
Thanks fo rthe encouragement, that’s the sort of thing I had in mind. I have some lovely Christmas cds but they are all in storage, I’m sure I’ll find a couple in the 2nd hand shops, or we could sing (but not Mark, he sounds awful, lol) The Christmas angel is bringing me some more ideas…and there will be fairy lights!