It's that time of year again. Halloween and Guy Fawkes is over (although the blasted fireworks keep going off), and our thoughts turn to the next big thing in our social calendar
Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, Always have done, but as the years go by I'm becoming increasingly disappointed with how materialistic it has become.
This year we've spent a grand total of £30 on our little one, but the money is irrelevant. We've chosen small things which he will get so much enjoyment out of and more importantly we can play with together, and spend time together with, as a family.
My memories of Christmas as a child were all about the family. Spending time together, playing laughing and caring for each other. I can still remember the build up to Christmas, buying the tree together, decorating it and singing the Christmas Tree song. Dad would
make his Rum Baba(?), and mum would be in charge in the kitchen cooking up a storm. I can remember helping in the kitchen, although this was probably actually limited to fighting with my brothers over who licked the spoon, and who got the bowl!
Christmas day itself was a morning of opening presents, and getting dressed up in our Christmas Day clothes before heading over to my Grandparents where the whole family would meet up to exchange gifts, drink coffee and eat too many sweets. We'd all return to our own homes for Christmas Day dinner. Poor mum would be stuck in the kitchen putting together a feast, Dad was in charge of distributing the sherry and lighting the Christmas Pudding. Afterwards there would be a brief spell of just lounging around, playing with our Christmas presents, occasionally playing outside with the neighbourhood kids, before helping mum lay out the table for the Christmas tea.
The family descended to ours in the evening. In a good way, it always felt so much longer than an evening. I can remember me and my cousin disappearing upstairs to put our make up on and do our nails, giggling and laughing and feeling super grown up. Running from room to room, annoying the boys. There was always a board game that the whole family would sit around and play. Particularly memorable was my eldest brother's game of Pass The Pigs, with hilarious consequences.
These days it seems to be spent travelling from house to house, a constant exchange of gifts, constant scheduling and arranging, trying to fit in seeing everyone. A day of rushing, and not enough playing. Checking what we've got and rushing to the sales to buy the things we didn't get. By the time Christmas is over a holiday is needed to get over it.
I want the Christmas of Christmas Past. I want it to be about sharing the love, spending time with people we care about, eating too many sweets, and playing lots and lots of games.
Bring back Christmas Past I say, bring back the fun and the laughter, forget about how much has been spent and who received what. Focus on the family and friends we're proud to call our family. Nothing else matters.