Christmas, you either love it or hate it but as the Big Day is going to be descending upon us in a matter of a few short weeks, one thing’s for sure, it’s unavoidable. For some it will mean a joyous celebration with our loved ones for others it will involve family disputes, overindulgence and in my case, poverty. I have in the past contemplated selling a kidney on Ebay to pay for an expensive gift for a loved one, as clearly unpacking tins is not the most profitable line of work.
Every year my mother tells me not to bother getting her anything for Christmas and the one year that I took her at her word, the atmosphere on that particular Christmas morning was positively Arctic. Even my Dad suggested I pop out to the local petrol station to get a box of chocolates or tacky bunch of flowers if I expected to eat Christmas Day Lunch at the grown up table.
Again this year my sister will receive the usual gift of Big Pants which has earned her the nickname of BBP (Beverley Big Pants); these are a bit like the harvest festivals that your Nan used to wear which double up as a vest and come up to your armpits. My mum will usually have bought them from the discount no frills supermarket Lidl – which she adores. In fact, she adores it so much I have threatened to have her ashes scattered in the special offer aisle when she takes the final trip to rainbow bridge – which I better add I hope doesn’t happen for a long, long time, just in case she’s reading this. She always tells me proudly that the manager of the store always recognises her and as I have pointed out that is probably not in a good way, more in the “here comes the mad stalker-like customer”.
I, on the other hand, will get the customary “useful” gadget like an electric wine cork remover or my particular all-time favourite the electric fluff remover. If my Dad is buying the Christmas gifts, I may receive something equally as exciting as the socket set he bought me last year.
It’s hard to deny that a little of the magic has gone from our Christmas Day mornings now that my darling nieces are all grown up; although a glass of Baileys does help. Ironically, in our household it’s not the giving and receiving of Christmas gifts that is the focal point; it’s the good-natured banter and humour that accompany these gestures that warm our hearts and will stay with us in the stories that we recount to the next generation.
“Remember, if Christmas isn’t found in your heart, you won’t find it under a tree.”
~ Charlotte Carpenter.