A Christmas Tale

‘Tis the Season
In last week’s North West coast work excursion, the conversation soon turned Christmas. Ahhh..the things you find out about your colleagues on a road trip.

What does Christmas mean to you?

So it seems that Christmas for the travelling-buddy is all about presents under the tree, her kids playing with their toys, and sitting around a table with family and friends enjoying good food and good wine.

This Girl has been a bit ambivalent about Christmas. This convo got her to asking, what does Christmas mean to me?

Christmas seems such a mixed bag.

There’s all the presents you have to buy. Some of that’s fun – like when you know exactly what to get and you’re filled with the spirit of giving. Some of it’s stressful – like when you realise you’ve bought someone five gift vouchers in a row and you can’t get away with doing it again.

Oh yeah, and there’s parting with the all cash of course.

There’s the issue of where, and with whom, you’ll spend the big day, and that’s been known to cause its fair share of grief.
There’s all the family members you can’t get out of your kitchen. They all wanna help and there’s not enough room for them, and you. And anyway, don’t they know that you’re in control?

There’s all that terrible waste of paper and there are those gifts you open and think ‘this person knows me naught’. The upside is you get to hone your acting skills.

So there’s some insight into this Girl’s main grievances with Christmas: waste, pressure and intrusion.
Don’t get me wrong. Christmas is not at all bad.This Girl tends to think it works best for kids and those who have them. Christmas has always been a bigger-do-dah when it has involved the children in the family. We’d drag the potted pine into the lounge room and go in search of the tinsel and bake and bake and bake.

As a kid, I remember being so excited on Christmas Eve that it would take an age to go to sleep and I’d wake throughout the night, hoping morning had come, disappointed to have to return to bed.
Christmas was decorating the tree and leaving room enough, between it and the fireplace, for Santa to get in; a filled stocking; a new dress; and chocolate coins!
There was the crazy early morning exploration of the presents: show and tell; chocolate eating; the mandatory morning church service; the family lunch with roast and pavlova; and watching tellie in the afternoon, full as a tick; then chatting and mucking about while we washed up.
For many of my adult years, Christmas has cycled between respective families. We’d stay with them or them with us, or we’d share the day with a variety of friends.
What I like about Christmas is the feeling that comes with a reason for celebration. There’s a certain contentment that comes with Christmas just because it is a time for simple joy and goodwill.
This Girl loves to cook and Christmas epitomises my love of cooking for people and enjoying food and drink together – not so different from the travelling-buddy.
This year is a new beginning so like everything else, Christmas will be a bit different. The Lovely Deputy has revealed himself to be brimming with the Christmas spirit. It just might be, that some of that spirit is rubbing off.Case in point: I may have committed myself to eating or drinking something different every hour. All the rules of engagement haven’t quite been worked through yet but I’m predicting  that we’ll be full, and hammered, and probably before lunch.

They’ll be time with friends and they’ll be time with just us, and that feels pretty good from where this Girl is standing right now.

It will be interesting to see what shape Christmas takes in the future.

What does Christmas mean to you?

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