Christmas, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Isn’t it? (And if you didn’t sing that first line out loud then what is wrong with you?) A magical day that happens just once a year. The event with no dress code, no invitation is necessary, PJ’s are acceptable and it’s the one day of the year where you can stuff your face with as much chocolate cake, roast potatoes and mince pies as you’d like.
Recently someone called me a Grinch because I wasn’t getting excited about Christmas in November! Y’Know, the month where we’re just adapting to the cold and accepting that bonfire night is done with and our bank accounts are about to take a battering because your son writes you a three page Christmas list. It’s good to dream I suppose! At least he’s given me lots of ideas and shows ambition! 😉
I do love Christmas, I really do. I just can’t celebrate or get excited until it’s actually Christmas! There’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t start shopping in July, I don’t put my tree up a month before and I certainly don’t get the tacky Christmas jumper out until at least the middle of December.
When growing up in York our decorations, and tree, went up 12 days before Christmas and no earlier. If my Mum could stand them for long enough they’d also stay up until 12 days after Christmas too. We all used to put the tree up together and make a bit of a fuss out of it. Even when my brothers came along we’d all join in and shout, tell each off for putting a bauble in the wrong place, or generally just sit in the corner and watch the whole event unfold. My Mum would even let us have a taste of her dodgy 80’s classic drink…a Snowball!
I remember my sister and I writing letters to Father Christmas, circling items in the Argos book, then watching my Mum bake and cook ready for the big day. I don’t ever recall the mad, crazy month before panic though. It didn’t get really fun until we’d broken up from school.
One of my favourite recollections is that of Christmas morning when we’d all run downstairs and our presents were arranged in nice neat stacks. I’d maybe have a big armchair full, my sister would have one side of the sofa and working out which pile belonged to who by scrambling for labels, was so much fun! I would shake the wrapped presents, furiously trying to guess what was inside. Even if I didn’t always get what I wanted and even though I know I got way more than I really needed, I was never disappointed.
Ultimately for us, Christmas carried an important meaning in that we were all together. I remember there was always a certain air of happiness because everyone seemed to be a bit kinder and more caring.
Putting the Christmas tree up is a big deal for me. I like to do it all together as a family and I love baubles that are sentimental or bring back happy memories. At one point when I was younger I used to collect baubles from my holidays and then reminisce when I saw them dangling. I have a dodgy peg person that my son made at nursery when he was three and I have a few non-descriptive
pieces of crap glitter induced stars he lovingly made me too.
They are my favourites!
Ultimately I never want to be one of those people that worry so much about what I want Christmas to be like, that it comes and goes and it was not at all what I was dreaming of. Our Christmas is always a little different to the norm, and I know that’s fine too. I just want to be at home, with my family, taking a little time out and reminding myself that Christmas is a time to be grateful for the year that has passed, and to look forward to the year that is to come.
It is a time to look up, look forward and to be happy. What do you love about Christmas? Do you have any traditions you simply couldn’t miss?
Merry Christmas everyone!