Ahhhhh the enchantment of Christmas! I can’t pretend I don’t bloody love it. I have loved it since I was a kid reaching out for my knee length school sock and sleepily gulping down a mix of tangerine and quality street, whilst trying to refrain from shaking my mum out of her snoring state. I remember my brother enthusiastically pointing out Santa’s sleigh in the sky on Xmas Eve before he lovingly tucked me up in bed whilst my mum and dad were getting smashed in fancy dress down the local working men’s club. I remember my crisp new PJs and book before bedtime and I still think fondly of the memory of my mum’s voice luring me to sleep whilst reading it to me. I remember excitedly colouring reindeers in my ‘Super Bumper Christmas Colouring Book’ whilst watching my mum frantically prepare for ‘the big day’. They are my most favourite memories of my childhood, I must say!
But in terms of Christmas – the list above is about all that is I remember ….. what I don’t remember is my mum being responsible for the whole enchantment and shebang of Christmas. The feeling didn’t need to be created in the way we ‘create’ it these days. It was just there ….. it just happened, don’t you think?
Ok sure, she had to buy some gifts . Some being an important term here: they didn’t have to compete with Sarah and Glen’s ‘insta’ mountain of presents. They also needed to buy some Ritz crackers and some pickled onions and cabbage etc. But they didn’t have to have Sabayon with Procesecco and figs or Pork and Caramelised Onion rings but to name a few. We didn’t have Xmas Eve boxes, I never stepped foot in a theatre unless it was derelict and I was getting pissed. I didn’t get special hot chocolate to drink before bed (could make a cuppa tea if I wanted like).
I definitely didn’t get taken to several Santas – I saw my dad’s mate dressed as Santa whilst smashed on whiskey at the Club and I was grateful for the selection box that he handed me. Usually it was free and a reward to our parents for spending most of their benefits in the club all year. It did not cost £30 whilst being handed a plush rhino and an awkward encounter with some overgrown elves after a 3 hour wait. My parent’s weren’t then bent over and robbed for an additional £20 for the exact same photos as last year with an extra inch of height on us all . And what the hell are ‘Christmas Outings’. The Christmas outings of my childhood were for grown ups … for us kids .. this term simply meant .. we went out to play and let the adults get on with the wrapping and the cooking and after the main event .. we would simply ‘play the fuck out’!
Elves on Shelves???? My bloody stocking was my school sock (as detailed above). PNP videos?? – my sister would recite ‘Twas the night to me’ whilst eagerly dragging me to bed. It was certainly not something my mum spent 3 hours doing after a 12 hour shift at work. And I know that she did not feel sick with guilt when she forgot to set the react cam up on the app. Tracking Santa on Norad? Listen … you went to sleep .. if you woke up and your parents told you to get back into bed … he hadn’t bloody been. I didn’t need to know that he had dropped off 2450,000000 presents off and was gliding above Gambia to add excitement. I didn’t care what Pedro got in spain as long as my Scootex was sat under that tree, life would be good.
Oh and don’t get me started on decorations. We had one tree!!! And there was no such thing as a Norwegian Snow Covered Sprucie Wuccie!! It was a bloody artificial tree (usually about 4ft tall) and it was covered in decorations from generations ago. We didn’t have to match every sodding bauble. My mother didn’t have to fork out every year for a brand new set of decorations as Tracy from Greenway Close had copied her purple theme! Outdoor decorations were fairy lights around the inside of the window … and only then if you were posh enough to have two sets of lights. You didn’t have to compete with Martha May Who and her lifesize re-enactment of Santa’s reinauguration at the North Pole.
Table settings??? Not a sprig of Holly in sight .. or lights … or candles … or place cards!!! Napkins? Kitchen roll at best I am afraid. We ate our dinner on our knees whilst watching Superman for the 99th time. The best thing about xmas dinner, you got to have a drink with it rather than having to wait until after you have eaten your dinner. Bonus! Our coffee table would be adorned with the xmas condiments of beetroot, pickle and such – not a xmas hurricane lamp!!!
I feel for the parents (mainly myself) in this generation. We don’t get a chance to enjoy the festivities that we work so hard to prepare. It has simply become a tick list of events and to do’s that we simply have to complete. And if we don’t complete it … boy the guilt! There is just so much to do .. it is becoming impossible. I need to start in the summer if I am ever going to keep up with the growing list of xmas events and traditions that I need to adhere to. I don’t know about the rest of you overworked, underappreciated mothers and fathers reading this, but I would like to have a 1980’s xmas … just for one year .. so I don’t have to spend thousands in both time and money in order to satisfy my children who don’t even notice that I have even remotely tried.
Maybe we should all rebel next year and hashtag our own #retroxmas
However you have chosen to spend this Christmas, I hope that you have had a chance to enjoy your hard work because just incase nobody has told you …. you totally deserve it!
All my love and best wishes for the festive period Angelina xx
P.s All the pictures on my blog are of my siblings … so clearly by the time my parents got to baby number 4 the novelty of a camera (and possibly children) had worn off. Again they did not have to prove to the world of social media that they loved us all equally so clearly didn’t bother.