Woken up by my dad going downstairs to finish off the vegetables, I’d lay in bed until I was awake enough to be sufficiently stirred by the notion of Noel – not a long time! At around eight o’clock, as per tradition, I’d go knocking on my parents’ door, and after that my brother’s, with a far from melodic “Merry Chriiiistmaaas!!” accompaniment. He steals his room back every year of course, so I emerge from a duckie-decorated and cinderella-dress-trimmed old room!
I’d head down to wish Dad a merry Christmas too whilst the other two gathered themselves together (us two being the morning people in the family!), and pop my head into the living room to peep at the pillow cover of prezzies. Yet another tradition of course! I’d bring their gifts from me downstairs too, to contribute to the simultaneous joy and ripping of wrapping paper which just cries Christmas!
It’s a series of books, bits and bobs and cuddles later when mum would go back to bed (really not a morning person!), and my brother goes back to my- sorry, his room too. I’d grab my chance for a shower, and pull on my urban outfitters number. It’s then right back downstairs for a little breakfast and the pleasure of popping in DVDs whilst the rest of the family adjusts to the daylight – my Friends box set being the cosy Christmas choice! The brother might make an appearance to multitask, and about an hour before we leave I’ll get my hair and makeup done. I’m not one for a pillar box Christmas lip, but that’s just because I know I’ll be eating too much too often for it to be worth the attempt!
And then comes the time to depart, either for my Mum’s or Dad’s side of the family depending on the year. We alternate annually, Christmas and Boxing day each being with one of the sides – a balanced system I’ve always been rather fond of, even if the meals aren’t! This particular year, it was an hour down the road to Dad’s clan; having indeed received a shelf full of books this year, I made sure to continue with the reading of my Bryson non-fiction. The rest of the family were talking about bits and bobs, which I caught in between rejoicing over the fact that I’d finally reached the part when he visits our stretch of Britain!
Famous for their portion sizes, my Dad’s side don’t disappoint when we made it to my Aunt and Uncle’s house… it was a good four hours of over-consumption we spent at the table this year. Four hours well spent! I joined my brother and cousin to watch them play Call of Duty afterwards – a surprisingly engaging (if aggressive) form of entertainment. This isn’t a tradition, just something to pass the time until present giving! Home Alone delayed that by another couple of hours this time too (a just delay), but it did come, and my Aunt and Uncle’s dog sat in as the tail waggingly excited child of the unwrapping seeing as my younger cousins weren’t attending this year. Doggy christmas puddings and a squeaky rudolf were plenty to be excited about, of course!
Seeing as it’s another hour to get back home, we always head back early evening. And then it’s dozy banter all the way home, crackers and cheese for tea and Friends makes a reappearance until we accept the end of Yule and heave our Santa stomachs up to bed