Christmas time, the best bits

My daughter and I were talking the other day and reminiscing about our family traditions at Christmas and how they are, somehow, slowly beginning to disappear. Some of the family has become a little estranged and as we get older, I feel like the much-loved traditions will soon become just faded memories. However as I continued to reminisce I realized that it really is up to us to keep our traditions alive, so I have bitten the bullet and booked the flights to go back to the cold UK for a joyous, family Christmas.

Of all the holidays, for me, Christmas is my absolute favourite. As a kid, I allowed myself to ignore the reality that there was no Santa Claus.  I can now divulge that I must have been around 18 before I admitted to knowing the truth.  Not that I was naive, I imagine in reality I was somewhere around eight when I knew he didn´t really exist.  By today’s standards, still a little old.  What can I say?   In those days, we were children a lot longer than they are today.   Nevertheless, I have never outgrown the excitement that I feel as December arrives.  Not because of gifts or the commercialisation but because it conjures up memories of when I was a child, when my children were little and now it is the turn of the grandchildren.

One of the thrills is creeping round the garden rattling cutlery on a tray pretending it is reindeer flying by.  I love being huddled in a large group as we wait while Granddad reads the Night Before Christmas, just before the little ones choose a carrot or apple for Rudolph, a mince pie for Santa and then go to bed dreaming of what might be.   I cannot understand people who do not continue the myth to buy gifts under the alias of a hairy, fat, old guy in a red suit.  I steadfastly followed the family tradition, as do my girls and we revel in the joy of watching the happiness on Christmas morning after HE had been.

Just writing it down evokes fond Christmas memories. The hours spent writing Christmas lists and posting to Santa, the daily opening of the advent calendar that heralds Christmas is getting closer by the day. The making and decorating of the cake and rushing indoors, after walking the dog, to be greeted by the smell of gingerbread and hot mulled wine.  The funniest time was when Tilly was around 3 and OH was conned into playing Father Christmas for the nursery, we went out and got the suit and hair (the real McCoy) and he sat there listening to what each of the children wanted him to bring them.  We were convinced Tilly would recognise him but she was totally captivated and when she came out she asked where is Granda, I had to quickly lie and say he was parking the car.  When he came back in, she ran up to him and said Oh Granda, he was the REAL ONE and you missed him.  Such innocence, such joy.

Mid November, I begin anticipating the appearance of Christmas lights.  I visualise what I will put outside and around our house.  I have several swags and wreaths to hang from the front balcony.  There is a large wreath I put up outside the bedroom window and when I had a large house in the UK, I had 150 Father Christmas’s – now it is only 20 but one is 4ft tall and another is almost 3ft.

So another year older but I guess I’m still a child at heart. The tree resplendent with 500 twinkling lights went up 1st December, the presents are all sorted and cards written and ready to post.  I am looking forward to carrying on our Christmas traditions, and hope everyone else has a safe and happy holiday season spent with those that you love. 

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3 Responses to Christmas time, the best bits

  1. dragojac says:

    I’m with you Red Queen.

    We used to hijack our nieces and nephews weeks before Xmas to rehearse and then perform a Christmas play on Christmas day – when enough booze had been downed to make it seem less awful than it was. They loved it and so did we. And one Christmas Eve (Andy’s brother lived next door) we filmed a ‘reindeer’ peering through the window after the kids had all gone to bed. The oldest must have been about 12 at that time and he still wasn’t sure whether to believe or not.

    Funnily, I find there’s more of an old fashioned Christmas spirit here with the wonderful decorations, Christmas carol concerts and the elaborate nativity displays…but I noticed there were Xmas displays in supermarkets, turron aisles and Christmas adverts on Spanish telly from November this year.

  2. Tenerife Nell says:

    Maybe its because I’m at that stage in between children and grandchildren, and maybe its being in Tenerife most of the time, you don’t feel the same bombardment of commercialism that we do in the UK but I am sick to death of not being able to find every day things in the supermarket because the Xmas items have taken over the aisles. I mean who is buying all this party food with a use by date of early to mid December?
    Just how many jars of xmas chutneys can one get through over a couple of weeks? We are already overweight as a nation – how many chocolates can we all eat?

    And then there’s the 3 for 2 offers in Marks and Spencer and Boots etc – but I don’t want 3 of them – can’t you just make the other two cheaper?

    Do people really need to buy new tinsel and baubles every year? They must do to warrant the amount of it on sale.

    All of this has been going on since before halloween was over. If they just stuck to December it wouldn’t be so bad. I can’t even go to the hairdresser’s or butcher’s without being asked if I’ve finished my Xmas shopping – NO I have only just started, why is it a competition? From past experiencre the sooner you think you are finished the more you spend because the temptations are still there.

    I didn’t notice all this nonsense going on in Tenerife when I was over in November and that is good but the UK has gone completely over the top.

    Signed Mrs Scrooge! lol

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