Is anyone else completely lacking in the whole ‘Christmas Spirit’ thing this year? Normally (well every year up until now!) I LOVE Christmas.
When I was growing up Christmas was the one time of the year when we would get to see family – first on Christmas Eve when we would all descend upon my Great Nanny and Granddad’s house and I’d get to see all my cousins and aunts and uncles; we would exchange gifts, over-indulge on sausage rolls with Robbie Williams crooning in the background and play with the huge collection of Lego and Meccanno that my Granddad kept for such occasions. Then it’d be round to church for Midnight Mass – the only time we ever went to Church (and I’m pretty sure it was only for the free mulled wine and mince pies). When we finally got home a little after midnight we were always allowed to open one small present, we got our new Christmas pyjamas to wear to bed and then drifted off to sleep worn out and excited to see what Father Christmas would bring us in the morning.
Lily’s Chocolatey face – decorating the tree for her 2nd Christmas
Of course in our house it would have all descended into madness by about 11 am the next day – my parents would have argued and be giving each other the silent treatment (there’s clearly a reason my favourite Christmas song is the Pogue’s Fairytale of New York!), my dad would be hidden away in the kitchen cooking up a feast, my brother would be playing some mind-numbing game and I’d be trying to find room in my bedroom for the inevitable mounds of stuff I’d received. I’d be fully relieved when some guests finally arrived for dinner – not just because the new arrivals would minimise the tension between my family but also because it was time for the roast dinner – my favourite meal of the year!
Two years ago we had our first Christmas in our flat and I was so excited – buying a Christmas tree, picking out our very own decorations and cooking our very first Christmas dinner *disclaimer: I did the food shopping and prep, Scott did the actual cooking!*. We woke up early Christmas day, had a relaxed morning opening presents and walking the dog and then lazed about all day whilst the food cooked. It was blissful.
Lily meeting Father Christmas when she was 3
Last year however my parents had all but separated; there were arguments about where to spend Christmas day and who to spend our precious time off with, I’d completely overspent on the Christmas presents getting myself into my overdraft and wanting to cry when I saw my bank balance and our puppy had just passed away. I felt as though Christmas was suddenly a time for stress and discord instead of happiness and it really ate away at me.
This year I thought I was in a better place – my parents are now divorced, my mother is no longer a part of my life (my choice), and my finances are in much better order *I got out of the overdraft at last woohoo*. We’d already agreed to spend Christmas day with Scott’s mum, I’d booked in lots of social events and been careful with the Christmas present budget. And yet the Christmas Spirit hasn’t returned…
Dreaming of a White Christmas
This year I let Scott and Lily put up the tree and decorations (bearing in mind that I’ve been called a Christmas Decoration Nazi in the past so this was no easy feat), I wrapped the presents whilst watching Home Alone, I wrote out and posted all of the cards, I’ve even watched Love Actually and STILL nothing.
Current status of Christmas Spirit
Is it an age thing? Is there a time when Christmas is no longer enjoyable? Is it because I’ve had such a shit year that my brain still can’t get with it? Is it because Christmas has crept up so suddenly? Is it because I’m all out of gin? I’m not sure what it is but I’m doing everything I can to get into the spirit of the season. Tonight I’m out for my annual Christmas dinner with friends, and it’s the work Christmas party on Thursday. I’ve bought some Christmas beers to try. I’ve put out the last of the decorations and am reading a Christmas book. I’ve filled the cupboards with all those naughty treats that you can only really eat at Christmas time (Yule log and Lindt chocolates I’m looking at you!) and I’m keeping everything crossed that it works!
How do you get in the Christmas spirit? Am I the only one feeling like this?