‘BAH Humbug... but that’s too strong ‘cos it is my favourite holiday.’
This line from my favourite Christmas song just about says it all.
What The Waitresses so astutely identified in Christmas Wrapping is the love/hate relationship we all have with the festive season.
Ever year, there are magical moments and trying times and never has any other season produced the emotional rollercoaster that Christmas does.
There are few things in this life that are certain, but here are a few festive truths you can take to the bank:
1. No matter how much Sellotape you buy throughout the month of December, you will never be able to find a roll when you come to wrap your presents.
2. The scissors will always go missing at a vital moment.
3. You are guaranteed to either run out of wrapping paper with one gift to go, or have way too much left over which you will then proceed to put away ‘somewhere safe’ to use next year. You will never use it next year.
These are small gripes, but we’re only scratching the surface here of the unique frustrations Christmas will no doubt spring on us. The fact is, Christmas is magical for kids and exhausting for adults.
Personally, I still lean more towards the ‘love’ of Christmas camp though. Yes, it’s stressful and panic-inducing and, yes, I’ve been reduced to tears in Meadowhall on more than one occasion. But by the time Christmas Eve rolls around, the presents are wrapped and the wine is open, I’m in love with it all over again. I think part of it is that I still live Christmas like a kid as much as possible. After all, it’s the one time of year we all get to be children, so revelling in the whimsy, magic and traditions you enjoyed as a child is all part of it.
My mum is a great example of this and probably the root of my thinking. She has three fully-grown children, all in their 20s and 30s, but still insists on putting out a glass of Ribena for Santa (Santa is lactose intolerant in her house) and a carrot for Rudolph. She still maintains that Santa is real (well, he is, isn’t he?) and presents will NOT appear under her tree until ‘he’s been’ on Christmas morning. And despite the fact only one of us lives at home now, we each still have a stocking that he thoughtfully fills with - among other things - an apple, an orange and a shiny (chocolate) penny. The apple and the orange are promptly returned to the fruit bowl - God love Santa for trying to keep us healthy - but it’s a great tradition.
And that’s what Christmas is all about. If you don’t have any particular traditions in your house, start some immediately!
One of my favourite Christmas traditions started when we were little and would all gather together on Christmas Eve to read The Night Before Christmas. My family has grown and extended somewhat in the last ten years, as families tend to do, but no matter what, we all still come together on Christmas Eve and pick the most dramatic member of the family to do the reading, complete with funny voices! It’s the best part of the night.
So conveniently ‘forget’ the weeks of panic that lead up to it, tear up these tear-stained cash machine receipts and once Christmas finally rolls around, enjoy it. It takes us long enough to prepare, we owe it to ourselves to make the most of every magical second. Hang your stockings by the fireplace, stick It’s a Wonderful Life in the DVD player and listen for reindeer footsteps on the roof.
And if an overweight chap all dressed in red makes an appearance in your living room...well, call the police, obviously.