I’ve searched high and low. In cupboards and under sofas, at the end of the garden and inside countless photo albums. But I still can’t find it. Christmas is keeping a very low profile.
It’s not that I haven’t entered into the festive spirit. I’ve been belting out Christmas tunes with the best of them. I’ve hung mistletoe and put up a tree and even spent two hours one evening sticking cloves into oranges.
But still, Christmas is nowhere to be seen.
I’m in search of a particular Christmas, you see. One that hasn’t really lived before. One that is at once both new and old, traditional and unique. I’m in search of our Christmas. Our family Christmas.
Last year was the first year we spent Christmas as a family. With a new addition, not yet six months old, we decided to make it our own and postpone family trips with previous traditions. We had big plans. Turkeys, smoked salmon, stockings in bed, a Christmas film or two and much excitement.
But then our car broke down. And our oven blew up. And the washing machine packed in. And the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine was struck down with a particularly bad case of Man Flu.
So the Christmas I’d known since birth stepped in to play and we spent the big day with my parents at their home in Bristol. My sister also came along. It was lovely, with food galore and many many presents.
But it wasn’t what we’d had planned.
So this year, we’ve decided to start from scratch and attempt the Christmas that wasn’t to be last year. This year we will make our own Christmas.
We’re at Year Zero in the Christmas stakes, and so far all the NLM has brought to the table is an undying need for a can of Foster’s on Christmas Day, coupled with a packet of salt and vinegar Pringles. It doesn’t really go with the Kirstie Allsopp affair I had in mind.
So I’ve ordered the turkey (from one of those posh butchers, with a pretend vintage bike propped up outside and many signs stating the happiness of their birds before they eventually end up on the chopping board). I’ve bought the presents, wrapped the presents and hidden the presents.
But that’s as far as I’ve got. So it’s here that I need your inspiration.
What are your Christmas Day traditions? How do you make the day as special (and stress free) as possible?
Answers on a postcard. Or, you know, you could always leave a comment….