Christmas is coming, but presents are just secondary.

I always think the lead up to Christmas is more exciting than the actual event itself, involving as it does the hard work of few to provide a great day for many.

Monday, 20th December 2021, 7:05 am

My mum always made our Christmases special – and still does now.

As soon as the calendar clicked over from November 30 to December 1, the Christmas juggernaut starts to roll and gather pace.

For many a little earlier – way earlier for some, even early in November.

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Gleadless School held their Christmas Lunch today, Wednesday 14th, December 2016 Lucy Kidd, Libby Fidell, Denise clayton school cook, Emily Bramwel and Joseph Maxwell

It’s believed by some that you should put the tree up 12 days before Christmas on December 13 – although it is unclear where this stems from.

Decorating rules have definitely gone out the window due to the C word – ‘Covid.’

When I was at school, Christmas was a magical time of the year.

Decorating the classroom was a great indicator it was on the way.

CHAINJT: Chloe and Chelsea (4) wrap themselves and the Christmas Tree at the Childrens Hospital up in part of thje worlds longest Paperchain

A mock Christmas postbox would appear in the school foyer.

We would post our cards, then wait in great anticipation to hopefully receive a pile in return.

We also had the school Christmas dinner and disco depending on the school you were at.

My earliest school Christmas memories were at Ellesmere Primary in the early Seventies.

Father Christmas actually came to our school and everyone got a present.

We also had one day – I assume it was the last day – when we were allowed to bring a toy to school to enjoy playing with with your friends. Great times.

I vividly remember rushing home from school on the last day of term to be greeted with my mother decorating our Christmas tree – Christmas had definitely arrived. I remember the paper angel I made went on top of the tree.

We’d made lots of decorations and Christmas cards in the lead up to Christmas, the lanterns were a favourite of mine.

We also made decorations called paper chains, simple but effective. I wonder if they still make them?

We must have made strings and strings of them. How I got all these delicate bits of paper home in one piece, I’ll never know.

I loved Christmas Day. It was the only day of the year I never really wanted to play out.

It started really early between 5am and 6am. Sometimes I would hear Santa wrapping the last of the presents and we had to stay at the bottom of the stairs until he’d finished. I could never work out why my mum was allowed to see him but not us…

My mother worked really hard on Christmas Day, she was a nurse. I remember her working night shifts at Christmas and coming back early in the morning from her shift, or leaving early for her night shift.

In between all of this, she’d prepared a most fabulous Christmas dinner.

Fifty years later she’s still doing the delicious meals for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, but without the night shifts, thankfully.

These are the things that really made Christmas, presents are really secondary.

Mums make Christmas, not Santa.