The Box Of Lindor Never Got Boring.
Christmas in the Banana Head household is very different now, compared to the heady days when the girls believed in everything. I wrote a post three years ago about Christmas' old and new but things have moved on since then. I'm not happy about it, not at all.
I'd love to be able to recount all the amazing Christmas times I had as a teenager but I can't. The simple reason for this is that aged nine years old my mum and Auntie told me, my brother and cousin that we didn't celebrate Christmas as we were Jewish. This was after nine years of Santa, present filled stockings and the rest. Instead it would be the way less exciting Chanukah from now on. That was it, no counselling to help with the trauma and loss. Christmas was gone forever.
I decided a long time ago that when I grew up things would be very different. The first house I lived in away from home had a massive Christmas tree in the lounge window. When my grandparents Harry and Esther came to see the house for the first time they looked very confused walking towards the front door.
Christmas Trees And Bacon, Never To Be Mixed Together.
"This can't be your house, there's a Christmas tree in the window." "Exactly" I replied, "Isn't it great? Once in the kitchen I opened the fridge and proudly declared, "Look, no bacon in there." "So I should think," Grandpa Harry replied indignantly. "Do you why there's no bacon there? It's because we ate it this morning." If it makes you feel any better I'm shaking my head in shame here. I just had a need to rebel and act out a little back then.
Ever since we got married, we always have a nice tree up with all the trimmings. Seeing the girls' excited little faces on Christmas morning when they came downstairs and saw their presents was about as magical as it could get. Actually, seeing their faces when they met a giant Dora and Diago at Butlins back in the day was pretty close. Now they are 15 and 12 the magic has mostly gone.
More Magical Than Presents Or The Stuff Of Nightmares?
This is how Christmas prep goes now: "Daddy, roughly how much will you be spending on us for Christmas as I'm writing my list." I never give an answer but still try and keep the magic alive by answering excitedly with, "I don't know, let's see what Father Christmas brings you." With raised eyebrows the reply that comes back is generally along the lines of, "Daddy, I'm not 7 any more." No, they're not but sometimes I wish they were.
Lists in hand we spend hours finding everything with the helpful links to Amazon etc that they provided us. We do sometimes need to intervene like the year they both asked for nothing but chocolate. In some ways it's actually easier now.
Previously they would open their presents and later on ask us how comes one of their friends got a brand new iPad, bike, PS3 and a Unicorn. That was never easy to explain. At least now we can turn round and say either, "Ah yes, but their parents are loaded," or "I know, how spoilt are they?"
But Why Can't I have A Unicorn?
Without fail, these are items that are asked for every year:
1. A calendar that they never open, let alone use. This year it's Friends.
2. A book that they will never read. This year we have Doubt and Wonder.
3. A big box of chocolate Lindor that will be open and eaten before lunch.
4. A DVD that they've talked about for months. They'll watch it once and it will then disappear for about three years. Only then will it turn up from a random place such as under the fridge or behind the oven. This year's entrant is Mama Mia! Here we go again.
5. Some inferior make of headphones or other technology found on Amazon that will break within 24 hours. This year we have some Achi Wireless headphones in Rose Gold.
Another Calendar Never To Be Used. Tragic.
Probably the biggest change now is what the girls and their friends spend on each other. Jade in particular has spent weeks collating an Alladin's cave of beauty products, chocolate and sweets. She's been getting the same back from her friends too, oh joy. They have both said they're buying me and Rachel something so that's quite exciting. Without being ungrateful I'm hoping it won't be a big box of Lindors or a giant tube of Smarties that I'll eat in five mins and then feel sick for two days.
Going back to the tree for a second, here's a word of advice for those of you that still have young children. Never, and I mean NEVER agree to let your child put the fairy lights around the tree. If you do, you'll be spending most of January trying to untangle it all and get them off in one piece. Trust me, it's happened.....multiple times. I never learn my lesson.
Decorating the tree is very different now too. When the girls were younger they were blissfully happy just to stick everything all over the tree. Now they're like, "Daddy, are you crazy, these baubles are so cheap looking / don't go with the wallpaper / are grim." The result of this is a sparsely decorated tree with lights all over the place.
Quick, Fast Forward, FAST FORWARD!
On the upside of having a 15 year old daughter, we finally let her watch Love Actually this year. Well, most of it anyway. We forwarded the porn bits with Martin Freeman to avoid any unnecessary awkwardness. She loved it. Goodfellas is still a way off but that's going to be a special day when it comes.
So that's it, in five days time we'll be on the couch stuffed with turkey and apple crumble. We'll be waiting for Doctor Who to come on before realising it's on New Years Day this (next) year. What's that all about anyway? If you celebrate Christmas, have a great one. If you're not working over it, relax and have an Amaretto on me. If you've got young children watch their faces as they open their presents and never forget their looks of wonderment and awe. That was probably you once, unless like me, your parent(s) were the Grinch in disguise.
If you're reading this mummy, don't worry, I recovered emotionally and don't bear any grudges at all for desacreating my childhood memories.