I am sure you have noticed perusing the aisles of your local shops that it’s started already. It seems to get earlier every year and while the ‘bah humbugs’ out there have been moaning and pointing out all the bad bits about the festive season, I’m beginning to feel all warm inside.
I love Christmas, especially the build up, the small child in me still gets (perhaps a little too) excited at the sight of a fairy light and a sparkly bauble. I think my love of Christmas hails back to my Christmas’ as a small child. I grew up in a home that wasn’t the happiest at times, that’s not as bad as it sounds but let’s just say we were slightly more dysfunctional than most behind closed doors. However, Christmas was a whole different matter; Christmas day and Boxing Day were certainly amongst the fondest memories of my childhood. Even though Father Christmas always got me something pretty rubbish (like a knickers and vest set), I still tried my hardest to stay awake to catch a glimpse of him and still ripped my present open with excitement on Christmas morning. We then had to wait hours until my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins had arrived before we were allowed to open any more presents. The anticipation almost killed me every year but it was all part of the yearly ritual and the excitement of the day. My parents would always buy me educational presents but sometimes (if I was very lucky), one of my relatives would get me something I really wanted like a ‘my little pony’ or make up set. To be honest, to me, even as a small child, it was not so much about presents, the day was about having fun with my cousins, my mum cooking wonderful food, a tin of biscuits (the only time of year we got really fancy biscuits) and everyone being happy. Boxing Day was pretty much the same without the presents and with amazing curries (my Burmese Nan kept up the curry tradition).
When my parents split up I remember one awful Christmas Day with just me and Mum (my Brother had opted to spend it with his girlfriend). We tried to get in the mood, cooked a roast, decorated the house, opened the presents but sitting in front of the TV, dinner on our laps, just wasn’t the same. Mum and I have since discussed how depressing that day was and ever since then I have taken on the responsibility of bringing the festive spirit back.
Of course having my two children has helped. It’s the four of us along with my Mum, Mother in law, Brother and this year my Nan in law. Me and the kids visit garden centres weekly for at least a month before, looking at Christmas displays, buying more decorations (shush don’t tell daddy!), wrapping presents, decorating the house and looking at Christmas magazines (at those recipes I will never cook). My little ones at age two and four are beginning to love it almost as much as me and that in itself gives me so much joy. I also love being able to threaten their naughty behaviour with ‘Father Christmas won’t bring any presents to naughty children’!
So, while the retail outlets may be doing it for all the wrong reasons I’m happy, I just love all that is Christmas. Mum and I are off to the ‘Ideal Home Show at Christmas’ on Wednesday to really get in the mood so all I have left to say is ‘let the festive season begin’!