Christmas on Becca's Books | 'My Christmas Day' by A.L. Michael

~ 'My Christmas Day' ~

By A.L. Michael

Until last year, I had always woken up in my parent’s house on Christmas Day. That part of growing up is the one I’ve felt most keenly - in many ways you always want to stay a child at Christmas. You want to rip wrapping paper with abandon, eat sweets for breakfast, get yourself so excited that you absolutely can’t contain yourself.

Sadly, however, those things have to mellow when you’re an adult. I no longer wake at 3am to the sound of my little brother knocking on my door, wanting to show me what Santa put in the stocking. The teenage years, to be fair, neither of us even thought about waking up that early. Some times we would see the stocking as we were coming in from a night out, and I would think ‘yep, stayed out later than Kris Kringle, partying hard.’

These days, I Santa delivers my stocking to my mother early, and she passes it on to me before I go home on Christmas Eve. Now my partner has one too. And there is something still really exciting about waking up to a bunch of mini presents hidden in a sock, I have no idea why, but it’s the truth.

I go over to the house in the morning, and we have tea, open presents, encourage the dog to frolic in the wrapping paper (and are all a bit disappointed when she’s still sleepy and would rather curl up on it) and then I make breakfast. Christmas breakfast is a little posh; scrambled eggs, smoked salmon with cream, on bagels. (Heat the smoked salmon in a frying pan, pour over some single cream, sprinkle liberally with black pepper, stir around for a few minutes, enjoy).

I have to admit, there’s a bit of a lull after that. You kind of want to sit setting up the technology you’ve received, or trying on the clothes, or playing with the toys, but the truth is, you probably have to get dressed, or get tidying, or get cooking. There’s always a lot of phonecalls in the morning. Sure, later there’s food and too much wine and sometimes there’s games, but I like that snuggly bit in the evening where you might, maybe, almost fancy a turkey sandwich (brown bread, turkey, stuffing, squished roasted sweet potatoes, salad cream) watching a silly movie that you’ve seen a hundred times before. No-one talks, because they’re sleepy and full and satiated, but you can look around and just feel really grateful for these people that you love.

This year, I want to keep all of those traditions, but I want to start some new ones. I’m in a new place that I get to decorate. I get to have people round and cook for them. More importantly, I want to make people who don’t get to normally have a lovely Christmas feel special and appreciated. That’s why I’m going to be looking out for lots of Charity Events, gift-giving opportunities this Christmas. Because if you strip away the tree and the food and the presents, you’re left with a day with your loved ones, feeling grateful. And that’s enough for me.


A.L Michael is a writer and workshop leader from North London. She has a BA in Creative Writing with English Lit, an MA in Creative Entrepreneurship and is starting an MsC in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. She likes learning and hates essays.

She's a fan of cheap wine, expensive chocolate and still wants to be a secret agent when she grows up, but she'll settle for lying on the page.

You can find A.L. Michael on Facebook | Twitter | almichael.com
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