There’s been a lot of heavy stuff written by me in the past so I figured I’d lighten it up on this week before Christmas and give you some warm and fuzzies. Nothing can make me unhappy during this time of year. There’s something about the twinkly lights on the Christmas trees (yes, there are three in our house), warm fires, and silly movies playing that makes me feel super safe. It was the one holiday growing up where everyone was happy, nobody was yelling, and all the adults partied like the world was going to end (or maybe that was just my family members).
Looking back, I’m sure we had no money but as a child I was never left wanting. Magically, a stocking would appear on my bed Christmas morning and I had no idea how it got there. I’d go get my siblings at 6:00 a.m. and we’d sit on my bed, opening silly presents (nothing in it cost more than $5 and we’re talking a new toothbrush, keychains, makeup, etc.) and counting down the hours until 8:30 when it was OK to wake my parents up. My dad would get SUPER excited and we’d all run downstairs to open the gifts under the tree. It would be pure chaos for about 20 minutes with gift bows ending up on people’s heads and wrapping paper covering the floor. Croissants would be warming in the oven, mini cereals would be brought out, and we’d hang out as a family, the five of us. We’d then get dressed in our fancy outfits, eat a massive Christmas dinner (the equivalent to Thanksgiving over here because us Brits take roasted turkey and Brussels sprouts very seriously), and then watch the Queen’s speech at 3:00 p.m.
Boxing Day was always absolutely rowdy, especially if we were up in Liverpool for Christmas where my whole family lived. My mother and her three siblings, as well as my dad and his sisters would all congregate in one place, music blaring, cousins running around all hopped up on sugar and uncles daring you that you can’t stay up past 3:00 a.m. As a parent now I’m thinking how FUCKED would you feel the next day with a massive hangover and a bunch of kids who DIDN’T get enough sleep?!?!
Fast forward to present day with my husband who LOVES Christmas just as much as I do and has to watch the following movies leading up to Christmas otherwise it doesn’t feel the same:
The Family Stone
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
The Vicar of Dibley (technically a BBC series but it still counts)
Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas (a holiday staple for my husband and he’s always horrified when someone hasn’t seen this muppet film. And he’s horrified a lot because pretty much no one has seen it outside of his family).
I also throw in Bridget Jones’ Diary just for me because it begins and ends during the Christmas season and is endlessly quotable (“Pants, Bridget.”). Doing away with all the pomp and circumstance of Christmas dinner (because we kill ourselves making that at Thanksgiving) we opt for pizza on Christmas Eve and then pretty much whatever Trader Joe’s can provide for Christmas Day. We deal with family members for a small portion of Christmas Eve, coming by and spoiling our kids and then that’s it, it’s just us. I love it, the feel of just the four of us, the excitement of our kids, and, for a moment, thinking that everyone else in your neighborhood, town, state, is happy for a few hours and surrounded by friends and family. It’s not about presents, it’s about having a sense of thankfulness and that you made it through another year. It’s even better if you can find the time to help out others (which we plan on doing with our kids when they’re older) through helping out at soup kitchens or food banks or delivering gifts from toy drives.
So, whether it be a crazy family event, or you and your significant other, or just you watching all the movies you want to without having to share the remote, we wish you a Merry Christmas and hope you find peace this holiday season.
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