I’m not the kind of person who gets excited for Christmas. When I was a kid I loved the build up; the movies, the decorating, the Danish cookies that I waited all year for and my brother would eat most of them. I still love Christmas movies and the music. Now I get to have a whole tin of Danish cookies to myself. But a lot of the Magic of Christmas has worn off for me.
This is where I might sound a bit ungrateful, but it’s something that really gets to me. I love shopping for other people. I put a lot of thought in to what I buy. Usually I try to get something I know they want but either can’t afford or can’t justify spending their money on it. And I also take in to account any not so subtle hints that have been dropped.
I make my gifts personal; I’m not going to buy you a smellies gift set when I know you won’t use half of it. I would rather buy the individual products, put them with a pretty wash bag and create a gift set for you (and sometimes this can work out cheaper too).
What I tend to be gifted for Christmas often leaves me a bit disappointed. I get a lot of sweets and socks. Sometimes I get gift cards for stores I don’t shop in and end up going to waste because the only person I know who shops there is the person who gave me the gift card. Those smellies sets make an appearance; and without fail someone will give me a Vaseline Tin Set. I hate Vaseline; the smell, the texture. Everyone who knows me should know this by now, but every year one appears and I pass it along to someone I know who likes Vaseline.
I know it makes me sound ungrateful, but it would be nice to feel like they put as much thought in to my gift as I put in to theirs.
When you think of Christmas you think of happy families around the dinner table laughing and eating; the reality isn’t quite like that for me. For one thing, we never ate together as a family. So each year when Christmas rolls round it’s an alien experience anyway, but the conversation is always awkward and highlights how little we know about each other.
Add to that the stress of eating. I know that sounds weird, but generally I don’t eat big portions and there is so much pressure to eat EVERYTHING at Christmas. My family are the type to put on three meats, a bunch of sides, all the veg and have starter and dessert. I’ll maybe only have a slice of turkey and slice of pork, some veg, stuffing and roast potatoes (I’m not really a fan of pigs in blankets). Ever year I have people pushing me to put more on my plate, they make a big deal of it and it just causes tension at the table.
I’ve had a free pass on this the last two years; I was pregnant and then I was breastfeeding. But I hate the pressure to drink around the holidays, like you’re no fun if you’re not drinking. People will gift me booze or pour me wine at the table without asking. “Go on. It’s Christmas”, that doesn’t change the fact I think almost all alcoholic drinks taste vile. I’m not a fan of drunkenness and when I do drink I don’t like the way it makes me feel. But how I feel doesn’t matter; everyone’s happiness hinges on whether or not I drink the wine.
I think it’s the idealised image that every one has of Christmas that causes the problem. There’s a mental check list of how Christmas should be. People are to busy spending the day how they think they should instead of spending the day in a way that is enjoyable for them.
This year I am excited for Christmas. It’s the first one with my own little family and we can do things the way we want to. It’s going to be chill and low key; we have a Despicable Me marathon planned for Luna. She loves minions.
How do you spend Christmas?