As so many people are preparing for Christmas at the moment I thought I would just write a bit about a typical Christmas in my family. My sister and I were lucky enough to grow up with wonderful Christmas memories. The day was never a lavish extravagance but just a small family spending time together, and this has continued over the years. We don't spend huge amounts on gifts and often there will be hand created presents. The number of gifts I buy each year gets smaller and smaller. Friends and I that would have previously exchanged gifts with now prefer to arrange time for a lunch together instead, once all the festivities are over.We have come to realise our time shared is much more precious than a bought gift and the enjoyment lasts much longer. I send very few cards but, give the money I would have spent on cards and postage to charity instead. This was brought about by receiving cards that people would write by the box full just in case someone had sent them a card they had forgotten to write one for. Receiving cards that just had " from Joan" (just a random name not a genuine example) written in, seemed meaningless and I felt if you can't send something with true sentiment then why bother, and I didn't send cards just so I would get one in return. So I thought my money could go to better use, people I see regularly I will wish a merry Christmas and others I will phone.
I bet this makes me sound like a right old scrooge. Having said that I will tell you of our little family traditions. I made this advent calendar for Lucy when she was about 5 years old and in my usual disorganised state I was so behind with it that I had to sew the next days pocket on the night before. She didn't seem to mind though. I still have to fill it every year, and whilst she was at uni I had to fill it and post it. I enjoy finding little things to put in, and have since made one for my nephew but handed the responsibility of filling it to my sister.
It seems to be standing up well after 15 years of good service. Although Lucy is 21 I still have to fill her a stocking and she thinks it's sad when friends tell her they have never had one. The stocking is quite precious to me also. It was given to Lucy by a patient and his wife I looked after in about 1988, I think of them every time I get it out of the Christmas box. It always has the tangerine in the toe and a few sweeties no stocking is complete without them. When Lucy and I lived on our own she would get into bed with me to open it whilst I had a cup of tea. Now Tim and I have a cuppa with Lucy balancing on a small piece of spare bed opening her stocking. (We are always children on the inside however old we may be)
We will have croissants for breakfast then late morning will go to my mums where there will be freshly made sausage rolls to nibble on. I always buy Mum my sister and myself a bunch of daffodils each to remember my Dad, he used to grow and show them as a hobby so these flowers are important to us all. Presents are exchanged and we all sit down together to open them.This year the most enjoyment will come from watching my 3 year old nephew open his presents. We have a very late lunch then just enjoy the day together.
Christmas for us may seem simple and low key but we are just the same as any other day of the year,people are welcome into our home and welcome to our hospitality and friendship, not just because it is Christmas but because that's just the way we are.
For the ones I know who are going to find this Christmas difficult, I will be thinking of you.
A Happy and healthy Christmas to you all xxxxxxx