There is nothing quite like Christmas when you’re a child, it’s the source of many sleepless nights from excitement, endless lists of fantastical toys and family traditions being created. I have very fond memories of the excitement leading up to Christmas as a child. One that comes to mind was a Christmas eve I slept at my dad’s, which was something I hadn’t done before. On the eve of Christmas I spent the day around my friends house who lived in my dad’s road, we were so excited that we played games about waking up on Christmas day. I don’t know why this memory has stuck with me, perhaps because as an only child when I was younger I was usually alone in my childhood excitement for the next day.
The torturous part of Christmas was always the night of no sleeping on Christmas eve. My family had a tradition of always going to a lovely Chinese restaurant on Christmas eve so that always symbolised the coming of bedtime and me trying to relax my mind. But once my eyes were shut, all I could think about was opening my presents the next day and the constant stream of celebrations we would be having. I don’t really know when that feeling dulled but suddenly it got easier to sleep and the excitement wore off. In fact for some of my teenage years I became a bit of a scrooge and didn’t care for Christmas at all. It wasn’t until going to university that I got back into the flow of it. Then I was preparing in advance with presents, wrapping them in front of Christmas films and celebrating with my housemates. I started to do my mum a Christmas stocking around this time too and I still enjoy picking her out gifts for that.
As a child I was pretty spoilt at Christmas, for which I was very lucky! I would wake up in the mornings and go downstairs to a stack of presents. A particular year that I remember fondly was one where my mum and I were staying at my grandmas at I came downstairs to a bursting pillow case of presents. Poking out the top was a beanie baby dog called Cupid and I pretended not to see him and to play it cool until everyone else woke up. This was my biggest Christmas haul ever and I was very lucky, I couldn’t believe it when I was opening my presents and that joy is something I have always remembered. As I’ve got older the joy of receiving presents is still there, but the joy of giving them has become something important too. I love buying for others and giving my gifts, especially to my mum!
Writing this has me desperate for my childhood excitement to return, perhaps my celebrations this year will encourage it!