You may have noticed that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Even those with the most Hum bug and Scrooge like tendencies can’t have failed to see the twinkly lights, the jollity in the air and there’s even been snow in some parts of the country (sadly not in my neck of the woods just yet, but all appendages are crossed for some soon!) And with this comes the roll out of I’m sad to say cringe worthy, sickly sweet, predictably asinine drivel that come under the genre of the Christmas Film Season. I’ve just watched two in a row, and I find myself craving something slightly darker & possibly confrontational with a little violence thrown in like Fawlty Towers Christmas Special or The Nightmare before Christmas… It’s a miracle I can even think for myself now! Don’t ask me why I didn’t change channels, I can’t answer that other than despite the inevitable dross, they are addictive viewing! I am so ashamed… But it is the tradition of the Season I suppose – there that’s my excuse!!! (Lame and insipid but sadly true.)
So it makes me wonder about the Traditions we set ourselves, despite the vague possibility that we don’t actually enjoy them, particularly need them, can’t remember the initial reasons for them beginning, due to this being lost in the annuls of time. Of course there are those Christmas Traditions that are purposeful and very necessary and Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without them. For us and many people who live in the wonderful town of Macclesfield, it’s driving up to the Forest and buying your tree. It’s a joyous time! I admit we are fairly new to this tradition but I’ll never change it now, it’s part of our Christmas! Many a time we’re been up there and we see friends doing exactly the same thing. It’s wonderful – there’s a dialogue, a script to why we go there too, a sense of responsibility, of local love as the trees all come from the surrounding forest, as nature intended which can mean some raggedy affairs if you leave your tree buying a little too late! It gives me a warm glow knowing our tree comes from our local forest and has been cut down to help maintain the ancient woodland, fuel costs are also at a minimum! There’s even the tradition of how we dispose of it afterward, it’s collected along with a donation (and always some biscuits or cakes), to be mulched (the tree – not the cakes!) to be used again and the money raised goes to our local East Cheshire Hospice. It’s a win win tradition if ever the was one. Simple, purposeful and beneficial I think.
Another fabulous tradition is that my lovely Mum & Dad always buy a chocolate advent calendar for each of us – adults & children alike! It’s so exciting and it’s really does form part of the festivities! Each one tailored to our personalities – sometimes it’s the little things!
This year we’ve decided controversially, to look at changing a few traditions. Massively!! Some people will possibly relate to our proposal, others will be shock – nay horrified!! We’re thinking of doing away with Christmas Dinner… (GASP!!!) I know!! Ok, I must admit not entirely, just moving it from Christmas Day is all. Now hear me out, there’s good sound reasons for it, even though I know it goes against convention. Christmas Day is a busy affair, present unwrapping, playing with all the fab new toys, looking and reading all the new books, watching the decent(ish) Christmas tele. It’s something of a feat just to change out of your pyjamas! So on top of that, to cook lets face a HUGE meal that takes ages to sort out & by the time it’s ready, you’re so stuffed from eating chocolate, Quality Street, peanuts, pancakes, Chocolate Orange, bacon butties, mince pies and all the other assortments of Christmas fare that is freely available, that to eat a HUGE amount of traditional Christmas Dinner is sometimes a little over-facing… So what about having that on Boxing Day, for some the damp squib day of Christmas when you’re not quite sure what to do with yourself, due to the high-octane excitement of the day before. Less pressure, more time to spend relaxing, less family politics (a well trod situation, when in-laws are concerned…) I’m quite looking forward to it if I’m honest! In actual fact it could be created on any day between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve Eve for me. It’s going to be quite interesting viewing the reaction of folk when we’re asked if we had a nice dinner and we reply ‘Don’t know – not had it yet!’.
I say all this knowing full well that it’s all under the auspicious label of ‘Subject to Change’. And if I’m honest in-built flexibility suits me fine at the end of the day. I can think of nothing worse than having my entire Christmas mapped out minute by minute, I think I’d rather eat frog spawn! And anyway, it’s Traditional! (To be flexible, not to eat frog spawn – that would just be weird don’t you think..?…)
So to conclude, it is my humble opinion that whilst for the most of us there’s rhyme & reason for our collection of Christmas Traditions, there’s also a fundamental rhyme & reason to discard the outdated, the redundant & sometimes collective thinking type of Traditions. Give them a thorough shake down and embrace the new with inbuilt flexibility to cope with the fast pace world we live in. And eat chocolate & cake for breakfast of course! #Christmas Is Coming