Christmas is magical, it’s a time when wishes come true, houses are warm, bellies are full, children are happy. It’s the one season where we bust a gut to try and make things as perfect for the kids as they can be.
During the year we muddle through, we can often pull the wool over their eyes when times are tight. They don’t really notice because they are happy & loved & well fed.
Every week from January I put a little bit aside for Christmas and hope that we don’t get a major expense. Like 3 years ago when we had car trouble in the snow the week before Christmas, or 2 years ago when the fridge and the oven clapped out that exact same week as well.
The decorations go up in the shops the day after Hallowe’en and my chest gets a bit tighter.
Christmas as a child for me was a time filled with love, magic, light and family. Santa always brought me something I wanted and I’ve such a yearning to recreate that atmosphere that feeling of being safe, loved, warm, full for my own children.
We choose to do this, to try to recreate/emulate our perfect childhood Christmas but we can never revisit it ourselves. We’re the curators of the Christmas spirit now and feel a heavy responsibility to do it justice.
Most of the Christmas present shopping is done. The food itself for the holiday period is inexpensive. Our trolley will be jammed full of fresh fruit and vegetables, which don’t cost buckets. The bigger cost of Christmas food is with the junk-food – the biscuits, the chocolate, the minerals, crisps, wine and beer. All of which we’ve cut back on significantly over the years.
The Christmas pressures now revolve around the day itself. We’ll be focussed on creating a good atmosphere for the kids, making sure that Santa does their secret wishes justice (for they only ask for surprises in our house), catching up with family and tucking happy children into bed that night.
I’ll relax come St Stephen’s Day.