I was rudely pulled from my sleep this morning by my 2-year-old. He jumped on my bed wearing a flashing Rudolph nose and bright red antlers. His brother was not far behind, donning a Santa hat.
They are bursting with Christmas cheer. I’m not sure that they will be able to wait a whole month until the big day. They have been jabbering on about what Santa will bring for weeks.
I, however, am not feeling the festive cheer. I have always loved Christmas and eagerly decorated and ready for the day. I have always chastised my partner for being a Scrooge, but this year; Bah Humbug! It’s not even December yet!
Is it just me, or does Christmas seem to start earlier every year? I swear the decorations and carols at my local shopping centre were up far earlier than last year. Soon, they will start in August. The minute my kids see the Christmas decorations, a switch is flicked on in their brains. Suddenly they are catapulted into Christmas mode and can focus on nothing else.
I must admit, they are not only concerned with presents that they might receive (although it is of high importance), they also want to know what food we will have, when we can put up the Christmas tree, when they can start using their advent calendars, what presents we will buy for everyone else and what dress-ups they can wear. It is exhausting.
I usually delight in their joy, but this year there is just so much to do. The work is piling up. In Australia, Christmas is the start of the summer holiday period. Offices close for 2 or 3 weeks and schools are closed for the summer. For me, this means plenty of work but no invoices so I need to get as much paperwork in earlier as possible.
Then there is Christmas shopping to do. Most of my kids’ presents go on lay by during the June toy sales but I never know what to get adults or even which ones I have to buy for. As much as I try to avoid shopping in the weeks leading up to Christmas, inevitably I end up caught in the waves of people, scrounging for last-minute gifts. It is a battle to just find a car park, let alone find stock on the shelves or actually get through a check out.
This year we have the added problem of changing when and where the family gets together. In earlier years, my family has always done our main celebration on Christmas eve. We started this when we were young women and started to have boyfriends. This meant that we could all spend Christmas day with our partners families and still have our own celebration. We would watch the carols on TV and drink champagne, usually resulting in some loud and terrible singing. This year we had to change our plans. With my stepfather being ill, he can’t do night celebrations as he gets too tired. Instead, we are going to do a traditional Christmas lunch. It sounds nice but it has upset my apple cart. What will I do Christmas eve?
At least we haven’t had too many arguments about where to spend Christmas this year. My step-father took priority as it is likely to be his last Christmas. Usually, we end up arguing and fighting about where and when we will celebrate Christmas. It is hard to find times that suit everyone. There are always tears.
I am sure I will find my Christmas spirit soon; at least I hope so. The boys are chomping at the bit and I am just hoping it all goes away. Maybe I will start to get more excited as it gets closer.