It’s finally that time of year. The dreariness of November has passed, and we now have extra days off work, an excuse to eat ridiculous amounts of food, and an acceptable time to wear gaudy knitwear. Yes, to state the obvious, it is December and time to get Christmassy.
This is an odd season for me this year – I’ve now been living in my own flat away from my parental home for a month, and just this week purchased our own little Christmas tree to adorn our sidetable. All ornaments are new and chosen for our own tastes, not just brought down from the loft; I even splashed out on a miniature poinsettia. So whilst it is incredibly exciting to be preparing for my first Christmas in my own space, with my boyfriend, it’s a sad time too – this is the first year that I’m not able to decorate the family Christmas tree at my parents’, and it’s the first year I don’t have an advent calendar. Now most adults find that as a given – but as I’m still only 21, and have been joining my 28 year old sister in creating family merriment for so long, it’s a sudden and strange change that I’d not anticipated or even think would happen yet. But busy lives means it’s now near impossible to get all the family together back in the family home on the same day. And thus, this year, 2013, I’m unable to help. An end of an era. It’s dramatic, but most definitely how I feel.
It is therefore interesting to see how attitudes towards Christmas change over the years. Obviously it is a highly marketable time of year for children – all the sparkle and buzz over presents, new toys, silly outfits, and colourful decorations. Then the teen years sees it as a bit of a bore, an obligation to spend time with family, and forced festivities in paper crowns. At university it’s a time for shelling out for numerous Christmas dinners, an excuse to pull out the really posh clothes, and slight apprehension at having to return home for the best part of a month after so much freedom. Then comes adulthood – this can go one of two ways. Either, one embraces Christmas as one always has, and enjoys the chance to catch up with friends, cook extravagant meals, and tastefully decorate according to the current trends. Or, one ignores the season, claims the extra days off as a chance to have a breather, and just gets on with life. I’m happy to say I fall into the first category, and whilst I can definitely see I’ve now graduated from the childhood and family-orientated side of Christmas, I’ve now got a chance to make it my own.
So bring on the entertaining, playing host (while the kitchen-handy boyfriend cooks a feast), and getting cosy in my own, small, but homely little grotto. I’m sad to leave behind certain family traditions, but am surprisingly looking forward a crazy Christmas of visiting new families, spending the season with dozens of relatives known and new, and welcoming in a grand new year of the fun side of grownup-hood.