Christmas may be steeped in tradition but with each decade it changes.
In the 70s, tea-towel bedecked Nativities and carol services rocked! Colourful lights, a tree surrounded by presents, dancing to Slade and laughing with the family at Morecambe & Wise all helped the festive sparkle. Sprouts were disgusting.
In the 80s, Christmas brought young romance. Wham’s Last Christmas melted my heart, as did my first Christmas kiss. The unfairness of turning off Top of the Pops in time for Christmas dinner developed into a teenage grump. Bitter and mushy sprouts remained.
The 1990s brought a career, a husband, our first house and Richard Curtis films. And Christmas decorations got all designer. Only white lights and matching baubles would do! Cocktail parties, the office Christmas do and ‘must have’ expensive presents became the new norm along with the ‘split-Christmas’, travelling 200 miles and taking turns between family and in-laws. Politeness bringing necessary toleration of sprouts.
With the turn of the century came kids and new traditions. Our parents became grandparents. School Nativities, plays and cathedral concerts. The pantomime at the Theatre Royal, another family treat.
Christmas shopping exploded, surrounded by toys, toys, toys. We hosted instead of visited. Ditched the turkey, missed the Queen a few times and one year forgot the crackers. Meanwhile, sweet buttered sprouts emerged as a tolerable experiment.
And to 2013. The grandparents are now gone. The last decade has taken them, so only fond memories remain. The ‘designer tree’ has regressed back to crazy coloured lights and decorated with mismatched baubles. Juggling work and kids to the max, my new ‘must-have’ present is simply time to relax.
There have been many changes over my five decades of festive celebrations, but amongst them there has been one constant force. And most willingly I now succumb to them with pleasure, boiled quickly in sugared water and tossed in butter for good measure.
To other sprout lovers, I toast ye!I have finally submitted.