Throughout our entire married life (38 years), Christmas has always been a bit of a non-event in our house, for a few reasons. For a start, husband is Mr Grinch when it comes to Christmas, he hates everything about it, when we were first together he told me he didn't want Christmas presents from me as he thought it was a waste of money. He's not changed at all since - he doesn't want me to buy him a present, nor does he get one for me. Over the years, I've insisted on buying something for the house, for both of us - a microwave one year, new set of good quality saucepans, his choice of a new TV. This year there's not really anything we want or need. About the only thing husband does like about Christmas is a big roast dinner - he's not fussed about which meat to have - followed by cold cuts and a sort of Ploughmans with the leftovers the following few days. He also likes to have a few food treats, things we wouldn't normally have on a regular basis throughout the year - snacky things like crisps, nuts, mince pies. Oh, and he likes to have a bottle of whisky - neither of us is a big drinker, in fact I almost never drink alcohol anymore. I've found as I've got older, I just don't really like the taste of alcohol anymore, and it only takes a couple of drinks to make me feel tiddly now. Since I'm diabetic and alcohol contains a lot of calories and I have a mild liver disease, I'm not really supposed to drink anyway. Can't say as I miss it.
My Nanna, who I was really attached to, died on Boxing Day a long time ago - I'm the eldest grandchild and Nanna and I had a very special relationship, she used to cuddle me and whisper in my ear that I was her favourite.....although she might well have said the same thing to my siblings and cousins! And then my lovely Mum died on Christmas Eve the year before last, so it's a sad time for me.
Growing up at home, we didn't do anything for Christmas - my Mum was a devout Jehovah's Witness (our father left us when I was a child). Before anybody says anything.....there are several religions and many people who don't celebrate Christmas for whatever reason, we had a good childhood and Mum looked after us very well indeed on an extremely limited income, so we never felt deprived. I'm not and never have been a follower of Mum's (or any) religion, but have never attached any importance to Christmas as a festive season.
The things I like about Christmas are Christmas lights and decorations, I love to see them on the front of houses and in gardens. I adore Christmas carols and all the old Christmas pop songs, I play my CDs of them throughout December. And there's always plenty of good things to watch on TV - new special episodes, good films, old classic films and repeats of comedy classic sitcoms. I do like to watch Love Actually, it's my absolute favourite Christmas film. And I always like to watch the Queen's Speech. I like the happy atmosphere at Christmas, we've often been away on holiday and gone for a walk on the beach on Christmas day if the weather's good - there have usually been plenty of people doing the same thing and they're all happy and smiling (probably full of sherry!) and everyone wishes each other a Happy Christmas. We've often been invited to my best friend's house for Christmas day, it's lovely to be included in their family celebrations. We were due to go the year before last - understandably, as Mum had just died I didn't really feel like going.....my friend persuaded us to though and promised to look after us. They did, I felt wrapped up in a warm embrace.
It's only over the last 3 or 4 years that I've started to put up a few (very few!) decorations, much to husband's disgust, but he tolerates it. I've never had a tree before though, this year I just felt like I really wanted one. It's only a small one, 4ft - it's on a small side table in the lounge, had to be up off the floor or Betty would take far too much interest in it, and I don't want her knocking it over. With hindsight, I reckon a 5ft one would be better, I'll get that next year. The new tree is up in place (it's an artificial one obviously, I mentioned it a few blogs back) but I've resisted the urge to decorate it so far! I'll start on the 1 December. I really like traditional, tasteful, old fashioned tree decorations, wooden or tin plate metal ones, and have bought quite a few (probably too many for such a small tree!).....I'm hoping to find a few more at the big Christmas craft fair this afternoon.
Off to my osteopathy in a few minutes, it's a lovely sunny day again.