In the haze of forward thinking and modern technology, it can be easy to ‘forget’ our cherished memories, lose sight of the moments and traditions that we thought we would hold onto forever.
Christmas day, for many of us, takes us back to our traditions and our long lost memories. We might not admit it, but when we go to bed on Christmas Eve and wake up on Christmas morning, we can feel that tug of nostalgia in our gut, reminding us of how we felt when we were children, waking up to the white snow outside and the presents under the tree.
Of course Christmas wasn’t all fun and games as a child. Yes, we had worries. Every child worries at Christmas. Deeply concerning thoughts crept into our minds on Christmas Eve: Santa’s safety, timeliness and knowledge of addresses when travelling to our homes. Would he make it in time? Would he know where to go? Would he give us the presents we asked for? Did he even receive that list we wrote him a while back? Would the reindeer be strong enough to carry him all the way across the world to get to our tiny little lit up house on the corner of the street?
That big, red stocking or pillow at the end of the bed. Exciting, but daunting. How full would it be? How many potatoes would we get? Would we be given the ultimate sign of naughtiness – a big lump of coal?
The day of Christmas would finally arrive, after much tossing and turning through the night, all our fears and anxieties would be diminished. All the worries would be gone. Because it would be Christmas day, and everything was good on Christmas day when we were children. Everything. Our stocking or pillowcase was full with treats. More presents under the tree. An amazing feast at dinner. And anything that wasn’t good, we didn’t notice.
Looking back now on those fond Christmas memories, we can see it was all rather simple.
And now, in 2015, we are grown ups and our lives and Christmas days are slightly more complicated. Who will sit where at the dinner table? Will Uncle Bert get roaring drunk again? What time do I have to start cooking the turkey? 6am. Yes that’s early. And it gets more expensive by the year. We start to consider the ‘bigger picture’ more as adults. We think about the people less fortunate than us at Christmas. Suddenly, the presents and the food doesn’t matter in the same way, we are lucky to be in such a warm and cosy house at Christmas time. And we realise this. Christmas is just not as simple as it used to be.
But in and amongst all the complications, we still have some traditions at Christmas that transport us back to the days of our childhoods and will continue to give us that Christmassy feeling of nostalgia in days to come.
Here are 5 sparkly, Christmassy traditions that still make Christmas, Christmas.
- The Christmas tree: Tall, small, thin, fat, fake, real, green, white, blue! They come in all shapes and sizes, our dear Christmas trees. One of the best parts of Christmas that we all tend to get sentimental about, is decorating the tree. Baubles and tinsel and glitter and fairy lights. Lovely. And the on-going Christmas tree debate – when is it the right time to put up your Christmas tree? Have you put yours up yet? Is November 25th just a little too early?
- Christmas dinner: Most of us who are lucky enough to have a Christmas dinner do not finish their dinner without feeling FULL. To the brim. This is because Christmas day in our society = indulgence day, and that’s what we do. Indulge. Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, roast potatoes, mash, bread pudding, gravy, beef, ham, finished off with Christmas pudding with a threepenny (be careful not to choke), in the middle and quite rightly covered in double cream. Check out the full traditional Christmas recipe here. Hungry anyone?
- Gifts: The gift of a present. The gift of kindness. The gift of a memory. Whether you receive one, or give twenty, usually there’s something for us to open and to wrap up and give on Christmas day. It’s certainly noticeable that as we get older there seems to be more wrapping and less opening! But that’s all part of the fun! We give and receive Christmas cards; filled with festive greetings from people we thought had forgotten about us. We, our children, our grandchildren, wake up to our stockings at the end of our beds, filled with gifts, satsumas, potatoes and notebooks. Blue tack and sellotape. Chocolate and sweets. And maybe we are too old for a stocking now – but we still remember. And each year, we hope and we wish that Santa Claus will be kind to us, just one more time. Buy our books today – a perfect gift option.
- Santa Claus: Ho Ho Ho. Also known as Father Christmas. That guy with the long white beard and the big belly in his red coat and his heavy black boots. Travelling on his sleigh from Lapland, across the starry night sky led by his reindeer, ‘Rudolph the red nose reindeer, had a very shiny nose…’ Uh oh, getting carried away. So then, Santa. Everyone’s favourite guy. Ho Ho Ho.
- Christmas music: Christmas carols, Christmas songs and Christmas bells really remind us of the Christmases of our Childhood. Have a listen to some Christmas carols and songs here. Go on. Get yourself in the festive spirit!
- Mince pies, Mulled wine, Memories. The three M’s at Christmas. Warm Mince pie with hot and spiced mulled wine. Making memories that last forever with family and people we care about. Christmas is for sharing, giving, and making memories. And making memories is what we all love about Christmas, no matter how old or young we are.