It’s the first holiday period I’ve had since I was tiny that isn’t immediately followed by exams, or marred with the impending sense of doom that comes with assignments and essays and by taking a break you’re not doing enough work. It’s the first Christmas I’ve had where I genuinely get to relax -even though I’ll be working retail during the busiest time of the year – and actually enjoy spending time with the family rather than everything being tinged by assessed pieces of work.
It’s really, really freeing.
But… my family isn’t exactly the most festive.
We’re by no means the literal embodiment of a family of Scrooge’s, and the last time I checked no-one related to me had turned green, adopted a Jim Carrey-ish humour, and moved to live out the rest of their days in a cave at the summit of a steep, snowy mountain (I haven’t checked on the relatives in Wales in a while so I could be wrong…). We get the tree up, drown the house in a multitude of shiny decorations, extend the dining table, wrap gifts, and play one too many rounds of divisive board games.
It’s just, none of that even happens remotely until the 19th of December. At the earliest.
It’s also not a bad thing; the way our family works means that Christmas starting at the 1st of December is impractical. Mum’s always worked long hours most weekdays, dad was our primary care-giver, and running around after 3 girls with a ton of extracurriculars at three different schools and weekend activities meant there just… wasn’t ever really time to get things moving the minute advent started. I don’t want this to read all Young Ivanka Trump being sad because no one would buy her lemonade because her private, gated road had zero foot traffic, my parents gave us every opportunity they could whilst we were growing up and I’ve never once been miffed that Christmas in the household started once the school holidays did.
Mostly because school had the wind-down to the End of Term pretty much covered, but also because it’s generally meant that we don’t put a lot of weight into traditions over a holiday in a religion we don’t really practice. For us it’s about enjoying the time we have with family in the two weeks when everyone is a little less stressed and a little more indulgent. It’s the friendly sibling rivalry and everyone making the trip to De Montfort for the Arts in Education Christmas concerts with the ballet and really stale smelling pot pourrit in the holding rooms (#orchestrageeks). It’s the stress of getting mum a gift that ‘isn’t a waste of money but something she’d like and is useful’ and years upon years of getting dad gardening books or cookbooks, until we have enough to potentially put Waterstones out of business.
They’re still not traditions though, considering we’ve all moved on from them as needed.
This year though, I’m focusing on making memories throughout the whole of december in a variety of different ways. Big things are coming in that horrifically cryptic ‘I have a thing‘ sense, and I kind of want to create my own traditions for this time of year.
I’ve finally picked up more polaroid film, and I’m settling down most nights to catch up on all my bloggy friends and favourite youtubers blogmas and vlogmas content. Instead of stale-smelling pot pourrit in holding rooms, I get to make my bedroom all festive with the help of Yankee Candle Christmas classics, courtesy of Debenhams*, and a few cute decor bits. My absolute favourite is the Berry Trifle – I tend to prefer sweet smelling scents, and this has just enough raspberry so it’s perfect – plus the brand is available internationally which is fab. I’m definitely going to be checking out the other seasonal scents that are around at the minute. Also, this dancing snowman is my new favourite standing decoration. He’s so cute.
The final thing I’m starting this year, after years of mumbling that I’ll do it and never really following through (the curse of the ENFP personality type), is to write and post out christmas letters/cards. I used to do the obligatory school friendship group rounds, but they never really held much sentiment, and I’d like to change that.
Also I kind of like having an excuse to buy cute cards and stationery.