Ou Sont Les Neiges D’Antan?

As a child, Christmas for me was always about going round to my Aunty Pat’s for the Christmas tea. She would prepare the most magical buffet you would ever see, with a huge white table covered in delicious food.

This was all lovely, but the main event for me was the extra present Aunty Pat would leave under the tree: a rectangular box in the shape of a video covered in sweets. As far as I knew, Aunty Pat had never watched Doctor Who – she had missed the broadcast of An Unearthly Child because she was busy that day giving birth, and had never caught up – but somehow in that present would be the latest Doctor Who video. I would open it up and be mystified; how did she know I wanted that? How did she even know when Doctor Who videos were even out, these exciting new releases that I hadn’t talked about to anyone apart from mentioning them to my parents over and over again?

To me, before the new Who came and we started to get Christmas episodes, my Christmas episode was after we came home from Aunty Pat’s. Full of rich food and tired out, I would cuddle down with my dad and watch Talons of Weng-Chiang, Robots of Death, all the classics that were released in the late 80s.

Aunty Pat is no longer with us these days, but I still have all the videos she gave me. Many of them are signed, though not by her. The food at Christmas is still lovely and every year I still look forward to cuddling down with the family for the Christmas Day episode, but it never comes under a tree wrapped with sweets inside.

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