I grew up in a big old house with a mother who knew how things should be. They should be the way she did them.
Mum took a relative back-seat most of the time but at Christmas she became very much in charge.
One tradition slightly awry and my Mum would announce that Christmas was ruined. It was always ruined, but in a slightly different way each year. Pick from:
- We always had a large tree with dodgy lights
- Two dogs who tried to eat any gift-wrapped food.
- Grandma crushing the Wolverhamptom Wanderers Subbuteo team underfooot
- Missing the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show
- Lunch not starting until 2 because it wouldn't all fit in the oven
- 12 days sweeping up pine needles.
The cul-de-sac opposite our house (pictured) is going a bit stir-crazy with the outdoor lights and is fast becoming a visitor attraction. We like to think our tree in the window is a tasteful counter to all this garishness.
We try not to peak too soon so this weekend is as early as we ever put up a tree.
Where is the Advent thought? I guess it is this. Don't get so swept up in the having to do Christmas things just so that you forget to look forward to it and then enjoy it. And remind yourself afresh that memories are more easily recalled of those things that didn't go quite according to plan.