It’s time. That time. Yep. It’s happening. As soon as the calendar was flipped over and the world slid into December the bells began to ring, the stockings itched to be hung, and yards of tinsel escaped from the attic. Christmas is coming, people. And I for one cannot wait! I understand that some of you may be less enthused (trust me, I am only just clinging on to my Christmas spirit some days, as I work in retail…) so to help you out I thought I’d list a few of my favourite things about this time of year – other than the promise of presents…
Decorating the tree:
I mean, is there anything more perfect to get you in the mood? Nope. My family have boxes upon boxes of baubles, beads and odd bits my sister and I made during our many Decembers spent at school. Usually Christmas music is played as we decorate, and cups of tea are sipped when we need a rest – it’s strenuous work! Also every year there’s that excellent and hilarious and thought-provoking conversation during the decorating which always begins with someone asking “but seriously, why do we have a tree indoors?!”
Much like Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby, the hunky bubbly Michael has become a gorgeous singing staple in the family home over Christmas. His arguably best album can be synced onto the iPod again as it won’t be awkward if it pops up on shuffle, not now. The Christmas music playing in the shopping centre. Yeah sure, it started on November 3rd (the first late night shopping event for my town…I know, right?!) which isn’t quite holiday season, but after a while I have come to love the constant loop of Christmas pop songs. I bop a bit as Slade jam, and I quietly sing along to ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ while stacking shelves first thing in the morning.
My mama almost always has a certain oil burning in the family home at Christmas. Then there’s the familiar scent of the Christmas tree, and the fire, and the food. Mmm, I could sniff it up all day every day in the run up to the 25th.
I say I love this, but really when actually undertaking this task I am usually swearing breathlessly and ripping tape most aggressively – I think the only part of it I properly enjoy is the point when I am sticking the final bit of wrapping paper down, and then appreciating the perfect parcel I have single-handedly constructed. It’s a proud moment.
This is weird, I know, as for many people this may be the thing they hate most at this time of year, but I love getting the goods in. Presents, yes, but also the drink and food and random bits ‘n’ bobs necessary for festive celebrations. I enjoy hauling my bags for life out of the boot of the car, just as much as I love lowering them inside it in the supermarket car park; I feel all fuzzy and fluttery when I bring the wrapped and ready presents downstairs in tote bags and carefully place them under the tree; I even get a kick out of watching the family fireplace being stacked up with logs. It’s all prep!
My town switches on their Christmas lights at the end of November each year; long lines of bright twinkles are strung across the high street and outline the old buildings, plus there’ll be stars and lanterns dotted around on roofs and in shop fronts. Also you’ve gotta love those households that cover their windows and front gardens in elaborate festive displays. My family call them ‘the crazy houses’. I do so enjoy my drive home from work these days, when it’s all lit up.
I’ve noticed while writing this post that I keep adding in home truths and family stuff, well, that’s what it’s all about for me. Home, friends, and family. That’s all we need for a good Christmas. I know this is not news, c’mon it’s the message of so many ancient festive films, but it really is all about the people, the comfort and the traditions.