When I was growing up, Christmas in my house was a simple family day. In the first week of December, our real Christmas tree would get delivered and we would spend the Sunday together decorating it in the most hot-pot mess of decorations. From presents and snowmen to puzzles and intricate classic designs, we had every bauble and ornament under the sun. First my dad would painstakingly put the lights on the tree with me “helping” in probably the least helpful way imaginable (oh, to be a child!). My mum and I would then start putting the ornaments on the tree in no real organised way and then my dad would lift me up to put our golden plastic star on top of the tree! We would then turn on the lights and marvel at our handiwork, which if I do say so myself was always top-notch.
After the whole affair of decorating, nothing else really special happened until Christmas Eve. The only extra treat was getting to open my advent calendar before school every morning! Christmas Eve Eve (December 23rd) was always particularly exciting because I knew that as soon as Christmas Eve came, it meant I got to open ONE present “early”. After 23 days of begging to open a present, Christmas Eve was always the day my parents “gave in” because as my dad always said “in Germany we celebrate Weinachten (Christmas) today, so you can open one.” As a result of German Christmas being celebrated on the 24th, we always had a special dinner just the three of us, with German Christmas and folk music playing in the background. Then after a shower and PJs, we all open one present before I got tucked into bed so Santa could sneak his present under the tree for Christmas Day.
On Christmas morning, I was always the first up but the rule was always that we couldn’t open presents until everyone was awake. My mum and I would sit together and I would bug her to wake my dad up so we could have our “traditional” Christmas breakfast of coffee and stollen (for my parents) and hot chocolate and Christmas cookies (for me) while we open up all the presents. When my dad finally woke up, we would sit together and dole out the presents between the three of us and our dog, then we would take turns opening up all the gifts. As far as I can remember, my gifts to my parents have always been soap for my mum and an incredibly ugly tie for my dad. In return, they always managed to get me the perfect doll or more recently anything and everything from baking supplies to video games (thanks guys!) In recent years, Verity has also joined in the present opening session and always gets a box of festive greenies!
Christmas dinner was never really turkey and trimmings rather a nice family dinner, just the three of us. Then it was off to bed because after a long day of playing with toys and eating my body weight in Christmas cookies, a kid gets tired. Boxing day was again, nothing super special. Just the three of us hanging out and neatly folding all the wrapping paper and buying batteries for whatever toy needed them. Before I knew it Christmas was over and it was time to write a letter to Santa for next year (and to say thank you for this year!)
And that, my friends, is what Christmas used to be like in my household. These days, now that I’m older, wiser, and a little more independent, Christmas has become 3 days full of dinners with my family, my boyfriends family, and all of our friends. To read all about what Christmas is like for me these days, I wrote a guest post for my friend Anna over at Stralthy! Click here to read it and let me know what your Christmasses were like for you as a child!
Until next time,