Christmas at Barrow Towers


Christmas Traditions

I am not a huge fan of Christmas.  There.  I have said it.

Out loud

*waits for the world to end*

If I am honest it exhausts me.   Well at least the build up does, it seems to go on forever.  It feels like Christmas is marked by the fact that Easter Eggs on sale and children returning to school in September is the cue for retailers to start selling all their Christmas ranges.   Ranges that are growing year upon year.   It just leaves me wondering where it will all end.   And wishing that maybe we could go back to Christmas just being in December.  To cardboard advent calendars and not ones with mini gin bottles in that cost£100, or that have bottles of nail varnish behind every door.  When did nail varnish helping us mark advent become a thing anyway?

I would love Christmas to just be a month.   That is how I remember it as a child.   I remember it only really being December and that our tree went up on Christmas Eve.   It was THE thing to do on Christmas Eve.  That and being in on the secret of what everybody had for Christmas as I would help my dad wrap my mum’s things first, and then I would dash off and help my mum do dad’s.  It was what I loved most about Christmas as a child.

That and trifle.

God I loved trifle as a child.  So much so I was once found cross legged in the kitchen at 7am with the Boxing Day dessert in my lap and a ladle…. I had done almost half of it.    And was slowly getting a bit tipsy on the bottle of granny’s sherry that had gone in it.

Times change though and over the years so have my Christmases.   We had a phase of Christmas without the children when I first got divorced.  Then December 25th was just that, and not Christmas Day at all.  Christmas Day was when the children were around, and even if that was then 27th December it was the day Santa came and we had our turkey.

Now that Caity lives with Dan it has been lovely to see her developing her own Christmas traditions.  Their tree goes up on November 1st.  I kid you not, last year, first of December and boom it was up and decorated, presents wrapped and under it.    This year Dan put his foot down and said not until the Coke advert appeared on TV.   Within three minutes I had a Snapchat saying “Holidays are coming, the tree is UP”.

Her excitement for Christmas is infectious and after spending the day with them both on Sunday I finally started my shopping.  Actually what is infectious is Caity’s eye for a bargain or a special offer.  I had no idea for instance that Amazon does “Lightening deals” where the time runs out on the offer and when it ends, well it is gone.   I also didn’t know there is something called Unidays and that if you are a student you can get a log in and get discounts.  So suddenly I could get 10% off and free shipping.    She was full of bright ideas.    As are the TSB who have some similarly bright ideas for counting down to Christmas.

And that’s when it dawned on my really, Christmas evolves as our children get older, we have to change with them really and as the magic goes just a little bit we have to find it in other ways.

personalised stockings

Such as still doing stockings for instance, and Santa brings them for us all.  One each and all our presents go in them.

When I say all of us, one of the things we have changed over the years is everybody come to us, generally for Christmas dinner, though this year we are actually going to my parents on Christmas Day.  But we make sure that Bruce’s parents come to us and stay for at least a week.   It’s a change of scenery for them both, and gives them both a chance for us to look after them for a little bit.

And gives me an excuse to have a G&T at 4pm every day.

After all, isn’t that what Christmas is really about?

This is a collaborative post

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