Many people I know fear the word ‘Christmas’. It starts at the end of the Half Term break, when the next holiday is Christmas. The adverts start up on TV, and the shelves are soon overtaken by boxes of festive chocolates, cards and gifts. Many an old pensioner in my town moans when the tree is decorated and displayed elegantly in the centre of the supermarket in early November. I almost expect a ‘bah humbug’ to slip out of their mouths.
As if this negativity isn’t enough, all the parents around town are moaning about how much it’s going to cost them, how they don’t want to see certain members of their family around the table, and how the toys are a waste of money.
What is so hard about seeing past all this and witnessing the true wonder of Christmas?
One of my favourite festive films is ‘A Christmas Carol’. Whether Scrooge is played by Michael Cane, Jim Carrey or a cartoon representation, I simply love the old-fashioned traditions and story. I have also read the book, and find it effortlessly charming. The culture in that day in age is one of which should still be remembered today. Christmas in such an era was about charity, love, giving and receiving.
As much as I love dressed-up department stores and sparkling shopping centres, you cannot beat a home-made Christmas. To me, the festive season isn’t all about getting the latest gadget your heart yearns for, or buying the most expensive dress ‘because it’s Christmas’. To me, it’s all about appreciating the ones you love and making everyone feel special and united.
I have always spent Christmas at my grandmother’s, and there is something so amazing about being together with all my family at such a magical time that almost makes it the best gift of them all. It’s lovely to look across the table before we tuck into a homemade feast and seeing the family that surrounds me. I’m sentimental like that. I see the loving auntie who lives just across the road, the grandma who’s spent weeks planning this wonderful meal for us all, and the uncle and cousins who live the other side of the country who I’ve been longing to see. There’s something about being united and gathered together to have fun and celebrate a special time that only comes once a year.
I love shopping for presents and looking around the colourful festive window displays. There’s a dream everyone has of Christmas shopping that includes being enveloped in a mass of woolly jumpers and scarves, clutching a hot chocolate and browsing shop displays in the snow as the street decorations twinkle. I love this feeling.
However, something which is even better than this feeling is the reaction of your loved ones as they open their presents. I love surprising my little sister every year with something thoughtful. I don’t mind buying her an expensive game or pretty dress, as long as I pair something homemade or unique with it. This often includes a box of her favourite home baked biscuits or a little knitted scarf. It also pleases my parents no end in receiving two contrasting gifts; one of which they really want, and another they’re pleasantly surprised with because I made it.
I know it’s only November, and I can hear echo of disapproving townspeople saying it’s too early to get excited, but I truly am in love with the magic of Christmas.