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Sunday, December 09, 2007

A wonderful time of year

I was just putting the finishing touches to a scrapbook layout on Christmas Past, listening to my favourite Christmas songs, and I was musing on Christmas and the time of year.

Sometimes I get a bit like Scrooge and his "humbugs" when I think how commercialised it has got; how children expect (and get) lavish presents; how the PC-ness of today means nativity plays are about anything other than the birth of Christ, and the lack of religious teaching in schools mean most people have no idea where Jesus was born (according to a recent survey).

But, despite all that, it's still a very exciting time of year. The turning on of the Christmas lights; the delightful secrecy in buying presents for loved ones and then wrapping them; buying tree decorations; buying a party frock for the office party, and Christmas carol services. People become warmer to each other and it is a season for goodwill.

Scrapbooking has actually magnified that for me because it lends itself to such wonderful layouts: trimming the tree, the Christmas table, opening the presents, snow fights (assuming we have any), the office party.

My mum always got irrationally excited about Christmas, as did my gran before her. They put a lot of effort into making our Christmases special. Grandma would sit on Christmas Eve plucking and singeing a chicken, would you believe. Mum would make her Christmas and log cakes, and sometimes Christmas pudding, and on Christmas Day we always had a capon (not a turkey: too dry, she said). There were times when we got fractious or argumentative during MovieMaker, but generally it was a very happy time and steeped in traditions. Some of them continue to this day, even though we never all spend Christmas together.

We always watch "A Christmas Carol" (the Alastair Sim version). We always have sausage rolls and baked beans on Christmas Eve, although I don't need whisky and milk now to help me sleep (I did when I was seven!). We still call the leftovers "orks," and we insist on Cadbury's chocolate biscuits for breakfast on Christmas Day.

If you want to check out my scrapbooked Christmas past, it's here.

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