Christmas has been my favourite time of the year for a very long time, and there are so many reasons why. It saddens me to think of those people who have been given a reason not to enjoy Christmas, whatever that may be. For me, it’s a time full of joy, happiness and celebration.
Now, I know I’m not alone. Lots of people love Christmas. Some for the “right” reasons, and others not so much. Yet, I think Christmas means something different to each of us as individuals.
This is what it means to me.
I’m sure she won’t mind me saying this, but I’ve pretty much grown up with one of Santa’s helpers as my mum. The woman loves Christmas. Her happiness at Christmas is contagious. So, essentially, my love for Christmas has been passed down to me from my mum. We are both equally enthusiastic about it, and do what we can to make it special for those around us. I love this connection. I love that I think of Christmas as “our thing.” We have so many memories and traditions. Although it’s trickier now because of distance, that association is still there.
Last year, it was the first Christmas when I didn’t see my family. I did my best to make the most of it. Neal, and his family, were very kind and I had a lovely day with them. All the while, though, a little part of me was immersed in sadness. One of the biggest factors in making Christmas the best time of year was miles and miles away.
I wanted to be with the only person who could match my excitement about the season. I wanted my mum.
Christmas is my favourite time of the year because my mum helped to make it that way. Through all her acts of kindness, through her bundles of happy energy, and through her determination to never lose sight of what it’s really about. I love her for it, and I love Christmas because of it.
I will leap at any chance I get to spoil people. Though I try to do it all year round, Christmas and birthdays are when I really up my game. Hours and hours of trawling through the internet to find the perfect presents. Several trips to the shops to browse, “just in case”. I love that moment when you’re supposed to have finished your Christmas shopping and you stumble across something you know someone on your list will love. Bank balance permitting, you have to buy it. Because they’ll be so happy when they open it. Because they’re worth it.
It’s those little moments which make Christmas something special. The gift isn’t what matters. It’s the feeling which will go with it.
The season of giving and goodwill extends to charities, too, with many people choosing to donate as a way of spreading the Christmas spirit. I appreciate the desire for this to take place throughout the year, yet I love it at least shows people at their best somewhere along the way. For me, it’s one of the nicest parts of Christmas – it reveals the best parts of humanity. (Admittedly, it sometimes showcases the ugly bits, too.)
Generosity doesn’t stop there, though. It’s not merely about the gifts, or the money. People are more generous with their time. As far as I’m aware, most people make a point of being home for Christmas when possible. There’s no excuses. There’s nowhere else to be. Work is on the back burner, and their time is given to those who need it most. Their loved ones.
3. Christmas Eve.
This is my absolute favourite day of the year. I love being out and about on Christmas Eve. There’s something magical in the air. The buzz of anticipation. That unmistakable sense of excitement for the day ahead. Children restless with delight about the fact Santa is coming. Sweet relief the shopping is done.
It all comes together to make a one of a kind atmosphere. Christmas Eve is the day I feel most alive, and when my heart is full of hope. If I could bottle up any feeling and keep it for when I need it the most, it would be this one.
Christmas Day, no matter how wonderful, is over in a flash. Once the presents have been opened, it’s a case of lazing around until dinner is cooked. Then we eat, drink, be merry and maybe watch whatever is on TV. Yet, the unknown has become the known and there’s no longer the same feeling. It’s over and done with for another year.
Everything is still to come on Christmas Eve. The big day is close enough to see, but far enough away to intrigue. It’s wonderful.
4. Christmas Lights.
Christmas trees, the twinkling lights and other gorgeous decorations give our homes that extra cosy feel. To simply sit amongst it feels good.
When we look beyond the comforts of our own home, we can admire everyone else’s work. Wreaths hung on the door. Christmas trees in the window. Mum and I used to go for a drive and seek out the best displays. It’s a tradition Neal and I have continued, although we do the searching on foot.
Besides, do towns and cities ever look prettier than when they’re covered in lights for Christmas? The world just looks a whole lot nicer.
5. Advent Calendars.
Slightly more on the joke side, you get to have a piece of chocolate (or another treat) every day in December! I’m all about that life.
Even though I struggled to find my Christmas spirit this year, I hope there never comes a day when I don’t feel the way I do about Christmas. Just as my mum passed her love of it on to me, I hope to do the same thing for my own children one day.