The changing world of Christmas

I haven’t done a personal style blog so I thought I would waffle about something this morning for a change, other than my exploits as a Torbjorn Main, my adventures in HermitCraft , Elder Scrolls Online or the current D&D campaign – Brigadoon. I had a long hard think about what to waffle on about – well about the two minutes drive to the coffee shop – and I got thinking about Christmas and how it has changed for me over the years and how I tend to lack at sort of Christmas Spirit – Scrooge and Bah Humbug!

I think I am getting old. Christmas is a young person’s time of the year. Growing up we were never rich, but my mum always ensured that we had presents to open on the special day. I think I always really looked forward to the day because it was really the only time of the year that we got presents. We had sweets and treats and the money from my advertiser newspaper round allowed me to by the lastest AD&D module – Assault on the Eerie of the Slave Lords! – but we never got like ‘big’ presents until Christmas. If I wanted a radio then it would be Christmas when it arrived. Christmas was therefore very specially to us all and I remember spending ages opening presents and making a pile by ‘my’ chair and looking through them morning after morning until we had to take them out of the front room and move them to your bedrooms. I was still eating meat as I grew up and the Christmas lunch was a truly spectacular event. I remember there was even a starter! The table was huge and there was crackers and hats and the usual corny jokes. Although mum always made the meal we, as in the children, always washed up. It took a long time and several bowls of hot water but it was the perfect time to let the food settle before sitting down for the Queen’s Speech and the Christmas film. I think it was always the Wizard of Oz but every year it seemed special. With VHS only just appearing, you could only watch films like this on Christmas Day and there was always the bumper edition of the Radio Times to wade through and pick out your favourite viewing.

I think the count up to Christmas is almost the most exciting part as I grew older. I used always go shopping for presents on Christmas Eve and enjoy saying Merry Christmas to the shop assistants as I left the shops carrying loads of plastic bags filled with goodies. Wrapping was always done in the afternoon usually watching the Christmas Carol on the tele. Even after I had left home, I arrived at the family home shortly after 8:00 am to open presents and start the Christmas festivities which included a croissant breakfast and the customary lego building and frantic search for the ‘right’ batteries. Alcohol would start to flow and we started to engage with the Christmas games – many of which ended up with my laughing so much that I literally couldn’t breath! The Christmas dinner increased in size and I honestly remember there not being enough room on the actual table to fit everything on. How I ate so much I have no idea!

I used to like giving and receiving presents and searched for ages to buy things which I thought would be appreciated. As I have got older my Christmas list has become harder and harder to write. Now I revert to the safe ground of – just give me money. I don’t engage with Secret Santa mainly because I know I am really hard to buy for and I never seem to buy the ‘right’ gift for other people. I am also very bad at receiving presents. I’m not sure why but I sometimes feel uncomfortable about getting gifts and often wonder why people have bought me things. I am dreadful at trying to ‘fake’ surprise and actually get quite anxious now when opening presents – if people don’t follow the suggested gift of cash. I don’t mind not getting gifts, to be honest I really like people opening their own presents from other people and seeing their faces.

I don’t put decorations up any more. I used to make a special effort with these, putting them up early December and enjoying them through advent and into the new year. This was reduced to putting them up on Christmas Eve and taking them down the day after Boxing Day and eventually I actually thought why am I putting them up. Living by myself no-one ever sees the decoration bare abode and I cleverly use Photoshop so I can join in the obligatory decoration image on Facebook. I do like walking home from work and looking at everyone elses, especially if they have their curtains open and the tree is fully light and enjoying pride of place in the window. Also – returning to my family home, it is always nice to see the same Christmas tree up which I remember seeing growing up.

Reading this back it would seem that I am a bit of a bah humbug sort of person. I’m never unhappy at Christmas, I just feel like I have grown out of it and I am that sort of person who doesn’t actually ‘fit in’ to Christmas. I am looking forward to spending the day with family and my sister always does me a fantastic Vegan/Veggie meal. I guess that as we move throughout the year Christmas has just become one of those other times when we do things and then move on. I do miss the excitement and the anticipation as the eventful day arrives but really, as I said right at the beginning of this waffle – I guess I am just getting old and don’t really gel with Christmas any more.

Before you all think I am some sad person who is probably completely painted green and has a middle name which begins with ‘G’ I would like to say – I really do hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and that you enjoy spending time with family and friends. So, have fun and I’ll catch you all later and, until then, consider yourself waffled!

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