It is a dislike that goes back to my childhood (aren't they all?) and the fact that we never actually celebrated Christmas in my house until I was about eleven. Because of my family's religion, most festivities were banned in our house. That meant that there was no big fat jolly man in red, and no EB in April (I'm speaking in code here just because I don't want to dash the beliefs of any children who may be reading over your shoulder.) Now we still got presents on 25th of December, but they were called end of year presents. But the rest of the accoutrements that go with the silly season were nowhere to be found. One year we got a nativity scene in lieu of a tree, but that was probably in the last year that dad was living with us, so mum was learning how to break his rules by then. The first Christmas after dad moved out was the most exciting time of my young life to that point I think. That year mum got us a real pine tree and stuck it in a bucket of sand in our living room. We got the Christmas carols, we got candy canes, we went crazy with the tinsel and baubles until our tree looked like something from Santa's nightmares. It was awesome.
But pretty soon Christmas became a time of stress. Dad knew that we were celebrating it now that he was gone, and he wasn't happy. We quickly learned to avoid the subject when he was around, but it is impossible to hide a 6 foot plastic pine tree in your lounge room when visitors arrive. He ignored it for the most part, but always found at least one reason to have an argument with one of us in December. I soon came to hate the weeks leading up to the big day, just waiting for something to happen to take the shine off what was meant to be a day of celebration. Of course over time dad just came to accept that we now celebrated the commercial version of Christmas and started avoiding our house in December. We trained my niece and nephew not to bring up the subject when he was around, and one year we even invited him to come to lunch with us. But the damage was done.
But now that I have Miss K, I have a new reason to get excited about Christmas. Because she will never know what it is like to live in a house where we pretend that it doesn't exist. She gets the Christmas tree, she gets photos with Santa, she gets the carols and the tinsel and everything else that this day represents. But I am also going to teach her what Christmas means to me. It means getting together with all of my family (and that's a lot of people) and celebrating the fact that we have lots of people surrounding us who love us, and we have our health and we're all OK. Because even when we didn't have Christmas, we had each other. And that is a hell of a lot more important in my opinion.
Miss K last Christmas
So with that in mind, LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN!!!!