Christmas to me is about people.
I know there will be some of you groaning and complaining about all the relatives you have to visit and how you wish you could just stay home on your own and eat an entire turkey while you watch Back to the Future, but I simply can’t be Scrooge like about Christmas.
Christmas for us has always been about spending time with friends and family. Even if you don’t like your family, (which luckily I do), how would Christmas be different to any other day if you didn’t make the effort to get together? It’s the more the merrier for me, and I will go out of my way to see friends and wangle party invitations – any excuse for a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie. I also LOVE buying presents, and have already spent more at Rex London than is probably acceptable given that it’s still September, but I don’t care. Boo to you all.
When I think of family Christmases, there are a couple of things that stand out. One is a childhood memory, the memory of waiting for my Gran and Grandad to arrive for the holidays every year. I liked it best when I was younger and they lived further away – it made them coming up for Christmas more special somehow. Me and my sister would be excited, the house would be tidy and smell of polish, and I can picture myself bouncing up and down at the living room window, waiting for them to arrive.
My Gran always used to get a bit carried away with Christmas, so they would always come laden with gifts, food and drink. We didn’t have loads of cash, so it was incredibly exciting to rummage through the cardboard boxes full of Gordon’s Gin, bottles of tonic water, After Eights and York Fruits.
The other one is a grown-up memory.
When Bee was eight and Belle was one we bought them each a pair of silky pyjamas for Christmas. They both loved them, and looked rather adorable if I do say so myself. Bee grew out of hers in a sensible time, but Belle’s silky pyjamas seemed to grow with her. I swear she was five years old at least and still wearing them. Those pyjamas were a big part of our lives for a long time.
Sadly, all of my grandparents have died in the last ten years, so for any of you who are still unconvinced by anything other than sulking on your own this Christmas, let this be a lesson to you – family and friends aren’t around for ever, so cherish them while you can.
And if you come to my house in December, don’t expect to be let in without a tinsel hat and bucket of mince pies.