This year I CANNOT contain myself about Christmas. I’ve just about finished my Christmas shopping and I’ve spent this afternoon wrapping everything I’ve bought. My mum and I went and bought a new Christmas tree and a whole sh*tload of decorations and we (mostly me) put it up last weekend while. I’ve already watched The Holiday three times and I have been wearing Christmas Pyjamas since November.
I always loved Christmas as a kid. Like any other British kid, I’d spend hours over the course of a weekend rifling through all the toy pages of the Argos catalogue, compiling a list of toys that I’d play with once, maybe twice and then shove at the bottom of the wardrobe only to gather dust and end up in a charity shop a year later. I’d always leave Carrots out for the reindeer, and Whisky – must be a weird Scottish tradition because is it not supposed to be milk? – for Santa (you’re welcome, dad). In the morning my older brother and I would have to wait at the top of the stairs for what seemed like years while my mum went downstairs to ‘check if Santa’s been’ (put the heating on). Honestly, the torture was real. Finally, we’d be allowed downstairs, I had a sofa full of presents and my brother had the other sofa full of presents and it was an hour long frenzy of wrapping paper flying everywhere and demanding every unwrapped toy to be opened and built or have batteries shoved into.
Naturally, as you get older and the magic of it all wears off a bit and you kinda get the ‘I’m too old for this sh*t’ feeling. You don’t leave carrots for reindeer or whisky for Santa (sorry, dad). You don’t wake up early on Christmas morning anymore, you can barely force yourself to leave bed and your presents are under the tree and not piled up on your individual sofa like they used to be.
I loved Christmas up until about 2013. My parents had separated during the summer of 2013 but got back together just before Christmas. Of course I was thrilled that the whole family would be together for Christmas, as that was how it had always been.
Go forward to 2014 and my parent’s are separated again and I wake up on Christmas morning with only my mum and my brother. Although my parent’s separation was something I was learning to accept at this point, it just kind of hit on Christmas day that festivities would never be the same again and it all felt very weird. Going from having a family dinner on Christmas day at my gran’s house, 9 of us crammed round a dining room table made for only 6 people, to just me my mum and my brother was a bit crushing. However, my mum didn’t force feed me turkey (gross) and make me a special roast chicken instead – every cloud and all that. What a champ.
Suddenly, I didn’t like Christmas anymore.
To add to this, I was working non stop around Christmas in my old job which I have now recently quit. I was in first year of university at this point and in-between trying to have a life and study as well, I was working full days consecutively which left me less than zero time to try and embrace the Christmas spirit and spend time with friends and family. Working in a department store where the decorations are hung up even before Halloween is a sure fire way of ruining Christmas for you – never mind the customers who scream in your face if you forget a gift receipt for one of their 46 items or because you don’t stock the item that they so desperately want. It was very much soul Destroying. Don’t work in retail, kids.
I felt like the ultimate Scrooge and I couldn’t have been less apologetic. I was lusting for January and for December to be over and done with for another year.
Last year was much the same. Overtime shift upon overtime shift throughout December killed whatever Christmas spirit I tried to rustle up within me. Tesco’s German lebküchen was possibly the only thing that could console me after each horrendous shift. Christmas Day came along and while I wasn’t working Boxing Day this time, I wasn’t excited. I ate Christmas dinner with my mum as my brother was working till late. However, I drank a bottle of rosé wine for breakfast and that was wonderful. If you can’t indulge at Christmas then when can you? We had a cosy Christmas day and while I was still adjusting to the fact that these are how my Christmases will be from now on, I did have a nice day spending lots of quality time with my mum.
This year I am excited (I’ll stop moaning now, I promise). I want to go to Christmas Markets and drown in churros covered in Nutella and spend hours in front of the tv watching the Christmas Movies channel under 1 billion blankets. I want to wear my ugly ASOS Christmas jumper with men skiing all over it and I want to binge watch the horrendously bad but hilariously entertaining 1990’s ITV Pantos . I want to eat pigs in blankets until I become a pig in a blanket. I want to decorate a pre-made Ikea gingerbread house because WHO has time to bake their own?
Christmas for me may not be how I always imagined it would be but it doesn’t mean I can’t make it into something great. I’m not doing blooms – uni deadlines eat too much into the start of December but now I am free, I am going to be blogging throughout the rest of the month showing you a few of the festivities that I get involved in and I can’t wait. I’m determined to love Christmas this year. I can and I will.