Today’s story is from Helen of #howIlearn fame. I met her online and contributed to the #howIlearn series on her Education blog. The series of posts was later made into a book. (Information below). Here Helen shares her love of the Christmas season and all that goes with it
Over to her…
Helen’s Christmas by Helen Bullock
Waking up Christmas Eve as a child was one of those days where it always seemed liked anything could and very often did happen. The traditions we had growing up are as much a part of my 2013 Christmas plans as they were when I was seven. Now I’m twenty seven I appreciate them even more.
December 24th will see me jump into my trusty Lucy and drive the long long road to Cork with Christmas FM blaring out and me singing along tunelessly, I haven’t a note in my head but I won’t let that stop me! Along the way I’ll ring my Dad to find out the plan of action (as if I don’t know), my Dad and sister will be in town, shopping and probably avoiding my mother in case she gives them a load of jobs to do. I’ll join them in town in my cleaning avoidance!
Christmas Eve night is a special night in our family. we always go to my Gran’s for tea and ham sandwiches. All my cousins, aunts, uncles and extended family turn up to Gran’s house and squish in. My granda will hold court in the living room right next to the tree, it’s the only time of the year that he’ll allow us to choose what’s on tv, always a Christmas film and it doesn’t take long before the Dads find themselves engrossed in it too. Out in the kitchen my mom and my aunts will all be sat around the kitchen table with my Gran and my cousins chatting away. My Godson will be hounding me to check Twitter and the Santa app to find out where Santa is and how soon he’ll be in Cork.
As kids Santa always got a few sweets from the Roses tin, a mince pie, some milk and a beer. Rudolf was left a few carrots and a note reminding him to share with the others. Now we’re in our twenties we have a Christmas drink with mom and dad and head to bed. Even at my age I find it quite hard to sleep Christmas Eve and my sister will wake us all up at 8am…..bloody 8am, worse then a school day.
If I’m lucky I’ll manage to roll over Christmas Morning doze til half eight but I’ll really be pushing my luck after that! While I love the presents my favourite part of Christmas is the family time and the traditions we’ve built up over the years. Opening our stockings on December 25th was pure excitement, Santa put all sorts into the stockings when we were kids, from gloves to underwear, to chocolate coins and the odd toy. Now that we’re a little older Santa still leaves us socks, sweets, chocolate coins and last year he gave me rubber gloves with large Daises on them and some tee towels. Santa has gotten very domesticated in his old age. I may be in my late twenties but that doesn’t stop me curling up and sitting on the side of my parents bed to open my stocking with mom, dad and my sister. Some traditions are just too perfect to change.
Santa has fantastic wrapping skills, he always uses brown paper, like the stuff you wrap school books in. He scrawls our names across the packages and leaves them under the tree. When we do finally make it into the living room that brown paper is still the first thing we see. We take it in turns to open pressies, everyone gets a go. Sooner or later mom will go to the kitchen again to check the turkey and make more tea.
At some stage in the morning we have to get dressed, every year we go to my aunts for Christmas drinks and nibbles. There’s something so fun about getting all glamed up for the day and wearing your newest and best dress, putting on heels that are sure to kill you and going visiting. Spending time with the extended family is great, the younger cousins are full of the joys and wonder of Santa’s visit and can’t wait to spill the beans as to what Santa brought them. The aunts and uncles discuss how long the turkey will take to cook.
Christmas night is one of those lovely lazy evenings where we all sit around and watch TV together. The usual discussions will ensue, mom wants to watch Downton Abbey but none of the rest of us watch it so do we record it? Will we watch the Royal Family? What about the Dr Who special? If we can face them the box of roses will be passed around and the parents will be spotted nodded off on the sofa. There’s a high chance I could drift off too. During the evening I’ll ring himself and his family to say Happy Christmas and find out how their day has been. I know it seems weird that we spend Christmas apart but I don’t think either of us could imagine Christmas without our family traditions.
Christmas is family time and while I don’t live in the same house I love going home for the few days. Almost as much as I love heading back to my own flat to himself!
Happy Christmas everyone, have a great day and enjoy your traditions!
Thanks Annmarie for the chance to share my Christmas with the world
You can find out more about Helen Bullock and her writing
on her blog Anseo a Mhúinteoir
or you could follow her on Twitter @howilearn & @AnseoAMuinteoir