It’s that time a year again, when my family has its annual early Christmas shindig. This is when all the cousins get together, with their partners, children plus mums and dads and basically eat our body weight in food. My fav.
Blessed my having a large, close family, but this means when we get together, we cater for an Army. I also think my family are sugar addicts, as we all seem to go over board on the deserts every year with every kind of cheesecake you can imagine! My favourite is usually Auntie Wendy’s maltesers cheesecake, but her daughter, my cousin pulled it out of the bag this year with a salted caramel cheesecake. I feel slightly sick writing tonight because I have no idea what portion control is!
Whilst watching my children play today with their second cousins, I thought about how fresh the memories are in my mind of when this was us, just me, my brother and sister playing with our cousins at Christmas.
It was always with great excitement to see them on Christmas day and show each other what Santa had brought us and also to secretly envy everything my older cousin had. Because she was always older, wiser, slimmer (still is bitch!) than me and had great ideas about clothing. She had beautiful blonde curly hair and I had straight brown hair. I longed for curly hair spending ages using hot tongs to look just like her and funnily enough she wanted straight hair so I spent 3 hours with those rubbish, first type of straighteners doing hers! If I could time travel I take back those wasted hours of my life and gift her some GHDs!
Whilst it’s getting harder for our family to get together, what with everyone’s work schedules and the fact that there is about 30 of us in total (seriously brother, stop breeding!). I still realise how important this is for the little ones. The children get crazy when they are all together but they really love it and now Christmas is really focused on the little ones.
Times have changed. For good and bad. Some members of our family are no longer with us, but they are never forgotten and if anything, thought about more, when its this time of year.
Despite a sense of overwhelming sadness this year since I lost my lovely Nan. I remember all the lovely times we have had together. For some families, Christmas isn’t at all a happy time of year. It isn’t really about all the money at Christmas even though it is the most expensive month for us, we are fortune enough to both work and provide it without worrying how will we do it.
When I recall Christmas as a child, I always remember being more excited about my stocking than anything else. A toothbrush, a tube of smarties, some festive socks, this was what Christmas was about. My stocking used to contain these mini cartons of fizzy that I knew my mum picked up in Woolworth’s, in fact the entire contents of my stocking was probably bought in there! God I miss that place. I’ve since never seen a pic n mix wall so big since.
I would get excited over seeing the table laid the night before, with a cloth tablecloth (not the sticky day-to-day oil cloth), crackers (usually cheap shit ones, but what fun hey!), crockery that comes out once a year and we always had a starter before our turkey. Proper posh food INNIT!
As a child I had no idea, the preparation and the stress that went into making this day. I did not see my parents look for new hiding places for our Santa presents, still no idea where they were hidden! Just like the agony of waiting for us to be a sleep before laying these out our presents in the living room the night before. And the stressful shopping trip they would have had to time to make sure it wasn’t too busy and those last-minute dash to the shops for that forgotten item! Usually tin foil, why is it you need so much!
Back in the day Christmas was different and everything as a child looks bigger. But its true tins of quality street have got smaller! FACT. But consumer Christmas is now most certainly bigger. This whole Coca Cola truck visiting local towns, WTF? I mean when did this become about Christmas, I enjoyed the tuneful advert, but Id leave it there, it’s not like you are visiting Santa is it? It’s just a shiny red truck with lights??
The Toys R Us ad, hasn’t changed too much, but I’m ok with that! I still know all the words…”Its a magical place…were on our way there…”. Love that shit! Tins of biscuits, why we need them in tins I’m not sure, but they look nice, you might even use them again! I loved that as a child, chocolate and biscuits could form part of your breakfast for one day. Who am I kidding, I do this now as an adult, I just don’t let the kids see!! I have perfected secret eating in the kitchen! “Mummy what are you eating?” shouts my eldest, “Oh look, an aeroplane?” I mutter pointing out of the window for affect.
There are some new traditions , some welcome and some not this year like that bastard elf on the shelf which I keep forgetting to move (I tell the eldest it’s because the magic wears off when the youngest has touched it!) so she has to wait another 24 hours until it moves again!Mwahhahah! Another new, not so welcome tradition in this house is Christmas Eve boxes, for all they look great and a wonderful idea but I just about get time to wrap my presents and I’ve no time to fanny about sourcing one of those!
I do however, continue the tradition of leaving Santa a mince-pie and carrot out. As a child I left Santa milk, not even sure if this is because he suffers with heartburn but now Santa much prefers a nice Cider, Wine, Beer, Baileys…just about anything alcoholic and certainly not milk.
So Christmas is different now, because Santa has changed, his beverage likes have also changed, what we consume has changed and what we visit has changed (apparently a truck is more exciting than a bearded man in a red outfit-RANT OVER) but what remains the same is the people.
Family will always be there even when they are not in person, because some of those much-loved people set the traditions we still enjoy today. Family is brought together by love and some of us lucky few are bound by it.
Is your Christmas always merry and bright? What changes to Christmas do you enjoy or repulse? Share your stories on Facebook and like this post if of course you do!