…Christmas. I’ve just finished the Christmas cake. Sob. I suppose I could make a Rest-of-the-Year Cake but I probably won’t get around to it. So I thought I’d jot down a few things I like about Christmas for a soppily sentimental and very unseasonal post. Just when you thought it was all over for another year…
- Christmas cake. Gluten free, of course, but no one ever notices if I don’t tell them. They’d probably spit it out if I did. I made one for a friend this year and she loved it – at least, she said she did – but I haven’t ‘fessed that it was GF. Until now, that is.
- Christmas cards. Not the electronic versions, but the real ones made from trees that arrive with stamps on the envelopes. I know it’s a chore writing them but I do send a thought winging in the direction of each person I write a card to. I may not have seen them for years but I do still think about them every year. And each year there are usually a few people I get in touch with just because I’ve thought about them as I write their card. I wouldn’t do that with a global Happy Christmas email. It might be much more environmentally friendly sending an email, and I could donate the cost of the cards and the stamps to charity, but, well, it’s just not the same.
- Christmas letters. I have to admit I’m one of those sad people who enjoy reading friends’ news in their circular letters. Maybe it goes along with reading blogs. This household never gets around to writing its own circular letters – only sad people do that, after all, – but this year this blog seems to have filled that space. I sent a few select people the blog link and they could look it up or not as they chose; some of them chose to read it.
- Family. I enjoy time off with the family at Christmas. And getting together with family and friends in other parts of the country who we don’t see too often. Perhaps it’s because we’re scattered that we don’t often have family rows. But, whilst I do enjoy visiting everyone, I do hate the tour of the motorways of southern Britain that we embark upon each December. Perhaps it’s time everyone came to us. I suppose we’d have to move house first, though.
- Christmas music and school concerts and all that. I love the school concerts, good or bad, when you can see what they’ve been up to and be impressed by all the hard work that’s gone into the productions. And the traditional carols that I’ve sung since I was a tot – individual carols still evoke particular memories. For instance, one of my earliest memories is from a Christmas when I was 4 or 5 years old. The class stood on the stage cradling dolls and singing “Little Jesus sweetly sleep…” Aah! This year, after the flurry of concerts and brass band stuff, GP2 admitted he was glad all that work was all finished but, at the same time, he was sorry it was over. I knew just what he meant.
- Presents. Tricky one, this. I can’t say I like all the blatant commercialism and over spending that goes with Christmas these days, but I do like finding just the right present for someone. It does happen occasionally, even if it’s always last minute. And children and presents just go so well together. Once they start choosing presents by themselves for parents there are memories in the making. The Donny Osmond CD one of ours bought for his dad (a hardened Rolling Stones fan, of course) a few years ago, for instance, has already become part of family lore.
- The excitement. I love it and hate it, that excitement that takes the children over like an alien force during the build up to Christmas. It’s a shame they have to grow up.
- 6th January. I might like Christmas but I love it when it’s over and we can all get back to normal.
The thing I hate most about Christmas:- Those people who gloat at the beginning of December that they’ve done all their shopping and written all their cards. How can you do Christmas shopping in November? or October? Or even the first two weeks in December. It’s just not right.