So it’s the end of November, which means it’s almost December, which in turn means even the most ‘bah humbug’ of people has to admit its nearly Christmas! Now don’t get me wrong I am well aware that there are many people for whom Christmas is, frankly, a nightmare. Not because the decorations have been up in shopping centres since late October or because they simply can’t face hearing another version of ‘All I Want For Christmas’ but because they are alone, depressed, in debt, bereaved or for any number of reasons. My heart goes out to anyone who is suffering at any time of year but at Christmas sadness seems to be multiplied. So I am not about to suggest that everyone should put on a party hat and sing ‘Jingle Bells’ and all their troubles will melt away. This post is purely about my love of Christmas and all things festive.
So, Christmas. Just the word makes me want to do a little dance and say Ho Ho Ho! While other people are complaining that the shops are playing carols in November I love every single bit. ( I was very impressed at how quickly the Halloween stuff went from the shelves to be replaced with tinsel, baubles and gift tags this year.)
I blame my mum entirely. She has always loved the festive season. She would get so excited when it was time for the tree to go up and every decoration had a special place to go – some of them were very old and I remember they were only allowed to go at the top of the tree. Thinking about it now I’m not sure why as it simply meant they had further to fall and more momentum to gather should they drop off. We had a large house and my gran lived on the ground floor. She was the complete opposite. The tree (a small, white artificial one) would go up on Christmas Eve and was often down on Boxing Day. I don’t know how she put up with it!
By Christmas morning my mum would be bouncing off the walls with excitement. As I got older and didn’t wake up at 5am any more she even took to standing outside my door coughing until I got up! It’s a good job I didn’t like going out on Christmas Eve as a teenager because I still would have been woken by 7am and expected to join in a rousing chorus of ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ outside my gran’s door. I seem to remember her response often included the word ‘bugger.’
Once I left home we would go back on Christmas morning for presents and lunch before doing a Vicar of Dibley and heading for the family of my then boyfriend (now husband) and doing it all again. Oh I love Christmas dinner!
Now we have a family of our own Christmas is even more special. Our children are still young enough to believe in the magic of Santa and all things Christmassy (whether our 8-year-old son is genuinely convinced I’m not sure but he is putting on a good show if he’s not!) and I hope they always will.
The only thing I didn’t like about Christmas as a child was the pantomime. Every year we would go on Boxing Day and at first I loved it but when I was about 11 my dad was pulled up onto the stage by, as I remember it, a ‘sexy’ female magician wearing not very much (quite why she was in a local panto I have no idea) but I was absolutely terrified that she was taking my dad and while everyone else laughed at the funny antics on stage I was sobbing my heart out because she had stolen my dad at Christmas. I was traumatised for many years and only recently went back to one with our children. It was fun but I’m not letting my husband sit on the end of the row just in case.
Image courtesy of Kittisak / FreeDigitalPhotos.net