I used to be the biggest kid about Christmas. I loved everything about it. Trimming the tree, putting up lights, decorating the whole house. My kids and Christmas just went together like carrots and peas. I loved the run into Christmas, the buying of gifts. I used to spend a whole day just sitting on our bed wrapping everything, putting labels on it all and then hiding it all in and around our bedroom.
Then Christmas eve, we would go to see the Christmas lights locally, and bring the boys home, tuck them into bed with stories of how they needed to go to sleep quickly so Father Christmas could come and deliver their presents, (if they had been good, of course).
Then hubs and I would sit and watch TV until about midnight, struggling to stay awake, so that we could then smuggle all the Christmas gifts down the passage, past the bedroom doors and put them underneath the Christmas tree. Yes, I used to get really excited, anticipating their little faces, their eyes as they opened the probably way too many, but relatively cheap gifts that were waiting for them. We never had much money, but that never really mattered. They loved everything they ever got.
We had a sort of routine back then which still lives on, when it comes to opening Christmas presents.
We all sit in the family room, and someone has to pass out the gifts to everyone. One at a time. Then each person takes a turn, opening their present and showing everyone else what they got. It used to take us over an hour to open all the little things the boys used to get.
Nowadays of course, it’s really different, although our opening ritual has not changed. It just doesn’t take that long.
Our boys are in their twenties, and not living at home. But they all come here early, which is surprising, because you would naturally assume that they would have gone out with their friends on Christmas Eve, and more than likely imbibed a ridiculous amount of alcohol. But no, they usually arrive around 7:30am-8:00am. I make coffee for everyone, then we take our seats, just as we used to and whoever gets stuck sitting next to the tree has to do the honours of handing out the gifts.
The boys don’t ever want much. They all have good jobs and can pretty much buy themselves whatever they want, and probably better quality than we can afford. But I usually manage to get things that they hadn’t thought about buying. New jocks and socks (and let’s be frank. They like undies that cost $35-$40 a pair! So its not something to be sneezed at) New mens frangrances. I usually manage to have a snoop around their bedrooms at some point leading up to Christmas to find out what they are wearing and what is running out. Bottles of booze. Simple things, but its just the thought, and having something to open on the morning.
Then they all pile into the youngest sons room (which is still set up with a bed, and an x-box for the times when he and his girlfriend come to stay), and they play games for an hour or two, then they go with their dad to the pub for a Christmas drink, while I get left behind to start preparing to cook lunch. …….
My birthday is a few days before Christmas, so they are under pressure to come up with two gifts for me every year. I refuse to combine them.
Hey! You all have a birthday and then Christmas! ’nuff said.
We are two girls down this Christmas, which breaks my heart a little. But that’s life.
There is a rule in our house… I just have to get a hot Christmas lunch on the table and then it’s a free for all.. I start drinking.. a lot.. and I’m usually three sheets to the wind come the evening, when my mum and the hubs brother and his family go home. My girlfriend and her hubby then come over and we continue topping ourselves up, I usually manage to throw something on the table for supper, as we’re pretty much stuffed to the gills to eat much at a reasonable hour. We entertain ourselves, gabbling on about pretty much nothing, and laughing hysterically at each other’s fabulous sense of humour. Which nobody else gets. (like we care at that point).
They used to bring their children, and it was a big night, with them going home around 2am, carrying exhausted children out to their car and driving, oh so carefully home, and hoping they didn’t come across a breatho, because we all know that they’d get caught if they did.
Now, there are no kids, and you’d expect that we would kick on. No.
I suspect it will be the same this year. It’s a long day. And after a big lunch and a skinfull, it’s just too hard to stay awake.
At least this year I got my Christmas tree up the first week of December! Last year it was 3 days before Christmas, and even then hubby had to yell at me to get it done. And it’s nice. It’s a pity we don’t have a front room with a big window where I could display it so that people walking or driving past could see it. But that’s the way it is. But it is a nice tree.
Well I guess that’s it for now. I’ll probably spend tomorrow writing cards to put the vouchers in that I bought this year. I was very uninspired this year when it came to buying gifts. The “kids” I’ve always bought for (my god daughters and their brother) are all in their 20’s, so I went the easy option. And I hate myself for it. Hubs is getting a new pool vacuum hose and pole and they are way too big to wrap, so they’re just sitting here. And of course, the undies and socks will be wrapped, just to make myself feel better.
Look, I don’t doubt it will be a good day. Although this year I will be under more stress because I’m working the Monday and Tuesday before Christmas day. God knows how I’m going to get everything done. I guess hubby will spur me along and give me a hand. It’ll be fine in the end. I’ll be a grump until after lunch. Then my day will begin. I’ll relax, chug a bottle of something, and it’ll be good.
So Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
In the end, life is a wonderful ride. You just have to get on!!