“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…