I feel so bad for people who do not enjoy this time of year. I truly enjoy every bit of it. My Christmases do not resemble my childhood ones very much. We are very often quite alone because we live so far from family and for many of the last few years my other half has had to work on or around the day. But I still find it magical no matter who I am with.
Starting in November and sometimes October I start to think about my tree. I start humming Christmas music and think about how I will design a few homemeade cards. I start to feel warm all over and smile a whole lot. I cannot wait until the 1st December when I can get the decorations out, blare the Christmas music and start addressing Christmas cards in front of the fire.
At Mom's we always had Christmas stockings as well as stacks of presents. She often woke early to make us a platter of scrambled eggs, and if we were lucky homemade hash browns. She would put cinnamon in the coffee filter which made the whole house smell gorgeous.
As a child we usually celebrated with at least 18 people at the dinner table. Stacks and stacks of presents were all over the living room. If Dad was hosting, my step-mother would insist on having her traditional English Christmas dinner. There is nothing about this meal I like. Turkey (too dry), frozen and overcooked brussels, creamed onions, frozen turnips, and mashed potato. Ok, I liked the mash. But still I loved pulling Christmas crackers and waited patiently until dessert was served. People would bring different things for this. Pumpkin pie was my favourite.
In our house now we always do stockings. We do not exchange any presents with anyone else anymore--which I am both glad and sad about at the same time. We have scrambled eggs, croissants, orange juice, and coffee for breakfast. Fortunately my other half also shares my dislike for turkey so we usually opt for beef. And a small trifle. Neither of us like mince pies, Christmas pudding or Christmas cake. Just simple, just us, taking time out of our busy working lives to enjoy our family. If we are lucky we celebrate with friends as well. I look forward to a future with bigger gatherings again. But in the meantime we are blessed to be able to truly enjoy the season. Maybe boosted by warm memories of singing in the church choir, family gatherings, and eggnog. Maybe just blessed with the miracle of the season.