Ghosts of Christmas Past.

With Christmas practically upon us I have to say that for me (and thousands of others) it’s not the same now that the kids have grown up, and yet it doesn’t seem two minutes since we were writing out the Christmas lists for Father Christmas. Two minutes, also a lifetime ago, but I remember it well.

Although it’s a busy stressful time of year it’s also enjoyable trying to juggle work with attending nativity plays, carol singing concerts, school Christmas fayres and spending a great deal of time trying to track down the most popular toy of the year. As parents we all want to make sure that our children have the best possible Christmas that we can give them, so of course we want to get them the main present on the wanted list which will always be the one thing that you can’t get for love or money.( My Little Pony Princess Bride springs to mind) and this quest will consume all your spare time trying to track it down. Trust me, after opening all the thousands of presents they get the disappointment of not getting their little heart’s desire will not even register, but unfortunately you will have cultivated a few grey hairs and worry lines in the process.

Back in the day you couldn’t just walk into a supermarket and pick up a fancy dress costume for the nativity, you either had to make your own or hope that something could be fashioned out of the school’s dressing-up box. Waiting to hear which child had which part would either mean having to find some green felt as they’d been given the part of a blade of grass, or a white sheet for a star with some silver tinsel wrapped around the head, and everyone knows the old trick of a tea towel with a crown on top for one of the three wise men. It didn’t matter if any of the kids forgot their lines,(which usually happens when they see mum and dad) it was seeing all of them singing and getting into the whole nativity thing, but you can bet that there will always be that group of mothers who are sat there, seething because their little cherub hasn’t got a main part.

Christmas eve when you have young children is a lovely lovely day. The Snowman is always shown on Christmas eve and then you have the rituals of leaving a mince pie and a drink for Father Christmas with a couple of carrots for the reindeer although looking back there must have been a hell of a fight between them if every house only left one or two carrots between eight of them. What it shouldn’t involve is having to go outside to retrieve a bike that’s hidden in the garden shed, slipping on the back step that has iced over when the temperature dropped, and lying there convinced you’ve broken your leg while realising that no one can see or hear you, and no, there’s going to be no magic sleigh transporting you to A&E.

We all know what happens on Christmas day, watching the presents being ripped open, looking at the sheer joy on little kid’s faces, so what if you’re all on beans on toast all of January? Christmas is for children but as you get older you realise it’s not what’s under the tree, it’s who’s around it that matters so with that in mind, Merry Christmas.

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