Christmas for my family has always meant chaos and laughter, great food and a lot of washing up. It didn’t matter if the Christmas lights stopped working after just being hung, which often was the case, or if the presents hadn’t arrived on time, it just meant Christmas was extended a little longer. Whatever happened somehow Christmas was always perfect. The last minute chaos to get everything finished in time, always paid off in the end and whatever didn’t quite get done somehow didn’t matter so much once Christmas actually arrived.
Over the years our family has shrunk and the big Christmas parties we once had have become more intimate gatherings now. In contrast, the number of Christmas decorations seems to multiply each year. Perhaps we are trying to distract from all the empty seats, not that it will ever work.
Those that are no longer with us, who time or distance have taken away, are always missed more at this time of year. They each played a role in our family traditions and although we still try to up hold those traditions it’s never quite the same. Supermarket mince pies will never meet the high standard set by my Grandmother’s baking, though admittedly they will always be better than mine. Loud, bustling parties have been replaced by quite dinners and Christmas movies, yet somehow it still works. In its own way Christmas is still as perfect as it always was, just a different, quieter kind of perfect.