All families have traditions for this time of year. Some are common to most families, like a Christmas Tree and others are more personal. Many old traditions are becoming less set in stone and are changing, like turkey. When I was little I thought everyone did Christmas the same, but they don't.
I like many people across the country have just finished a stint of present wrapping with the television to keep me company. Hours of work that will be demolished in minutes! But there is something about receiving a gift wrapped present. I remember as a child sneaking into the spare room where each of us had a sack which our presents were placed in, in order to have a feel and guess what we might have.
On Christmas morning my grandmother would have slept in the spare room and to save us waking our parents we would go and see her. She always had a treat for us and a drink ready and waiting. These sorts of traditions are so personal and most of them centre around children. It must be hard for parents as children outgrow these little traditions and they are no longer suitable.
This time of year always makes me more broody than any other. Children make Christmas. They see past the commercialism of it all and their reaction is so innocent. They also thrive having all their family around them. It is so hard for those in divided families as well. Not everyone can have the children on Christmas Day. It must be hard for children if they do not have the same Christmas traditions each year, if they aren't in the same place each year.
F and I generally spend Christmas Day alone. The family day is Boxing Day with his family and S. Some years we visit my family, but then we miss S at Christmas. It won't be too many years before S is not spending Christmas with his family but with his own partner instead. Time seems especially precious at Christmas.
All new families start their own traditions though and F and I have. Every year we buy two new tree decorations. By the time we are grandparents we should have a lovely varied collection of decorations, many of them with sentimental meaning. So far the most important ones are two plush reindeers, one with silver hooves and the other with pink. The first Christmas we had little dog, she got hold of the pink one and chewed it. This chewed reindeer sits with its friend on the tree each year in pride of place and always brings a smile to my face when I see it.
Today we bought this year's decorations, a set of three spiky glittery things and a penguin. I don't overly like the penguin but that isn't the important thing about it. F liked it immediately and we had a discussion and it went back. We continued to discuss it. F is particularly good at cheeky banter and so our discussions tend to be fun. The penguin is now siting, pride of place between the two reindeer. I know that this decoration will also make me smile in years to come.
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