It’s been a good Christmas – and it’s not often I say that!
Over the years I’ve grown accustomed to Christmas being a bit of a disappointment. To be honest, I blame the Americans.
Well, OK, not all of them. Just the ones in Hollywood.
Expectations are so high.
We want it all in our traditional English Christmas – the carol-singers with lanterns and knitted scarves, the sparkling fairy lights on the tree, the glowing log fire, the gentle snowfall on Christmas Eve, the angelic rosy-cheeked children opening gifts with cries of delight.
And most of all, the big family gathering with the roast turkey dinner.
After all, we deserve it, don’t we? It’s been a long, hard year.
And for many years, once our kids grew up and left home, my partner and I haven’t had a proper Christmas dinner . Still, at least we had each other, and if we were lucky, one of our six sons would come round at some point on Christmas Day, but the others were all too far away and had their own lives and families. And they couldn’t leave the dog. And anyway we were old and gloomy and boring and they didn’t really want to spend Christmas in our chilly, cluttered house instead of their own warm, cosy homes with all their own stuff around them and Ultimate Power over the TV remote control.
Does that sound bitter? Actually, I’m not.
Most of all, I wanted our children to have happy lives. And they do.
And if their idea of a happy life doesn’t include us (even with the bribe of a big pile of presents), then perhaps we are the ones who need to change.
But this year my super sisters saved the day – we were invited to two family gatherings, one on Christmas Eve and one for the big family lunch on Christmas Day. So a good time was had by all.
And next year we’ll be spending a wonderful family Christmas Day with one of my sons and his family.
I haven’t told him yet.