I hear people always beating about the true meaning of Christmas. Especially at Christmas time. When older people hear that young people received an iPhone at Christmas, they seem to be blaming the fall of our entire society. They seem to think that Christmas has changed and I can’t decide whether to agree with them. My feelings for Christmas have changed over the years, but is it more relevant to me than what is happening elsewhere in society? My early Christmas memories of being an 80s child are band-aids, whams, peaches and creams (barbie dolls), operations and spectrums, and do not include the romantic scenes of caroling and church. Excitement appears in my stomach immediately after Halloween, which grows as each next event passes.
One of the events I grew up in Newcastle was a trip to see “Fenwick windows”. Each year, this relatively smart department store on Northumberland Avenue in the heart of Newcastle unveiled a new animated animatronic display with a Christmas theme and appeared at my favorite seasonal event.
My school Christmas play was the next sign that the best day of the year was approaching. Preparations began in late October and have been involved in various ways over the years. Soon after the school play audition, I started singing Christmas hymns at school gatherings. With these two events alone, I continued walking all the way to the school Christmas party, the highlight of my year. The event required completely new outfits and shoes (also worn at Christmas). I also needed time to practice group dance during the school week.
Seems like years have passed, but finally went to Christmas Eve! You might think that the hard work is over, but Christmas Eve felt even longer than the two month stretch I just completed! Bored and slow. It was spent picking up my mother and the last piece, and then picking up my father from the pub. After overcoming the pain of the day, we went home and bathed from the upper floor. That way, my mother is allowed to open one gift that I chose for me, and it will always be a special “Christmas Eve” pajamas. Then I spent some time gathering cookies, brandies and carrots for my father’s Christmas and Rudolph before going to bed, listening to all the activities going downstairs, and smelling the festive scent of going up the stairs.
Waking up all night, I always looked at the clock and waited for it to happen. It was painful to wait, so I lay there and waited until I could no longer wait. Then I rush into my parents bedroom and begging me to get up now! They persuade me to go back to bed a few times, but in the end, the only way to stay in bed was to invite me to a place to lay them down, crying every 5 minutes.
When I arrived at 5:00 am, I persuaded them, got up, went downstairs and found what my father’s Christmas left behind. Mama and dad alone spent a lot of Christmas, but grandparents, aunts, and cousins sometimes participated together. These were my favorite Christmas. Being an only child meant that the house was always empty, and I loved it when there were people in every room.
This was what made me happy as a young adult. Overcoming the great excitement of Christmas kids and moving to London has changed the excitement I felt about the season. I was more excited about the party scene until Christmas. There was a plan to drink every night, and everyone seemed to laugh. I also look forward to coming home by train, going home, going to a pub and meeting old school friends. Christmas Eve became the highlight of the festive season. My best friend’s birthday is Christmas Eve and we will spend a very drunk day with a big group of friends. At this point in my life, Christmas was a dragged day. I was a hangover and tired of spending the day with my family, but my favorite part was to sit down and eat a big meal before going to sleep.
I have my daughter now, and you can imagine that things have changed again, as you can imagine. I look forward to the Christmas season for a combination of all the reasons I knew because I have her. She regained the excitement of Christmas. I try to make it as magical as possible. Like me in my youth, she likes having a lot of families around her at Christmas time and enjoys the little things that make this time very special for Christmas I understand.