The Christmas dream: Couples meandering through the shops together to choose gifts for their nearest and dearest, stopping by to enjoy the carols played by the brass band; wrapping the gifts together way in advance of Christmas, whilst listening to Bublè and sipping on Prosecco or Port.
Waking up on Christmas morning full of joy and not at all exhausted, as the children love all of the gifts which they unwrap! An amazing lunch is effortlessly prepared and tidied away followed by a walk in the countryside, all wrapped up in hats and scarves, then joyous family games around the table.
The Christmas nightmare: Mums frantically shopping/ordering gifts in snippets of time as they try to think what to buy everyone, where to hide it all, and when they are going to get time to wrap it (often in to the early hours of Christmas morning, alongside peeling and prepping veg and worrying will the turkey be cooked/big enough/moist enough!)
Waking up exhausted (or being woken by over excited children) and digging deep to share their enthusiasm of visiting the lounge to see if the ‘big man in red’ has been. Trying not to feel mortally wounded as the kids slate said big man in red for not knowing that they had changed their minds regarding what they wished for!! Santa knows EVERYTHING right? Surely he is magical enough to know what goes on in their little heads??!
Mum slaves away in the kitchen whilst Dad plays with the new toys/finds batteries/assembles things. Mum feels under pressure to deliver a christmas feast worthy of at least 2 Michelin stars, as the children keep asking when will lunch be ready?!! Alone in the kitchen though, Mum can enjoy her favourite christmas tipples whilst listening to christmas tunes (Bublé features in both Christmas dreams and christmas nightmares!) Too exhausted for a countryside walk (plus the kids moan so much about going for a walk , its easier to not go! So the family games commence……and bets should be taken for how long it will be before the Monopoly board is tipped over in frustration! (or was that just me as a child if someone dared to buy Park Lane before I could!!)
Without wanting to sound like the Grinch, I’m not a fan of Christmas!……there, Ive said it!! Ive tried to like it, but I feel that it is only because I feel we all should like Christmas, because well, its Christmas right??
I find it an inconvenience! A stressful time of year where added pressures of the British climate, illness, financial and time pressures just make it unpleasant, but we are trapped! Theres’ no getting away from it! I simply cant cancel Christmas, so I just have to go along with it! All of this pressure for one day which we are made to feel should be the most perfect day of the year.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Christmas and I’ve tried to think why. The only thing I can conclude is that being brought up on a farm, with horses and cows, in some ways, Christmas day was like any other Sunday; The animals must still be tended to, and we had to either open presents without dad, or wait for him to come back in after milking had finished. Mum then cooked a huge roast dinner like every Sunday, and we all sat around the table before it was time for dad and my brother to go back out to milk the cows in the afternoon. My memories of frozen water pipes if Christmas had brought with it a severe frost, meant spending part of the day outside taking kettles of hot water to ensure the water troughs flowed properly (cows drink a LOT of water!)
I am also an Empath, and I cant help but feel for those who find it very difficult to get their Christmas on due to a variety of reasons, be it the loss of a loved one, breakdown in a relationship, loneliness, physical or mental health reasons, or the financial pressure which Christmas sadly brings. For these people, they have a valid reason to dread this time of year and there’s no escaping it.
I have so much to be grateful for, so will focus on this instead of being a Christmas killjoy! I am grateful for the internet which means I don’t have to set foot in many shops during this frantic time! I am grateful I have loved ones to spend time with at Christmas and whilst I feel the financial pressure, I am grateful I have an array of gifts to give our boys on Christmas day. I feel the pressure of Christmas card writing and posting was lifted as this year, I decided to give money to charity instead. Knowing I have helped towards a family in need to have carpets and some gifts for their children in the face of grief this christmas is worth much more, along with sending a gift to sick children at Sheffield Children’s hospital. I love giving in that sense.
Instead of feeling the pressure to have the ‘perfect christmas’, I feel relived to have broken with tradition. There is just the 4 of us on Christmas day (plus the fur baby!) so instead of traditional christmas dinner, we shall be brunching on nice treats, lunching on steak & chunky chips and nibbling cheeses, biscuits, breads, dips and pickles in the evening; but without breaking with the tradition of alternating between Roses, Quality Street, Heroes, Celebrations, Thorntons and Lindt!
With an 8 month old labrador now in our family, Christmas decorations are not adorning our walls this year! I suppose I usually start to feel in the christmas spirit once the tree is up, but due to our 4 legged (cute) dark destroyer, and the fact we are hoping to move, we are lacking in the xmas decs department. I do aim to make up for it next year in the new place!
Throwing a fairly imminent house move in to the mix has also meant Christmas is just getting in the way for me this year! And I know that my hard working husband will be spending his 2 weeks Christmas ‘holiday’ away from his business to make our beautiful new home, just that. I look forward to this time next year when hopefully I can live the Christmas dream!
So that just leaves me to say………Happy Christmas ya filthy animals!!