In any event, I decided to embrace the whole notion of Christmas anyway - you know, "goodwill to all men", Christmas mince pies, sweltering in the southern hemisphere in artificial snow bedecked houses etc etc. But somehow I have found that as middle age creeps up on me, it all becomes a bit much... all that shopping, the crowds, tacky Father Christmases (the little red and white guy who, by the way, originated thanks to Coca Cola... another shattering discovery!), cooking this huge meal in the intense heat.... bring on the new year!
On a personal level, Christmas Day is quite a painful one for our family as it was my brother's birthday and since he was killed in 1996, it has become a day to be gotten through, as opposed to a day to be celebrated.
But I have to say that this year Christmas was truly lovely. It started off rather badly on Christmas Eve when I woke up in the morning so dizzy I couldn't think straight! A quick trip to the hospital revealed a sinus related ear problem, but assorted medications soon had me on my feet again, if rather drugged up!
We had my whole family around for a cold Christmas Eve dinner. The girls and I decorated the table beautifully, and went to a lot of trouble with the meal, but did not slave away over a hot stove all afternoon - bonus! Later on in the evening we played the "Christmas present swopping game" which was a lot of fun, the kids lit sparklers, we had Christmas CDs playing in the background. It was all really Christmassy and stress-free.
On Christmas Day we woke up early and the girls unwrapped their gifts - much excitement as for once they had not guessed what they were getting beforehand! We then all went to church together and later on we went out to a hotel for a fantastic lunch. Pure bliss.
Grant's parents arrived on Boxing Day and spent two nights with us. They are always a pleasure to have - not least because my mom-in-law arrives bearing boxes of delicious baked goodies!!
So I think I have laid the Grinch within me to rest this year..... 361 days to Christmas and counting!!!