I know some people who love Christmas and I know a lot of people who don’t. I find it often has A LOT to do with their families.
I am one of those people who love Christmas and it definitely has a lot to do with my family. I am lucky to be part of two amazing families, both of which are accepting, loving and relatively normal and functional in the scheme of things! I am also lucky in that my husband’s family has a European background which means that they celebrate on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day, so we are able to spend a nice relaxing Christmas Eve with them followed by a nice relaxing Christmas Day with my family rather than having to juggle both on the one day.
Our families’ Christmas celebrations are quite different. My husband’s sister now has two little ones which creates a different focus for family gatherings. There is nothing like having kids around, especially at Christmas time. It’s always fun watching them get so excited about opening their presents, tearing open the wrapping paper and then often choosing to play with the least expensive toy they’ve received! This year our nephew seemed quite interested in the old fashioned Slinky we gave him (which we’d predicted would be a flop) – it’s good to know that kids can still appreciate those old classic toys despite all the more technologically advanced toys they have these days. Seeing the way our niece and nephew enjoy the day brings back memories of the Christmases my brothers and I shared as kids – how we would put out milk and cookies and try to stay up as late as possible to see Santa arrive, then how excited we would be in the morning to unwrap all the presents underneath the tree and then spend all day playing with the cool new toys we received.
My own family’s Christmas celebration does not involve any kids so is a bit different, but now that my brothers, cousins and I are older and doing our own things I think the whole family really appreciates the chance to be together for the day since it doesn’t happen very often. My parents always put together a beautiful Christmas dinner and there is always a lot of laughter and joking around. The best part is listening to my grandparents’ stories which inevitably come out at family gatherings – this Christmas my Gran who is very English and proper told us a story about a time when she got drunk at an airforce party and couldn’t stand up, and was so worried that her then fiance would refuse to marry her because of how she’d behaved! (Must be where my Dad and brothers get it from!)
Since getting married my husband and I have also started our own tradition of going out for a quiet, relaxed breakfast together on Christmas morning. It’s nice having our own little celebration now that we’re a family, and hopefully when we do eventually add to our family we can continue the tradition (I am planning on having well-behaved children who will sit quietly at breakfast, at least until Mum has had her coffee, but we’ll see…!).
Whatever your Christmas celebrations entailed I hope you enjoyed yourself and had a chance to reflect on and appreciate those relationships that are special to you.