Sweet baby Jesus – I fucking love Christmas.
Sorry for the swearing, but I tell you – it’s warranted. Far and away the G R E A T E S T time of year.
Chilly, but nice outside. Lovely jubbly xmas songs wafting through the airwaves like a bad trump that won’t quite go away, (but you are secretly enjoying). Everyone appears to be in a jovial, spirited mood (makes a change for the office grump – yes I’m looking at you here Karen).
The only issue with it all? It’s all over too bloody fast.
24 measly hours we get. 24 measly hours to cram in as much un-adulterated happiness, whilst balancing the sober/pissed tightrope that, let’s face it, we all walk year on year.
But where does this pure adoration come from? It simply can’t have something to do with the bat-shit/bonkers/strangely-specific certain traditions my family hold…could it!?
The Traditions behind the Magic
Since I was a little girl, Christmas has always held such an importance in my life.
Being one of six, it was always a bit of a squeeze in la maison.
Therefore, from popping out the ol’ love tunnel, up until the age of about 18, we had a distinct
We would all wake up (excruciatingly early, my poor mother), clamber to the end of our beds to check ‘If he’d been’.
I must have been a very well behaved child, as he always had been…oh how times change.
All six of us would proceed to the parents’ bedroom, in which we would assemble in a designated spot on the king size bed, open our stockings in front of each other (in age order, obvs), and then…
Yup, sing a bloody carol each. NO, we aren’t what you’d call the modern day Von Trapp family. YES, getting older I have come to realise the slightly strange concept of this but, it was my childhood, it wasn’r as weird as it may sound to outsiders.
And honestly…amazing, amazing memories.
But this was only the beginning!!
After mother was satisfied with the annual carol service, we would all line up in age order (can you see a recurring theme here!?) at the top of the stairs, and then descend to the downstairs landing to greet the carrot and milk.
Once we had all confirmed that Santa is indeed a fat bastard (cookies and milk at every one of the 25 million homes in the UK alone (yes, I was one of those children)), we’d be back to the lining up – guess in which order – at the living room door.
Dad would proceed to duck into the front room to set up the cam-corder (miss those things, life seemed so much simpler then), and then after hearing the anticipated ‘YEPPP’, we would all frog march into the room and be greeted with an unbelievable mountain of gifts (there were 6 of us remember, we were by no way spoiled!).
Resuming our official seating places, mum would sit under the tree and roll call the recipient of whichever gift she had picked up.
She always did the passing out, there was no doubt about it. She still does it to this day.
After hours of joy, sprinkled with a certain envy of the siblings’ gifts (come on, we have all been kids before), we would cart our prezzies up the stairs and lay them out on the bed, like a shrine to our parents’ incredible work ethic.
Free time whilst dinner was being prepared would follow, and then the grandest, and loudest, meal of the year would be served; when you have approx. 10 people around the table (more like 20 nowadays, mind), the prosecco certainly didn’t help the swiftly raising octaves.
Thanks, kisses, and the reluctantly retiring to bed, eyes brimming with tears.
It’s over for another year.
The hollow feeling at the end of December 25th is something I still experience. THIS is why I hold the day so dear; anything that can make you feel ANY sort of emotions like this, has GOT to be important to you.
The Tradition Lives On
Every single year I tell this story, and every single year people look at me in complete disbelief.
As crackers as it may sound, this is our Christmas. After 20 years of six young children running riot every December 25th, my mum has got it down to a tee. Wonder woman!
Don’t get me wrong: As we all grow up, traditions do change. Our day this year was not as similar to this as it once was. However, similar to my hairstyle, priorities have changed.
Spending time with those closest to you is above and beyond the most important aspect of life. It is why we were put on this planet, together. It is what makes the world go round.
No words can accurately describe the pride I feel towards my batshit/loud/extra/mahooooosive family.
This, ladies and gents, is why I love Christmas.
How about you? Have your family developed any quirky traditions? Let me know in the comments; i’m so intrigued to see if others have any any specific or odd traditions!
But for now, we’re stuck in this odd week before New Year when no one knows exactly what to do with themselves! Do we have to rise from bed before 11am? Do we need to wear pants? How long can you keep leftover turkey for!?!?!?!?!
Sad that, once again, it is all over…but memories truly do last a lifetime.
I hope all of you lovely lot had a day as precious as mine.
Until next year, St Nick!