I have several friends who just don’t feel the same way, but I love Christmas and always have done. I enjoy all the little family Christmas traditions that have built up for us over the years.
Santa always leaves the children one main present and a filled stocking at the bottom of their bed, so when they wake, stretching (hopefully not too early!) they can feel the presents with their toes and they’re allowed to open them straight away.
Regardless of the other surprises, Santa always seems to put a satsuma in the toe of the stocking and some chocolate coins in too.
All the other presents from everyone else go under the Christmas tree in the living room, and once the whole household is awake on Christmas morning we troop down in dressing gowns, bleary eyed (in contrast to the kids), make a cup of tea and the children distribute the presents to everyone.
There then ensues a chaotic, noisy but happy present opening session full of “ooohs” and “thank you’s” and “Mummy Mummy look at this!!”
My husband cooks a fabulous Christmas lunch for us all (yes, I know I’m very lucky) and the day follows a familiar pattern of playing games or just enjoying time together, interspersed with some quieter, rather snoozy ‘over-full’ spells.
Just as the kids are getting a bit fractious after tea we have a special tradition of ‘tree presents’.
These are small, practical gifts from the tree to each of us; don’t ask me why – it’s something our family has always done, but it certainly keeps the kids going a bit longer.
There’s something so warm, so reassuring and anchoring about the whole experience of Christmas traditions; it reminds me how lucky I am and despite the huge over-indulgence of it, it re-aligns me to what is important in my life and creates a strong and stable base for the launch into a New Year.
So whoever you are, and whatever your views or experience of Christmas, I’d like to wish you warmth, love, happiness, a full stomach and a sense of excitement and possibility for the forthcoming year.