I love this kind of year. The weather is cold, sharp and crisp; the Christmas lights and decorations light up town centres both big and small; people bustle around shops with a frantic sense of purpose (“I MUST find something for great aunt Sue because she won’t have anything to open!!”) and what I find really amusing is the fact that all of a sudden, it’s customary and appropriate to ask everyone you see, whether they be family or strangers, about Santa and their plans for the big day. This might just be because I’m from a small town in rural Devon, but whether you’re being served in a shop or chatting to your boss at work, it’s the easiest small talk in the world and everyone has a similar answer. Most of the time it revolves around spending time with family or people they love which is the part I always look forward to at Christmas.
Being some of the youngest in our family, my cousins are all grown up with spouses and children of their own and rarely travel down to the shire, so Christmas is a perfect time to see all the family together and we can get 4 generations under one roof. We have a wonderful time all squashing into my aunt and uncle’s house and parking ourselves on a variety of mismatched chairs, tables borrowed from the bowls club amid cries of people shouting ‘stop hogging the prawns!’ The house is cosy from the fire and too many bodies wearing too many layers and the table is scattered with decorations including snowflake table confetti which can be very easily stuck to faces when you lick it. I know it sounds a bit gross, but when you’ve got fully grown adults with pockmarked snowflaked faces it’s hard to not smile.
Another crazy tradition we have is the infamous breadstick eating contest. My sister and I compete with whichever of our cousins are sitting nearest to us to see who can eat a breadstick the fastest. We seem to let the side down every year! My breadstick seems to end up being chomped in one side of my mouth and falling straight out the other leaving me in a crumby, giggling mess. This year, I’m going to try taking bigger chomps…I’ll report back with the results of this new technique!
After food, we’ll walk around the hills nearby all bundled up in new jackets and sometimes wellies and attempt to burn off a fraction of the deliciousness consumed but when we return, the exercise is deemed pointless as we’re bombarded with offers of more mince pies or turkey sandwiches.
By the end of the day, and after many games of cards, we return home sporting generous food babies and absolutely exhausted and ready to sleep for a week. We all have had a wonderful day and just like that, it’s all over for another year. The post-Christmas blues suck!
Christmas for me is spending time with family and that’s probably what makes it my favourite time of year. Well, that and the fact that during Christmas time, it’s perfectly acceptable to have a nap mid-afternoon and people don’t ask whether you should stop procrastinapping and do some work!
I hope that whatever you’ve spent your day doing has been marvellous, Christmas love :) x
Now playing: Ed Sheeran – X (album)