It was a quiet one, just the three of us – me and my youngest two sons. I’d bought far too much food, we watched too much TV and too many DVDs and we finished the day by playing cards. The boys liked their presents, I was impressed with mine. We made phone calls to their grandmother, their father, my father and my eldest son. I sent text messages to friends and posted my Christmas message on Facebook.
This year was so different from the Christmases of my past. The Christmas Eve of my past was focussed on putting the final decorations on our Christmas tree, reading from a Christmas book and listening to carols. This year our Christmas tree was small, artificial and didn’t have decorations. There were no stockings to hang out for my boys – they are all adults now! We didn’t read Christmas stories or sing carols. On Christmas morning we didn’t have the structured day of my childhood when I would have to wait until my parents and grandmother were dressed and had had breakfast before I could open my presents. Yesterday the boys and I were all still in our pjs and breakfastless when we ripped open the wrapping paper. After all the presents were unwrapped I put the croissants in the oven to heat and we had breakfast while watching a DVD I had bought my middle son.
The Christmases of my childhood consisted of family meals where we sat around the table and ate mostly in silence. Yesterday I made platters of dips, crackers, cheeses, ham, olives and assorted vegetables. We put them on the coffee table in the living room and stuffed ourselves while watching “The Grinch” on TV. I helped myself to a glass or two of bubbly, while the boys were satisfied with water. We completed our late meal by having a bowl of hot Christmas pudding with home made custard. In the evening we picked at leftovers and felt bloated.
My childhood Christmases were quiet affairs. After lunch I would usually disappear to my bedroom to read one of the books I would always get as a present. I spent many hours in my bedroom reading, as an only child I didn’t have brothers or sisters to disturb my fascination with words and I’m sure my parents were happy that I was keeping myself quietly occupied. I think we were all a bit bored yesterday with too much food and TV, so my middle son taught us a card game which we played for quite awhile. It was fun to play cards; we haven’t done that for a long time.
Today is Boxing Day. My eldest son is driving across Australia with his girlfriend; I spoke to him briefly after he landed in Adelaide to meet up with her. My middle son has gone out to visit his friends and my youngest son is firmly glued to the TV again. I’ve done the laundry, spent some time on the computer and even had a ride on the exercise bike! I have one more week of holidays and feel as if I should try to achieve something productive!
Hopefully all of you had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. It might have been a quiet one, or a rowdy one or simply a day to spend with those closest to you. It might have been religious or not so, but whatever it was and however you spent it, I hope it was special for you.