When I was very little family Christmas’s were just that- all four of us, my Mum & Dad, me and my brother, at home for a slap up Christmas dinner, some great presents, and a novelty cassette holder. After lunch my Dad, my brother and I would go for a long walk in the woods. Later on this would be replaced by my Dad and I walking to visit my Great Great Aunt Stella. She didn’t really approve of my Mum, so she never came with us.
When we were a bit older- secondary school age- my Mum went back to work. I was born in that generation where if at all possible Mums were stay at home Mums. That made it a real pinch at times; there were times when the homebrew and home wine making kits were my parents only release but they managed. Since she worked as a care home manager, their was the odd Christmas day that she was at work. I didn’t mind those as much as the occasional birthday that was missed but I was an over sensitive child in many ways.
Fast forward 30 odd years and we’re gearing up for our first Christmas as a family of five. The Boy and Fifi are old hands at this Christmas lark now and are very excited. Danger isn’t quite one yet but will get into the swing of things I’m sure. After all he pretty much mimics whatever the other two do at the best of times. Our Christmas seems a bit more complicated than it did to me as a kid, although obviously there was plenty happening that I wasn’t aware of. Christmas now seems to span a period of many days rather than just the 25th. You can see this in the attitude, advertising and television that abounds. Someone on the telly on Wednesday said it was Christmas and that confused the heck out of me.
On Sunday we’re having Christmas with my lovely inlaws round their house. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we’re at home with ourselves and on Boxing Day we have our third Christmas round my parents, with my brother and his missus for company. By this point Danger will have eaten twice his body weight in chipolatas and will probably be resembling the little sausage that I call him on occasion.
I’m one of those contrary so and so’s that tends to get a bit down around Christmas. The rampant consumerism, the stress of having to be seen to be having a wonderful time at all times in case someone outside the family tells you off, and the now traditional winter sick bug, have all taken their toll. I love spending the winter break with my family, even if the kids chant of “what we going to do now?” does get a little tedious. Seeing the kids faces light up at pressie time and actually spending some time playing with them is great. And yes, there are one or two of the kids presents I’m looking forward to playing with.
But, as the song above alludes to, there are plenty of people who won’t be home for Christmas, driving or otherwise. Thoughts go out to them this Christmas.