Christmas is such a funny time of year. Everyone has their own traditions; things they’ve done every year since they can remember. The things they did before they can even remember; things their parents did and their parent’s parents.
We always went for a meal (usually a curry) on Christmas eve, that was sandwhiched in between a present drop at both of my nanna’s houses (Dad’s Mum’s in the afternoon, Mum’s Mum’s in the evening). In the afternoon, my brother and I were the eldest of the grandkids, it eas entirely the other way in the evening and we were the babies (until the great grandkids came along, of course). We opened presents early the next day before a feast was cooked up for Christmas Dinner at about three, followed by my Dad’s world famous (amongst the four of us) trifle- made only to be eaten on December 25th and the days immediately after until gone. We spent the day in pyjamas amongst piles and piles of toys and pyjamas and other goodies. I only have happy memories of being a child, but I wasn’t bratty I once wrote to Santa to say that I had enough and for him to give another little girl my presents. Or maybe I just had too much stuff (I still do).
I always think it’s odd when Christmasses combine; when you spend Christmas with your partners family, for instance and suddenly you take on another families’ traditions.
This year was the first year in ages that I’ve had a Christmas at home (and by at home, I mean my Dad’s home- I don’t live with him anymore and I’ve never lived where he lives now, but you know what I mean). The last few years I’ve had breaksfast with my Dad and his wife then lunch with my girlfriend’s family (which is great because she has a neice and nephew and small humans are the cutest at Christmas.)
This year it was the other way around.
Breakfast highlights were my beloved trying cream cheese for the first time and finding out that it’s delicious. At the age of 27. She’s a little late to the party, but we’ll let her off. I also popped to the car after breakfast to retrieve my phone, only to lock myself into the back seat of my go-kart. I was, fortunately, rescued by a 10 year old otherwise Christmas could have been a bit different. And, depending on how long until i was missed, completely runined.
Chrristmas dinner (my favourite meal of the year) was, as expected, incredible. I’ve decided that my birthday meal request is going to be the soup we had for starter (a spicy lentll and vegetable broth made from scratch by my step-mum), a pie that my sister-in-law (to be) makes and my Dad’s creamy mashed potatoes. The first and the last featuring in Christmas dinner ’14. This is the blog-equivalent to ticking your course option for a set meal and is going to be incredibly awkward come the 25th anniversary of the day of my birth in a little over 7 weeks if they don’t read my writing…
I’m a fan of board games at any time of year. This Christmas my favourite clues during Articulate were “Like Jesus but without a T” (Christopher Columbus) and “You live in them in Scotland” (Crofts). The latter came from Sam’s parents who were, after 34 years of marriage, scarily good at the game, guessing some of the answers with a single, incredibly cyryptic clue. If life had hashtags, that would definitely be #RelationshipGoal number 1.
I was incredibly spoilt this Christmas (too much so), but I was frustrated when I logged on to social media to albums of photos bragging about what friends had received. Yes, we saw that you got that beautiful jewellery. Yes, that games console is smashing.
I refused to photograph any of my presents by way of silent protest.
It’s easy to get caught up in the glitter and free booze at Christmas. The herds of people, wrapped up and with arms full of gifts almost sweep you along with them in the busy streets. There’s special adverts that we wait with baited breath to see, and secretly shed a tear as a little boy unwraps a penguin on December 25th. It’s busy and exciting and it means a week off work.
But, my favourite part about this Christmas was spending a day with my family. Wearing silly hats and playing with the crap toys that came out of the crackers (Waitrose, you let us down). I even liked my Dad explaining what Curly Kale is.
Next year, I’m going to remind everyone of that when they’re spending the whole month’s wages on fancy gadgets. Because, as much of a cliche as it is, the best things really can’t be bought.
Here’s to family time.