I have to use the ‘C’ word of Christmas but it’s getting closer – my daughter’s in the school Christmas production and is spending her evenings and the weekend in dance rehearsals; my other daughter is in the school choir who are singing at my local church the same week (fortunately not the same evening). Which means that I’m busy sewing glitter onto a red top, adding sequins to a Santa hat, and ooops – I must remember to order a green wig which we need to backcomb for the performance too.
Meantime I see postings from friends – even back in November – “when shall we put the tree up?”. Call me cudgeonly, call me grumpy, but personally I like to put my Christmas tree and decoration up as late as possible. My children plead with me every year to put the tree up as early as possible; I plead back that I want the tree to go up on Christmas Eve. We compromise somewhere in the middle. Quite often if I’m working on a weekend in the run-up to Christmas, the girls persuade Dad to visit the loft while I’m gone so that they can put the tree up. We leave the girls to do the decorating – as they’ve got older, the baubles are gradually rising higher up the tree. The perfectionist in me works hard to not rearrange the decorations when I get home! I like to enjoy the imperfections of a tree decorated by two little girls.
I am not one of those mums that plans Christmas shopping with military precision. I don’t like to do much shopping at all before early December – I like to wait until after my husband’s birthday which is at the end of this week. I’m not quite the last minute shopper on Christmas Eve either however what annoys me more than anything is wasteful or profligate spending. I saw a call out from a journalist looking for mums to share their stories of being “forced” to buy the “in” Christmas toy from a toy tout at ten times the normal price. A toy tout! Seriously? I didn’t know such things existed. But even so … none of us are “forced” to buy the latest toy. That is a choice that those mums or dads make to buy the in toy at a ridiculously inflated price.
At a tutorial a few years ago with my counsellor colleagues, I remember we discussed Christmas traditions and which ones we had inherited from our parents. I guess the Christmas tree not going up until Christmas Eve is one I have inherited from my mum; that and the giving of chocolate coins and an orange in the stocking at the end of the bed. Though my youngest has been very quick to tell me in the last couple of years, “I don’t want an orange in my stocking”. We also put out food for Santa and the reindeer at night. Our other tradition is to attend the Christingle service on Christmas Eve in our church, and the next morning, we go to a special family service in the morning when the children can show what Santa brought them. Yes I do get irritated by the commercialism of Christmas but I love our family traditions.
What about you? Do you get irritated with Christmas too? Do you have Christmas traditions that you love?