After Mum died a lot of people said to me ‘Christmas will be hard.’ There is a kind of expectation that things won’t be the same after someone has died, whereas in fact I felt like the spirit of Christmas encapsulated everything that Mum was about.
Christmas for me is about family, giving, doing nothing and on a more practical note eating and drinking to excess. Who can’t love this time of year! Mum really went all out at Christmas, when we were growing up Mum went out of her way to foster the magical Christmas feeling. Christmas was a day of Santa, surprises and stockings at the end of your bed. Luckily for us Santa never got sick of buying stocking fillers and so I managed to get a stocking well into my 20s, still filled with fluffy pens and funny glasses!
Mum had a great habit, which all of us have inherited to varying degrees, of rubbing her hands together with excitement. Christmas involved a lot of hand rubbing in our house. Every aspect of the day was celebrated from breakfast to the aperitif, to dinner and finally the chocolates at the end of the night.
Christmas is about tradition, but for us this is about an ever changing tradition. It’s now based in my sister’s house where we all delight in her three children’s reaction to Santa’s gifts, while we have another Christmas again a few days after when joined by our eldest brother and his family. Rather than missing Mum’s presence, I feel like Mum’s spirit is in every single aspect of the day.
Roll on December 25th!