Christmas is my favourite time of year (even after realising this week I had forgotten to write my Christmas cards!). I love everything about it – bar the shopping – and always have. There is something about it that takes me back to being a kid and, as the big day approaches, my excitement builds and I start counting sleeps (not very mature, I know, but who cares right?).
When I was little, lets be honest, the presents were a big draw. Now, though, that is actually one of the least important things. We don’t go over the top with presents in our house – my husband and I tend to wait to buy things for each other that we might otherwise have bought during the second half of the year (“it’ll be Christmas soon, you can wait” becomes my favourite phrase as soon as summer is over).
Presents now are more about seeing how excited my daughter gets when she sees the gifts under the tree and what Santa has brought her. And then there’s family. I love spending time with them anyway but, on Christmas Day, it always seems that little bit more special – something I think became more important when I was living abroad and only made it home once a year (which was Christmas).
Recently, I was reading a thread on Facebook where people were talking all about how Christmas was ruined for them because it was all about stuff. This made me sad. I tried to argue that this wasn’t true but I don’t think I made much of an impact. And it all started with someone commenting on how they didn’t want to buy their children chocolate advent calendars. So, to prove that Christmas isn’t all about stuff, I thought I would share my favourite things about this time of year…
Maybe it’s just where we live but nearly every other house in our neighbourhood has Christmas lights. Some of tasteful, some are over the top. All of them are brilliant blasts of light on dark nights and cheer me up no end. At least once or twice a week, we head out looking for the best houses, with my daughter’s nose pressed to the car window. You can’t ask for anything better than her shouts of “look at that one!” on repeat for an hour.
I’ve already shared through my Music for Mondays posts how much I love Christmas music. It’s pretty much on repeat in our house from the 1st through Boxing Day, where it then gets put away for another year. The cheesier the better as far as I’m concerned. My favourites are from my childhood and teenage years but as long as I can sing and dance along, I don’t mind the era.
My Christmas Tree
So I guess this could technically fall into the “stuff” category as we have bought the tree and some of the ornaments but, for me, it’s so much more than a tree – it’s a whole bunch of memories. Every bauble has a history and reminds me of something. I still use decorations from my childhood and others have been added to the collection since. This one was a gift from a good friend over ten years ago and, every time I put it on the tree, I think of her and the fun we’ve had. Then there’s the decorating the tree, which is a family affair and includes Santa hats and egg nog.
Nativity – the movies
So there is a chance that unless you live in the UK and have children under 10 you may never have heard of the Nativity movies. Unfortunately, or fortunately – it’s hard to say sometimes – both apply to me and these three films are some of my daughter’s favourites. They are terribly cheesy but when you’re a kid, that’s not a bad thing. When you’re an adult, you just have to let go and enjoy them for what they are – which is what we do. At least once a week in December, we sit down to watch one of the Nativity films. This weekend, we had a movie marathon and watched all three..thank god for popcorn!
Saying “Merry Christmas”
I’ve worked in retail. This time of year can be hard. People being nice to me and saying “Merry Christmas” always made me feel better. I’d say it back and smile – and I’m a big fan of smiling at people. I say Merry Christmas whenever I can to whoever I can. It makes me happy, it helps break the ice, and it might just make someone’s day.
I could go on, but I have waffled enough I think. So I’ll end by saying “Merry Christmas” and asking you to share with me your favourite things about Christmas.