Today is Christmas Eve, it feels like any other day, but as always at this time of year im in a pensive mood, a mood of melancholy. We don't celebrate Christmas for religious reasons, but as i was brought up the same as almost everyone else, loving Christmas and all the festivities, i do kind of miss it.
I used to LOVE decorating the Christmas tree, mum would always let me and my brother do it, and even though we used the same decorations, tinsel, shiny threads and tinsel star for the top of the tree every single year, i never failed to look forward to it. We used to put decorations up on the walls and ceilings too until my mum got too precious about plasterwork.
And then we would visit family or occasionally family would come to our house (mum stressed over food on those occasions). My mum never really socialised us very well, she spent a lot of time at home (she was unemployed for a lot of my childhood) and had few friends. This was exacerbated by the fact that we moved from the north of the UK to the Midlands so we all had to start afresh. So visiting family was exciting, but a little nerve wracking i think - i was a shy child.
Although we would often have to scrimp and save on food throughout most of the year, at Christmas my mum always tried so hard to have treats, crackers, juices, chocolates, and tube upon tube of assorted savory snacks (Pringles, Twigglets, Mini Chedders etc etc) stocked up in the kitchen cupboards. It was also the only time of the year that we had dips to spoon onto our plates and eat with cheeses, crisps, quiche, well, anything really, man i loved those dips.
Me and my brother used to alternate Christmases between spending the day at my mums or the day at my dads. As there was a lot of distance between the two places we couldn't split the actual day in half. We used to get so many presents, at mums house me and my brother would wake at about 5am and creep downstairs, open our pressies, play with them, and then get back into bed. My mum didn't used to get up with us. At my dads we would open the pressies all together. As we got older the presents would get fewer and we were given money instead. At the time that's what we wanted, but i think it detracts from the spirit of Christmas, don't you?
Without fail i just HAD TO watch the Snowman on Christmas day, it ruined my Christmas without it, and if i still hadn't watched it by the end of Christmas day then it would wait until the next year, it always felt (and still does feel) too late to watch it after the end of Christmas day itself. I now have it on DVD, so hopefully il get to watch it at some point today or tomorrow using the PC.
I love Christmas TV, the old films, the 'best bits' of the year, the programmes made up of celebrities musing on Christmas celebrations and Christmas past, all of it. But we no longer own a TV so that has put a wee bit of a dampener on that part of the festive season this year.
Yesterday i was in town getting some essential (non-Christmas related) bits and bobs and i took a break to listen to some Christian carol singers who were standing outside some of the shops. As i sat on the bench, eating a vegetable pasty, Dave silently sleeping in his pushchair, and an old man and his 3 legged dog to my side, i cried a silent tear. Im always overwhelmed when i hear carol singers, the passion which they put into singing about the Almighty, its absolutely awe inspiring. Honestly it just makes me all over come with emotion.
So tomorrow, Christmas day. We are spending it with some of my husbands family who do celebrate Christmas. So i look forward to getting my dose of festive food, decor and music. And Dave will have a few pressies (my mum has got 2 for him and she will be joining us tomorrow).
I hope you all enjoy the next few days, and manage to spend many a happy hour with your loved ones.