I recently wrote about the 15 things I hate about Christmas, so it’s time to redress the balance. Christmas is a magical time of year and I love it. My “hate” post was about all those things that have become irritating about this time of year. But, contrary to wht you might think I do actually love Christmas time.
Far and away more important than gifts at Christmas is time with my family. I am lucky enough to work very close to home and so I see my family all the time. But, having this special time with them is fantastic. Christmas is also a time when you see more distant family members and get together. Getting together at Christmas is great, even more so when your sister and family visit from Australia!
2) The Christmas Tree
It has to be big and it has to be real. I love having a Christmas tree in the house and decorating the tree is an important time too where we all do it together. The annual giggle at Helen getting shirty about tinsel is a particular highlight!
3) The Christingle service
We’ve attended this service since our first Christmas in this little town. Usually, the school choir perform and as the girls have always been in the choir we’ve attended. It’s a really enjoyable service, even for us non-religious folk. Sadly, pantomime commitments and calendar clashes will prevent us from going this year.
4) The Crib Service
Again, an odd one for a family that in reality is not very religious. However, the Christmas Eve cribs service is something that we come to enjoy over the last few years since living here in North Yorkshire. Lots of families, like us, come out a
5) Santa’s Grotto
We have been attending the Santa’s Grotto at the church in the village I grew up in since our children were born. All my nieces and nephews have gone there, and even I did as a youngster. This is a true family tradition for us. The church does a fantastic job with the grotto and all the girls love it. The teenagers might be a little old for it now but they keep the magic alive for the younger two.
6) Thoughtful gifts
Anyone can go out and spend money of expensive gifts. For me though, the really great gifts are those that have more thought go into them. Even better if they’re hand-made too!
7) Time off work
This is a simple one. I’m lucky to work in a job where the business closes for the whole Christmas period. Yes, it comes off our annual leave, but frankly being told to take this time off is brilliant!
8) The Boxing Day Hunt
Before you have a go at me, you have to realise that we live in a rural market town steeped in history. Fox hunting is, of course, banned and the local hunt only works with scented dummies. We’ve only lived here a for a few years so the spectacle of the Boxing hunt was something completely foreign to us. We do love dogs and horses though so it was a spectacle that we enjoyed seeing.
9) Boxing Day Brunch
Usually, after watching the hunt set off out of the town, we head to the George & Dragon Hotel for a brunch. I guess you could call it a tradition as it’s something we started on our first Christmas in the town when mum came to visit. As a self-confessed tight git, paying for this can hurt, but by Boxing Day I’m ready to let someone else cook!
10) New Years Eve
Okay, so technically not Christmas but certainly part of the festive season. Growing up, New Years Eve was a night I was allowed to stay up past midnight. It was also a night I joined my family at the local Workin Men’s Club where there would be a disco too. I remember my mum making me go to a bed for a nap in the afternoon so I wouldn’t get too tired. Nowadays we stay in but it’s night celebrate the end of another year with our own family and we’ve even been known to throw a party ourselves.
11) New Years Day
The first day of the new year. I love this day and it represents something new, a challenge to make the best of the year ahead. It also a day when we go for our traditional New Years Day walk somewhere. We can’t even forget one of these walks around a Ardsley reservoir when a young L tried walking on ice in a ditch alonside the path. CRACK! She was in freezing water! We laugh about it now but it could have been quite serious!
12) Watching the girls open their gifts
There’s always a little bit of surprise for me when the girls open their gifts on Christmas morning because there’s always a quite a few gifts that I didn’t know they were getting. Credit my my wife, because she takes care of this part brilliantly and without her I’d be lost. Watching their excited (no so little anymore) faces is just wonderful.
13) Mince pies, stollen, and the rest
Food and Christmas go together like, well er food and Christmas! This year I started eating mince pies in November and I’ve already demolished a few of those trays of stollen bites from Lidl. I don’t go mad with eating but I do indulge at this time of year.
14) Cooking the turkey
I love cooking at any time of year but I do love to cook that Christmas dinner. Only once have we strayed from turkey and that was the year we were given a goose, this year we’re back to turkey.
15) Christmas TV
Despite having Netflix and Amazon Prime I do enjoy Christmas TV. I love the outdoors and being in the fresh air, but with so much downtime at Christmas, being able to curl up and watch an array of visual entertainment is also something I enjoy. Sadly, gone are the days of the Only Fools and horses Christmas specials but there’s still plenty to enjoy (and, there’s always UK Gold for the OFAH fix).
I could probably write a list of 50 things I love about Christmas, but I have last minute shopping to go do so you’ll have to make do with these 15. What’s your favorite thing about Christmas?