I absolutely love Christmas. It is the general cheesiness of it. The carols which you learn as a child and then try to remember, some of them with perfect clarity, others where you forget a word here and there.
It’s the happiness that comes with the day. It’s the gathering of family, dressing up to eat food in your own home. The traditions that are built up and played out year after year. It’s the lights which blink, bounce and dance in random and set patterns, dressing up houses, streets and ornaments, that make me smile. It’s the trimmings which are set about with care. It’s everything.
I think as I have got older and some of these elements have been missing from the day its made me reminisce on the good times. About how much the simple routine of waking up, smelling food, putting on music telly and singing along to Christmas songs whilst the others prepare for Church, entertains and delights me.
A Christmas away
Two years ago I was lucky enough to be in Australia for Christmas. It was nice, it was hot, but it was just my mum, my brother and me. We had my brother’s girlfriend’s family and it was nice but it didn’t feel like Christmas. They had their family, and they talked and had fun and played at the beach. We were guests at their bench. They played games and didn’t all eat at the same time around a table, it was their way, their fun and it felt a million miles away from Christmas at home.
Last year, my mum felt ill on Christmas day. So she spend many hours preparing the food and didn’t eat with us, she slept instead and was a bit grumpy. The food was good, I enjoyed it and we still had a bit of fun but it felt forced, like we were overcompensating.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know I could be considered spoilt and I have had it good, but it seems like the older I get the more I am expected to forget about Christmas cheer and cheese. I know I am an adult now but the day is not the right of the young only; surely?
If given the right, I would polish and bring back the elements of Christmas every year if I could. I liked playing monopoly all night, watching tv in the evening whilst everyone comments so loudly you can’t even hear what is said. Trying to get the last of the stuffing before my brother. Wearing silly hats, random jokes, having a ceremony for presents.
But as I get older, as with so many things, life moves on. Families separate, get new families. People stop wanting to join in. It becomes about the new generation, and the old one just have to be satisfied with what is left over and spare.
So I suppose if this year anyone else gets to have that kind of Christmas that they have every year, I hope they embrace it. As an adult, as my old traditions get phased out replaced by random elements and rolling eyes as people think themselves above the day, I hope that those who can hang on, hang on and don’t dismiss what they have always done because it wont always be done.
Wishing everyone a merry, happy and enjoyable Christmas…