It’s December, it’s nearly Christmas, and we’re seeing festivities everywhere.
You’re probably expecting me to say that I don’t like it. And if I’m entirely honest I don’t love the run up to Christmas. I find it stressful. Picking gifts, trying to get everyone something special, organising where you’re going to be, what you’re going to be doing. It’s stressful. However, I really do love the 2/3 days when I’ve finished work and it’s time to relax & enjoy the time.
Christmas is about family to me. It always has been and always will be. I was brought up where I’d only have gifts on my birthday or Christmas, and Christmas we had ALOT. I would get so excited for Christmas morning. I’m not the most patient person now, and as a kid I was no different. On Christmas Eve I’d wait until the living room door closed, and quietly tip-toe to the stairs so I could try and listen to my parents discussing my gifts/see a gift. They didn’t know I was doing it for a while, but when they did realise they always checked for me on the stairs every year. I wasn’t quiet enough — that was my problem. Fairy elephant I’ve been referred to, as. I love my family.
I remember one year when I was around 7/8, I was SO excited about getting my gifts, and ran downstairs and saw this massive teddy on the sofa waiting for me – the pure JOY at seeing that teddy. I loved that teddy, right up until my teenage years. I always really liked stuffed animals/teddy bears. I found them comforting. When I was around 12, I had a stuffed dog bought for me. I had tonsillitis pretty bad and it had been decided that I was going to have them removed. I went into hospital, and whilst I was in there, I received Tonsilitus (this is what I called him). A few years later, after chewing it, my mother binned it. I only found this out when I said to her one day “Where’s Tonsilitus, Mum?” and she simply replied “You chewed that thing within an itch of it’s life”. You can imagine my reaction.
“So you binned Tonsilitus? That’s what you’re telling me right now. It’s not in the attic. It’s not ‘lost’, you physically removed it from me and binned it.” She looked awkward. “DAD! Mum’s said she binned my teddy, Tonsilitus!” My dad always has my back, “Annie, did you really?” Safe to say she had… he was gone. I’m not over it. It’s left a hole in my heart. OK that’s slightly dramatic, but I’d have liked to have kept it. I’m sentimental.
I also remember waking up every year at 5am on Christmas morning. Not by choice (I love sleep). My brother would run into my room and wake me up shouting ‘It’s Christmas!!!!!’. I assure you that does not sound good at 5am. EVER. My parents were similar, 6am my Mum would start going downstairs and then you knew it was time. If you followed Mum, and waited until Dad got downstairs too, it was time to open everything. We’d attempt to ‘wait’ for one another to open their gifts, but honestly who has patience for that? Not me, as we all know. Safe to say I try and get a little more sleep these days on Christmas morning (much to my partners annoyance, he’s still got that small child excitement and it’s going to be great for the future kiddies!).
My point is, when I was a kid I absolutely loved Christmas, and I still do today. I find it completely magical that one day a year you can bring together everyone that you love and share all of your favourite things, whether that’s food or gifts, or laughs, playing games. It’s the time to be in the moment, to focus on what’s important in this life, which to me, is my family. The definition of that term has changed for me as I’ve gotten older. Family is about those you’ve shared those Christmas memories with, but more recently to me, family is about standing with your family through hard times and supporting one another. Things change, people come and go, but family will always remain. You can imagine that I really consider what I do with my Christmas.
So, what am I doing this year for my Christmas celebrations and why is this important?
This year for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, I’m going to Qatar with my partner to spend time with my partners family, who I also consider my own family. I know how important it is to feel close to your immediate family, whatever your age, and I can’t wait to get exploring and catch up. I’m also so excited to photograph the beautiful country! I will be sharing a few blog posts on my time there — maybe one day in particular.
When we return from Qatar, we’re going for a lovely late Christmas dinner with my family, and I’m so excited! I love the idea that Christmas isn’t just one day and it’s gone; it’s one day, that you create and pick for yourself.
We’ve spent some time with other members of my partner’s family for Christmas before we leave the UK, and it was just as special as spending Christmas Day together eating Christmas dinner.
I think celebrating Christmas whenever you can see your loved ones is absolutely enough, we don’t have much time in this life, but we have enough to make sure we spend time with those that matter.
New Year is a whole different game to me, I’ll write a post on that shortly.
My cats have gone into their temporary accommodation and I’m leaving the UK very soon — so my next post will be from Qatar! Let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to write about whilst I’m out there.
Have a wonderful Christmas one and all. It’s your Christmas, enjoy it! Am xXx