Wednesday, 8 October 2014

When Christmas got its Magic Back

Christmas has always been a family event.  My first memories of it are at my Aunty and Uncle's house, thirty of us crowded around a table that reached out from the dining room, down the hall way and into the living room.  My brother, sister and I were always the youngest and therefore got utterly spoilt, and there was always so much food - turkey with all the trimmings and a Christmas pudding stuffed full of silver.

Christmas dinner was followed by tins of Roses and Quality street around the Christmas tree, being tickled by cousins and playing beetle drive - we were always given extra points for being younger.  Presents were exchanged and the afternoon and evening seemed to go on for days, spending time with those that mattered most, my Grandma sat proudly on the sofa, watching her children and grand children and the family that she had raised.

As my cousins and I got older, there were too many of us.  We expanded at such a rate that Christmas became smaller with visits throughout the day.  I had moved away from home, so it still seemed perfect going back to my parent's house and spending the night in my old bedroom, the familiar smells and sounds.

2011 was the Christmas that changed everything all over again for me - for a lot of us.  The bloke and I welcomed a beautiful little boy into the world, and our adult day of board games, after dinner naps and late nights was punctuated by nappy changes, cooing at the smiliest four month old, and a new appreciation of what family means.  After all, Christmas is all about the children.  We knew this growing up, and we never really forgot, but after 5 years of a smaller Christmas, with every member of the house able to legally drink, we were reminded of the wonders anew.

We spoke of Father Christmas again and the magic.  We crowded round as we exchanged presents, watching my son grab the paper in delight, not having a clue what was really going on, but at the same time making it real for everyone there.

Christmas has never been the same, and will never be the same.  I now have two children, who every year become more aware of the magic, who believe in the man in red, and who wake up wide eyed and excited about being surrounded by family.  Christmas dinners involve bibs and beakers, two extra paper hats and at least twice as many smiles and laughs, and we know our Christmases will only get bigger as more babies join the family. 

Christmas has always been about family, but having my own made it what it is today

This is my entry for Transun's 'Win a family trip to Lapland' competition. You can read about the competition here:

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