I had a very different Christmas this year. Most traditions that I look forward to couldn’t happen, but I knew this before I got my hopes up. Also I’m in a transition into making my own Christmas traditions based on what I think is important and exciting. For the last few years, every Christmas I write a note to myself for the next Christmas – what I enjoyed, what I didn’t enjoy, who liked what present etc. I will start with the differences.
The start of my different Christmas was when my boyfriend and I got a real Christmas tree. I have never had a real one before so that was really exciting, and I’ve concluded I would like to have a real tree each year. Decorating a real tree is so unlike decorating a fake one, it sets a different atmosphere to the room. It’s also true to everything I agree with about perfection – real trees aren’t perfectly shaped and I love that. That’s my kind of thing.
Secondly I listened to Christmas music and watched Christmas movies by myself. I enjoy time by myself, especially watching a film because I react a lot more honestly, so if I want to cry or laugh I will, with no influence by other people watching it, and I’m completely immersed in the story with no distraction. But in the past at Christmas time I would always watch films with other people because it is the thing to do. I learnt this year that I can watch or listen by myself (seeing as I could do that for the whole month. Easily.) and by doing that I can choose which ones to watch, and not settle on the ones I don’t care much for. It’s almost like ‘me time’. Really enjoyed that.
Thirdly, I bought later and thought less on the presents. And the ones I did buy were mainly personalised – photo gifts or handmade, like these star baubles that I made for a few people. This was very successful and I much preferred it. It means a lot more. Apparently my sister nearly cried over her (cheapest) gift – which was a photo book of her son’s first month. Happy tears I mean. Important to clear that up.
Fourth difference is that I was away for Christmas, for the first time ever. I was with the boyfriend’s family who lives hours away, and have a very different accent to me. We had a great time. It also helped me with my ‘research’ on what new traditions are important for me.
And the strangest difference for me, as it used to be one of the most important parts of Christmas, was that this was the first Christmas without eating meat for dinner. I have been a vegetarian for only six months, so it was so weird not polishing off the sausages, but obviously good for myself because I didn’t want to.
As for my notes for next year, it is always the same and I’m still unsure on what to do. It is always ‘less about presents’. Not a note for myself, for others. I feel like Cindy Lou Who, though instead of everyone coming together at the end and realising we don’t need presents and start singing in unison, I just give in and buy presents. I do really enjoy buying presents though, I’m appreciative of any gifts I get and I think it’s great to end the year showing how much you love people. I just really don’t enjoy watching everyone else getting stressed and buying for the sake of it. I like a more down to earth and home made Christmas.
The only thing I can do is stick to my own ideals, which I did do this year – by making some presents and doing personal ones – including our Christmas card (second year of making our own). It’s not about how much money is spent – like I said, my sister cried over her cheapest gift, not over the most expensive one. So next year more personalising and more home made. Note made.
I’m excited to fill in the Christmas book for my little man in the next few days, and getting started on my New Year Resolutions.
Fan-bloody-tastic. Over and out, Emily x