Mistletoe and wine… and gin and chocolate and tinsel.
Ever since I can remember Christmas has always been my favourite holiday. I’ve always associated with happy memories, with magic and with family.
Every family has Christmas traditions and mine was no different. We would wake early after a restless nights sleep waiting to here the jingle bells and the footsteps on the roof, but we didn’t care if we were tired. My brothers and I would rush downstairs and gather in the living room – fire on, and mum waiting with a smile on her face. We’d settle down and start opening the presents piling the wrapping paper into the middle of the room for a quick clean up later.
As the morning went on we’d binge on Quality Streets or Celebrations – knowing the exact limits so that we wouldn’t spoiling our dinner appetite. While we were opening boxes and watching Christmas Movies on TV there’d be the smell of Turkey filling the house, the steam of the kitchen forcing condensation over the windows trapping us in our own magical day.
After a Christmas dinner that I swear got better every year, we’d all get dressed in clothes that were wrapped up only hours later. We’d then all wrap up warm and start the 5 minute walk to my Nanna’s house where all of our extended family would be waiting.
There we’d exchange cards and hugs, and enjoy each others company in to the night.
It might sound romanticised, and in part it might just be, but it’s how I remember it, it’s how I choose to remember it, and I’ll remember it as some of the happiest years of my life. Forever.
These days, some 15-20 years later it’s still the time I look forward to, seeing the Coca-cola Christmas advert on TV for the first time signals to me that it’s time to start getting festive. I chose to put my decorations up at the earliest opportunity – my record is November 22nd. There’s something about the colourful lights, the tinsel and the atmosphere that brings me joy and happiness.
With so many things different now, my traditions have changed, they’ve evolved. Now, a week or so before Christmas my partner and I have a Christmas jumper party with our friends, then the next day we have our own Christmas Day complete with presents, Buck’s Fizz and Christmas dinner. Its something I look forward to all year, it’s a time we can lock ourselves and in our house and just be with each other and that’s one of my favourite places to be.
When it comes down to Christmas week, now that I’ve moved away from home I try my very best to get home to my mums a few days before, so we can have our annual shopping trip, and an adventure to see Fenwick’s Window. From there the traditions revert back to those of childhood, even as an adult I still find the magic in waking up early and spending that quality time with my family. Although, now I’m not waiting for Santa Clause, I’m waiting for the turkey.
To round off what is usually a day to remember we gather around the TV together, with leftover sandwiches and we watch Mrs Browns Boys in the living room, drawing comfort from the glow of the Christmas Tree lights.