December 25th 2018
Today, in case you’d forgotten, is Christmas Day. To be fair, it would be easy to forget because this year, Christmas has seemed to sneak up from out of nowhere. Perhaps it’s because we were so focused on my sister’s wedding at the start of December, that the event at the end of the month seemed less significant.
Whatever the reason, this Christmas came with less anticipation than those before it. Us kids aren’t kids any more. We’re 25, 28 and 30 and a third of us are married. No longer do we go to bed the night before full to the brim with eager excitement about what Santa will bring. In fact, only one of us kids even slept at Mum and Dad’s house last night.
Due to that, we’ve had a more low-key Christmas Day, and done away with some of the traditions. For starters, we didn’t eat Christmas Dinner. Last year, when it was just Mum and Dad here for Christmas Day, they ate Lobster Thermidor and, if I wasn’t here, they’d’ve done the same thing this year. Instead, we had duck and dauphinois potatoes.
Not a turkey or a roast potato in sight. And, shockingly, no pigs and no blankets. It was Christmas Dinner, but it wasn’t Christmas Dinner. You know? Controversially, I think I preferred duck to turkey. Actually, I don’t even think that’s controversial. Most people I speak to about this agree that turkey is an overrated bird, and if it was that great we’d eat it more often than once a year.
So, although it wasn’t a traditional Christmas dinner, the food was still divine. My Mum possesses an almost transcendent mastery of gravy.
The most notable tradition Mum broke this year was the absence of satsumas from the bottom of our stockings. To be honest, I’m not sure if that’s a sentence that will make sense to anyone outside of my family. Is that a thing that other people do? I think it is, but I’ve never asked. It’s just a thing that happens. I haven’t eaten an orange in my entire life(ish), but every year there’s one at the bottom of my stocking. Except for this year.
And I get it. My sister was appalled, but I understand. There was always going to be a time when we graduated from kid kids at Christmas to adult kids at Christmas, and considering the youngest of us is 25, I think we’re well past that time now.
But the thing is, even though the little things are changing, the big picture remains the same. Ignoring all of the festive minutiae, Christmas brings the family together to share in food, love, and laughter. And that’s what we did. And that’s what we’ll continue to do.
The family will grow. There will be new kids. And new traditions will be made. But we’ll all still be together, in one way or another.
Until tomorrow, and that’s what Christmas is about.