I remember being Z's age, even Miss C's age, and being so excited on Christmas Eve, I wondered how I would ever get to sleep. Probably my Mum wondered this too. We were always high as kites on Christmas Eve. Living in Mexico, we took on the traditions my Stepdad had done when he was younger and celebrating Christmas. Just after midnight, on Christmas Day, my Mum would wake us and we would get to open our presents. We didn't have to wait until morning!
As we got older, we still were excited for Christmas but we kind of knew what to expect and it wasn't so much about getting new things but enjoying the break from school and mock exams. Mum always cooked a Christmas dinner. It was always delicious.
The year I spent Christmas in my Dad's house was an eye opener for me. My Dad wasn't in the same position financially as my Mum and Stepdad were but he still put on a big spread as best he could. It made me appreciate how lucky I had been when I lived with my Mum and Stepdad and made me realise that not everyone gets the Christmas they would hope for.
When I left home and moved in with Husband, we didn't really celebrate Christmas. We bought each other gifts but I was always sad around Christmas time that I wasn't near my family. Husband and his family were so welcoming in to their home and I was grateful, of course, but I still felt a bit lonely. It wasn't quite the same as the Christmas traditions we had growing up...visiting my Grandma and Grandpa in their big house in Carnoustie, all of my cousins being there and the mischief we'd get up to. Playing board games with my Mum and Stepdad and my Sister, always the joker, when my Mum would say, "this red wine is quite heavy isn't it?" and my Sister saying, "of course it's heavy, you've just opened it!"
Then we had children and my outlook of Christmas completely changed. I used to think, as a child, Christmas was the most exciting thing ever. My children proved me wrong. Christmas is the most exciting time when you have children of your own and you see the excitement in their face. Their voice rises a couple of pitches higher the closer it gets to the big day. The wonder. The amazement. The joy when they receive a toy or book they really wanted. Showing it off to you, talking fast and overly animated. It's truly magical.
This year is no exception. I am aware that Z is going to be less likely to believe in the magic of Christmas soon. A friend of mine has a 10 year old and already they don't believe and it makes me a bit scared about how Christmas will be for Z next year. Will he still believe?
Already they have presents under the tree from our wonderful friends and family who are always so kind and generous to our children. Miss C has already planned out which present she is going to open first; not the biggest one but the one from her best friend.
We're making Christmas as magical as possible for them both, just in case. There will be Christmas movies, chocolates, hot chocolate, dinner at our favourite Italian restaurant but most of all, there will be us. All of us together, enjoying spending the holidays with one another and cherishing every moment we can. Thinking about the true meaning of Christmas and what it means to me...Having my little family around me, taking away that lonely feeling I had so many years ago and making our own Christmas memories that they can remember when they are older and have their own families.
I'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Whatever you do, whoever you spend it with, enjoy the memories you are making.
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