Christmas on Becca's Books | 'My Christmas' by Laura, Lozza's Book Corner

~ My Christmas ~

By Laura, Lozza's Book Corner

Growing up, Christmas was.... Manic!

After my parents divorced, My mum, brother and I moved in with my Aunt, Uncle and two cousins so with 7 of us in the house you can probably get where I was going by calling it manic.
I don’t really remember much of the build up to Christmas, I think we were all busy doing our own things, what I do recall though is that I was always in charge of the tree – no one else did it quite right, or at least in my eyes they didn’t so naturally it got left to me as years went by. Even now I still go and do my mums tree as if it isn’t to my standard when I visit then it annoys me haha!
Christmas morning, my cousins would always get up ridiculously early, and I mean ridiculously… like 3am, at a more reasonable hour, 5am-6am I guess, they would then be allowed to wake my brother and I up. We would grab our stockings left at our doors and go into our respective parent’s rooms. I never understood this when I was little as we wanted to know what each other got – children have a tendency to compare gifts don’t they? However, as I got older, I understood that my mum wanted to spend just a little time with me and the bro on her own, and likewise my Aunt and Uncle with my cousins – as the years passed, I know I for one appreciated this.
Once stockings were done we would all traipse downstairs to the lounge, our gifts from Santa and our parents were never under the tree, instead there were four giant sacks awaiting us in the room. Once the adults were armed with tea and coffee, operation gift unwrapping commenced. I’m sure for most households, this is the point where you can’t see much for wrapping paper flying everywhere, for us however, it was more organised! We would take it in turns to unwrap a present, one year going oldest to youngest and the alternative year in vice-versa, and whilst myself and youngest cousin loved this as we could go first every other year, my brother and other cousin hated it as they never got the chance!!
Opening one gift at a time as you can appreciate took forever, well it felt like forever at times, and took us right up to around 9am time and this is where we would stop for breakfast and get washed and dressed for the day. We also cleared our opened gifts to our bedrooms to make way for the next lot…
And I mean next lot! It varied from year to year but a few of us would then dive under the tree and sort the presents out into piles near where we were all sitting. These piles were then split into two – a bundle from the household, for example to my brother from myself, or from my cousin to my mum, and the second bundle from non-household… grandparents and other relatives mainly.
The one by one cycle would then proceed again with the household gifts being opened which would normally take us a good few hours to get through before we paused for our turkey lunch with all the trimmings. We never have desert immediately after on Christmas day as my mum and uncle would completely overdo it with the veg – one year I remember us having to have the turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets, potatoes and parsnips first and then the veg second and if I recall correctly there was…. Carrots, peas, swede, sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash, sweet potato, runner beans, leeks and sweetcorn! This I remember made the most amazing bubble and squeak on Boxing Day!
After we had stuffed our faces, we sat down again to finish unwrapping the remainder of the gifts and to ring relevant Grandparents, the only other time we paused for a break was at 10:30 which is the time that my beloved Daddy would ring us.
Around 5pm time we would freshen up, my mum’s best friend would invite mum, bro and I over for tea and party games, whilst my Aunt/Uncle and cousins would go off to someone on their side of the family. Most years we would try and time it so that we were all back around 9pm time, if we were then we would finally get our gifts from my uncle. He would go out every year and purchase four films…. I’m old enough to remember when they were on VHS but over time would move to DVD. He would never label the movies but have them wrapped in identical paper and it was a bit like a lucky dip to see who got what. We would then decide to put one on, but having had such a full on day I can’t ever recall seeing one to the end or going to bed, so we must have been carried up after falling asleep!
People often ask what it was like being made to wait turned to open out presents, and if we minded, but honestly – we knew no different and it was the norm for us. The reason it was done was so that we could appreciate what we were opening. Whilst the others had their turn, we could really look at what we had as opposed to opening, saying “yeah thanks” and moving on to the next. It also meant that we would remember each present more as we religiously had to write thank you letters and cards before returning to school in the new year!
Even now when my brother and nieces visit, we take turns opening gifts although Christmas day itself is so very much different.
Both my mum and I are carers and so our job is 24/7, 365 days…. It’s not like we sit in an office where the paper work can wait until we return in January, I have an client suffering with Alzheimer’s and she still needs to get up, showered and dressed – that can’t wait until January!
Christmas Day Morning is now usually spent with us going to work, albeit that we do only do what needs doing rather than the extras, then my other half and I will go to mums to exchange gifts and have a basic roast dinner. It’s a fairly laid back occasion now, I’m normally home by tea time and in my onesie with a film, book and chocolates.
Since my Dad passed away we obviously no longer have the 10:30 telephone call, instead my brother and I call each other and raise a drink to him - never too early on Christmas anyway but my Dad liked a drink so it’s a fitting tribute.
My brother and his family usually come to stay at mums the day after boxing day and then the weekend between Christmas and New Year is now when we have our traditional Christmas – that said, this year my sister is law is expecting my new nephew on January 3rd so I really don’t know what we will be doing as I’m sure she won’t fancy a 4-hour car trip!
It’s funny how over time, your traditions of a Christmas day start to change – some things remain, the dinner, the gifts (whether you turn take or not) but other things disappear like the full day of unwrapping – still it’s nice to reminisce about these things from time to time!

Thank you Becca for allowing to blab on about my traditional Christmas day, I’d love to know if other people take turns with gifts and what they think about that, or if they prefer to just dive in?
Whatever you decide, I hope you all have a thoroughly enjoyable festive period.
Laura XxX

You can find Laura on Twitter | lozzasbookcorner.blogspot.co.uk

2 comments :

  1. Thanks so much for having me on Becca! Have a very merry Christmas xx

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    1. Thank YOU for taking part, Laura. I loved reading about your Christmas!
      Becca xxx

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