Despite the usual hurry by the monoliths of trade to kick off Christmas in October, and with the exception of the few, admittedly well organised, people who shopped early, have decorated the tree, wrapped presents, most are probably still in the “slightly disinterested” phase.
In our household there has always been a myriad of ways of dealing with the festivities. 8yo Monty starting compiling his Christmas list a few weeks ago whilst I have been keeping a note of “interesting” presents since September (because if I don’t I shall forget about them and everyone will end up with socks and pants instead of the “Make your own beer in 2 days” kit I spotted in a shop window). Archie on the other hand will be super excited on the actual day but the run-up will wash over him. For example when on 1st December I said “I’ve two important pieces of news – what do you think they are?” Archie answered “You’ve booked tickets to see Star Wars 3D IMAX?” and Monty’s eyes widened as he announced “It’s the first day of our Advent Calendar”. The big man in our lives (that’s my husband, Al, not Santa) is all for holding back on Christmas trees and decs until the weekend before the main event; however he was ambushed early last year by me and Monty meaning the tree will now continue to appear mid-way through the month.
Divorce, bereavement and children flying the nest all mean that during Christmas many families will have a loved one absent from their festive dining table. We will experience our first Christmas without Grandma Polly, who always loved watching the boys opening presents whilst she sipped a glass of red wine (usually followed by a quick snooze). Notwithstanding her absence, I know she would want us to continue the tradition of pulling together as a family for these few days. Accordingly, I will hunt down, purchase and wrap bizarrely shaped presents; I will continue to wait until my boys have gone to bed before dragging out stockings to place in their bedroom; I will fight with the big man over who gets to eat the mince pie and drink the whisky left out for Santa or carrot and milk for Rudolph; I shall also leave the cooking to the big man whilst I make good use of the sherry.
Here’s to making Christmas the very best it can be, filled with carol services, craft fairs and school fetes, snow, whiskery aunts, oodles of pants & socks and cheesy songs. Let’s toast absent friends and in the immortal words of Bridget Jones “Keep buggering on” into the arms of 2016.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year