This is inspired by the dearth of recent blog entries on WordPress with the theme of “what Xmas means to me”..
For me, Xmas means: Bedlam in shops, traffic jams, harried people, broke people, crying kids, godawful music, tinsel, dead trees, turkeys and pigs. THEN there is the fact you can’t go shopping on the day, tough shit if you need milk. We’re shut. Deal with it. Selfish, huh! 😉
Of course, Xmas also means: Summer holidays, swimming at the beach, BBQs, strawberries, cherries, champagne, parties and pavlova. Of course these are my adult Xmas “feelings” about this time of year.
When I think back to my childhood, Christmas meant excitement, gifts, people smiling, laughter, good food and being allowed to stay up a bit later than normal. Plus a whole host of other things that were usually positive .. but not always ..
In my childhood we didn’t open any gifts until 5pm on Xmas day. Not so positive, tis fair to say. We did get to eat strawberries, fruit cake and drink (watered down) sherry for breakfast. Not all bad. We got to stay up late so we could actually see the lights on everyone’s trees .. because it’s daylight savings here in Dec, so it isn’t dark til after 9pm!
My family did the “clan gathering” thing every single year and, as far as it goes for a kid, nothing could be more fun! However for the wimmen-folk I’m gonna guess it meant cooking for 12 days solid in 30+ degree temperatures, because everyone always said “yes” to the question: “Shall we stick to traditional Xmas fare?”
I wonder how much my Grandmother, Mother and aunts wished just once we’d all say “let’s just chuck a snag and some shreemp on the Barbee” – but we were never asked.. traditional was de rigour!
It’s Christmastime after all!
And so it was that at lunchtime we would sit down to a large table groaning with a giant glazed ham, there was always roast lamb or beef and of course all the trimmings. Jugs brimmed with dark meaty gravy, apple sauce, mint sauce, mustards and naturally there would be tureens filled with every vegetable known to man – many of them roasted, to ensure the kitchen temp never dropped below a balmy 45 degs C (some 113F, I think) ..
And since Dec is the height of Summer, there was never any breeze, except for when we kids would whizz by on a mission to grab some tasty treat when we hoped Motherly eyes were distracted.
Those red faced, wooden spoon weilding women were generally on to us tho .. It took a lot of careful planning to nab a biscuit tin without being caught. But Oh the spoils when we succeeded, because Grandma’s pantry was positively brimming with tins that contained a cornucopia of sweet treats: Sugar crystal topped shortbread, fruit tarts, sultana and / or date loaves, pikelets, gingerbread, Belgium biscuits, Afghans – you name it, she had them.
But I digress..
Lunchtime was our main meal and we knew that – along with the aforementioned gorgeous food, we’d also have to save a little room for pavlovas with whipped cream, strawberries and cream, trifle, and the piece de resistance: Gran’s flaming christmas pudding with runny, brandy laced custard (How I loved finding the little coins inside!) and of course: fruit tarts and fruit cake with cheeses and then chocolates to finish.
As kids, this all just magically appeared not unlike an Hogwart’s feast. How those house-elves had to slave to ensure a successful dinner was had by all..
Nowadays, nothing on this planet can convince me to attend a family Xmas. Everyone is still there incl lots more kids and just as much food and presents as ever, but .. and maybe my tolerance levels are lower than they were .. now I just think the whole thing is silly. And I really dislike seeing the worn out faces of the women, as the day progresses.
I wish we could all just ignore the fact it’s xmas and sit around with some crackers, some cheese and some wine .. AND relax.
And you know what?
My Grandma says she wishes the same! Usually around the same time each year she calls me to say “you’re not coming again this year, are you dear?” I swear, I hear envy in her tone but nothing more! lol
Ah yes, Christmas. A time of peace and joy. Or of stress and of exhaustion.. ?
Ultimately the choice is yours once you are no longer a child who has to attend along with the rest of your family and I choose to do mine either alone or with friends, in a relaxed and pleasant way.
So, what does Xmas mean to you .. And how do you and yours celebrate this more than crazy tradition?
Posted on December 26, 2011, in Happy-ness, Humour, Life, Stress and tagged Blogs, Childhood, Christmas, Cynical, Dating, Family, Holidays, Hope. Optimism. Relationships, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Memories, Peace, personal, Random, Rants, Relationships. Friendship, Xmas. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.