I love Christmas, always have and always will. This love affair all started, as it always should, thanks to the festive attitude of my parents. Small things they did for me and my four brothers have stayed with me and been adopted by me, now writing this as a father-of-two.
The Christmas tree was always a big thing for my parents. Actually, it still is, as shown by my Mum directing me last week around the Christmas tree shop to find the perfect spruce and then directing me around her living room to ensure it had the perfect spot. We got there. Just.
My Mum still has many of the same decorations we had when I was growing up. Our tree-topping Father Christmas is older than my oldest brother (48). He has had a change of costume, from red to faded orange and back to a new bright red suit, but it still remains the same Father Christmas. Other decorations on her tree are equally sentimental and almost the same vintage.
She has always had a ‘bran tub’ where presents are kept. I remember fondly doing the whole waking-up-parents-at-5am to open presents in bed. But the bran tub was equally special. Saved until 5pm when, with full bellies and slightly sleepy, we set upon a second lot of presents. We were very lucky – something I will never forget.
Christmas is about so many things, but tradition is certainly one of them. Every year, I buy a new decoration for our tree. Each one meaning something special, usually about someone special. This year, I was given a bauble dedicated to my Dad, made by a young and thoughtful fund-raiser. This will always have a special place in my heart and our tree.
Back to present day, our Christmas has been mapped out to ensure we see everyone we need to see while always leaving ample time to drink and be merry.
Our youngest son, George, nearly three, is getting excited, associating the festivities with chocolate, but I think next year will be his big year.
A morning walk across Horringer to see more family and a lovely lunch with my wife’s family awaits before my wife, George and I will go back to toast the day, eat more food (of course) and enjoy some home comforts.
Fairly traditional so far. It becomes a little less orthodox on Boxing Day when we do it all again after my picking up my oldest boy – and we all celebrate our second Christmas Day.
He doesn’t live with me, but he is so lucky to have so many different parts of his family that love and care for him. Just what Christmas is all about.