Social Media is full of pictures of the mischievous things elves have been up to in households across the country but not in our house. It’s not something we have adopted as a Christmas tradition and I’m not about to begin now. Remembering things on a day-to-day basis just for life to run relatively smoothly is enough and in the run up to Christmas life can get pretty hectic, I’m just not organised enough.
I’ve seen some really impressive tricks caused by the Elves, but I always wonder, who has to clear up the mess? In our house, that would be errrm, me! We aren’t completely Baa Humbug though, we do have an Elf who sits quite happily on the unit (with his lady love), just watching. The children love them, and are quite happy with Norman and Doris.
There is an enormous pressure to get Christmas just right. The right tree, the right decorations, put up at the right time, in the right position, the right advent calendar (supermarket chocolate ones apparently are so last year), visiting the best grotto, with the best Father Christmas (garden centres just don’t make the cut), the best fresh free range turkey, the best presents (bought and wrapped by the end of November) the list just goes on. I think most of the pressure comes from ourselves, keeping up with the Jones’ and all that jazz. I don’t know why we do it to ourselves.
Christmas for me is shortbread, tins of chocolates, Christmas TV, board games and blankets! It doesn’t matter whether we have a personalised plate to put goodies out for Father Christmas on Christmas Eve with a space for the carrot and mince pie. Christmas won’t be ruined if we don’t have Christmas bedding or matching pj’s. Our Christmas tree doesn’t have a ‘theme’ and the children decorate it with things they’ve made, it’s pure cheese! For many people these are traditions that they follow every year and are important to them and I am not belittling their importance. However, to some they are just an unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves to make Christmas perfect.
The simple truth is Christmas is not perfect. There will be arguments, tantrums, massive highs from overdosing on sugar and the inevitable lows, tummy aches, headaches, laughing, crying and things that you don’t imagine possible. On paper putting up the Christmas tree should be idyllic, but in reality it will probably be quite stressful. This year we were treated to putting the tree up, decorating it, realising it’s too small, taking it down, putting another one up and redecorating it – twice the fun! It’s the things that don’t go to plan that make the best memories and the stories to tell.
Whatever your traditions, they are important (but only to you!) remember that the day will come and go regardless of what you do and don’t do/buy/make.