Make it a Touchy Feely Christmas

28/11/2022 | 0 comments

​November has literally evaporated before my eyes. How can it be December tomorrow? The march of time is relentless and as Christmas approaches once again, amidst the furore of a cost of living crisis and against the backdrop of a planet imploding, are we idiots to actually expect a happy Christmas?
​My children are making their lists but even they are aware that their wishes might not be granted this year. Perhaps their stockings won’t be bulging quite so much come December 25th but we will still be surrounded by family and happy to sit down together to celebrate the holidays. We will still be off work, eating good food and playing ridiculous games by the fire.
​And, let’s face it, as the years pass, it’s the EXPERIENCE of Christmas that really matters. If you stop for a minute and think about your BEST christmasses in the past, it’s the memories rather than the gifts that stop you in your tracks and make you smile.
​My best Christmas memory is not of a massive doll or a shiny bike but a very specific Christmas morning. I must have been about nine and my sister about eleven and on the cusp of questioning the appearance of this old man with a white beard and a passion for mince pies. We had been awake early, felt the delicious weight of a loaded stocking on our feet, run into our parents bedroom and had opened everything pretty quickly. I can’t remember what we got…but I can remember that Dad had got up to make a cuppa and had exclaimed loudly as he looked out of the window.
​Wondering what he’d seen, my sister and I both joined him at the glass to see what he was pointing at. On the low angled roof, just below our chimney, were two gift-wrapped boxes jauntily sitting on the roof tiles, exactly as if they had fallen out of a passing sleigh or dropped from a jolly man’s sack as he squeezed down the chimney.
​We were aghast, wide-eyed in wonder…ridiculously excited at this second course of presents which enabled us to reinforce the Father Christmas tale and gave us the assurance we needed to believe for at least another year. I have no recollection of what the boxes contained but only the joy I felt as we watched dad climb a long, shiny ladder up to the roof to retrieve the goodies.
​Even writing this now, I’m smiling. Smiling at the memory of that morning but also at the love of my dad who had obviously come up with the whole wonderful plan, got up even earlier than we had to put those presents up on that roof. THAT is what Christmas is…
​The experience of shopping for Christmas should be the same – not a hellish trip to a shopping centre with a list as long as your arm or a late night on the computer buying discounted goods from faceless companies. The “Christmas shop” should be a delight…a slow, evocative meander among shelves of tempting produce, succulent home-reared meat and local gifts which make you stop and smile as you stroke their packaging and imagine the face of a loved-one light up on opening it. 
​Here’s hoping the joy of shopping local and spending money with a friendly face on the other side of the counter tempts lots of people out this December… I will certainly be shopping this way, and if there’s a complementary glass of mulled wine on the way in, well, the children’s stockings might actually be fatter than ever by the time I’ve finished.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *