So, it’s Wednesday and you know what this means… GUEST BLOGGER TIME!! In this week’s blogmas I get to feature one of my favourite people! My absolutely glorious friend Sarah. Sarah is a publicist for Puffin books and she sends me wonderful books! She is absolutely my book fairy! You can find her @xpectopatronerd on twitter and instagram! Please go and give her a follow! She’s an absolutely wonderful human being and the more of you who know this the better!!
Simply Having A Grown-Up Christmas Time!
When I was younger, I used to worry about Christmas. Not the Christmases I had, for they were always the most magical time I could ever have hoped for or dreamed of. But therein lay the problem. I was SURE that the things that made Christmas ‘Christmas’ – the presents (from SANTA!), the surprises, the two week holiday from school, the chocolate advent calendars, the expedition to buy the tree – wouldn’t exist when I was I was an adult and had to have a ‘grown up’ Christmas. When I was old enough to realise it was my wonderful family who provided the sacks of gifts, and pretty much everything else in the run up to the big day, I wasn’t upset for myself – I was upset for them, upset that THEY had to be Santa every year, that they had to drive to the garden centre and huff and puff and argue over carrying a 7ft monstrosity down a steep hill, that they had a few days off from their real work only to have to do a different kind of work at home – thus taking away any magic from their own experience.
Or so I thought.
In fact, I’m happy – read: I’m stupidly overjoyed – to report that I was worried for NOTHING. Christmas, I can say with my woolly gloved hand on my little gingerbread heart, is EVEN BETTER as an adult. Christmas remains my absolute favourite time of year, and rather than disappearing, the magic simply bursts in EVEN BIGGER and EVEN BRIGHTER – just in a couple of different ways. For example:
- BUYING GIFTS. As a child, the most thought I was required to put into gifts was spelling my name correctly on the tag of a beautifully wrapped present, bought by my mum for me to pass on to a beloved friend or family member. I thought Christmas shopping seemed like SUCH a chore. Well, it is. It’s a BRILLIANT chore. I treat it like a Niffler treats hunting for gold – with dedication, enthusiasm, no sense of decorum and no awareness of price whatsoever. I adore spending my hard earned OWN money on special things I know my special people will love and cherish. I look forward to my annual festive brainstorm, for which I get a new notebook and my favourite pen and some mulled wine and I think hard, about the best and most mad and most unexpected gifts I can buy for my most favourite people. Every time I place an order or make a purchase, the little elf inside me makes a big TEEHEE sound when I imagine the recipients face upon unwrapping it. I’d go as far as to say I get as much, if not more, pleasure from giving gifts than I do receiving them – and that surely is proof beyond all others that I really am An Adult now.
- THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT. And by spirit, I am obviously referring to that which is between 20 and 50% ABV, and comes in all manner of pretty glass bottles. As a kid, I thought rum and wine and sloe gin smelled disgusting. A festive tipple was definitely Not A Thing for 5, 10, and 15 year old (OK, just 5 and 10 year old) me, and now it is maybe one of my favourite aspects of the holiday season. It is totally socially acceptable to have a glass of fizz at any time of day in the run up to Christmas (or at least, it is in the publishing industry), and I have not yet met a mulled wine I don’t like (I have a special level of affection for mulled wine WITH ADDED SPIRITS.)
- PARTY DRESSES. OK, party dresses are also a kids thing. But what kid really SAVOURS the buying and wearing of a Christmas party dress? It’s a tradition in my family to have a brand new posh frock on the big day itself, and choosing one is something I dedicate multiple Pinterest boards and a hefty chuck of my December pay cheque to. Ted Baker, Coast, French Connection, Hobbs… these labels and all their sequins are hanging in my wardrobe, like a glorious visual timeline of Christmases gone by. I still stroke them, from time to time.
- BOXING DAY. When I was small, Boxing Day was always a bit rubbish. After the mad excitement of Christmas Eve, followed by the pure and unstoppable force of Christmas Day, Boxing Day was when everything came to a sudden screeching halt, and I never really knew what to do with myself. These days, I go to the pub. Problem solved.
- ADVENT CALENDARS. I cannot for the life of me explain why I thought adults couldn’t have chocolate advent calendars, because that’s the biggest load of nonsense since Potter Puppet Pals: The Musical. OF COURSE adults can have chocolate advent calendars! And what’s better, we can have TWO! Or three or four or even five! EACH! Or, we can have gin, rum, pork scratchings, make up, candles…
- THE TREE. Me and my boyfriend don’t drive, and nor do we live in the country anymore – or even near any garden centres. So it’s true that we can’t really replicate the huge spiky pine forests of our youth. But we CAN drag a tiny, bedraggled little bush that we felt sorry for all the way from Ealing to Brixton on the tube, before putting it in a pot far too big for it and decorating it with googly-eyed neon sprouts made of felt. We can love that little tree more than anything else we own, because it’s ridiculous and it’s ours. We can put tinsel on every available surface and make our electricity bill rocket with the sheer amount of fairy lights we manage to drape inside every single room, even the toilet. We can leave everything up until mid-February, because we can’t bear to say goodbye.
- THE ANNUAL LEAVE. Yes, schools gave us two weeks off. But here’s the thing – if you work in a non-emergency industry, and accrue enough holiday, and don’t have to be on call or work shifts, WORK GIVES YOU TWO WEEKS OFF TOO! Maybe even more! And you really, really look forward to it, and you really, really appreciate it, because you work really, really hard for the rest of the year. And the best thing? YOU STILL GET PAID. I’m having twenty days off over Christmas this year (twenty days!!!) which is almost a WHOLE MONTH. A whole month of Christmas. It’s all I can do to stop myself bursting with sheer glee.
So there we are. Seven (probably smug, definitely satisfactory) reasons why you SHOULDN’T let the kids have all the fun. Or rather, you shouldn’t worry that they think they are. They’ll grow up one day. And when they do, they’ll realise Peter Pan was a huge idiot.