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.
love all your photo’s – old photo’s just seem to have so much more meaning behind them – unedited, unperfect shots that capture the reality as it was.
You look like a lovely happy bunch :)
Great timing & lovely blog. Never tire of Christmas.
Fab pictures! That is exactly how I remember our Christmases as a child. I am trying to recreate for my daughter and have to admit I get extremely excited about Christmas :) x
WOW Didn’t you look like Belle when you were little!
Lovely post of memories Jo. Gorgeous PJs too! I’ll bring rely poly mince pies. And fizz :)
I bloody love Christmas!! And we have no grandparents either – but definitely time to spend it seeing the folks on both sides.
Ooh I love a good family Christmas too, never had it any other way. I have very similar looking photos to you in fact, although quite a few of them seem to be set in the perfect Scottish snow where my grandparents lived… I do miss my grandparents and cherish the time we have now with my parents and my partners’ parents, so precious for us and for the kids. We have family rituals and traditional ways of opening gifts, making a toast to absent friends, and much much more – and I realise I’ve passed these on to my own kids without even thinking about it. Yay for Christmas!
I love those silk pyjamas! And yay for Christmas, you’ve just got me all excited! x
I have some hideous photos of me and my brother at Christmas.Christmas for me is about people too.I only get to see my best friend of 30 years then.The celebrations here start earlier as I’m a Pagan, so the kids get their presents on the 21st and they are bought from from second hand shops as I’m not one for buying new very much.Good food is essential too and I make sure there’s lots of baking with my kids.
Gorgeous photos, and silk pyjamas! I too love Christmas because it is time spent with my family, getting excited this year already!
Your photos are so typical of Christmases past, but now I feel like Christmas has got so big in lots of ways it can be quite overwhelming. So many presents to buy, too many presents for our own children and so much commerciality. It would be great if we could strip it back to basics.