As I write this post, it’s Christmas Eve, it’s almost 7am (cheers Peggy for the early wake up call!) and I’m still in Aberdeen, 600 miles away from my family in Colchester. It’s a choice I made, but a few days ago when I said something about Christmas being a few weeks away and Tom reminded me it actually this coming Monday, I felt a little out of sorts. I love Christmas, but I probably love the build up more than anything. But this year I couldn’t get properly excited for the actual day. I realised it was because I hadn’t made plans to go home.
This is the first year ever I won’t be spending Christmas with my family. I talked about my traditions previously and mentioned I wouldn’t be going home then, but it’s really hit home the last few days I’ll be spending Christmas a little differently this year. Tom and I have been together for going on two years now; we’ve lived together due to circumstance for most of that time and we now have a cat. We’re fairly committed. But we’ve never spent Christmas together. We got together two Decembers ago, when I’d already made my Christmas plans, and last year I just wasn’t ready to spend Christmas away from my family, and Tom didn’t want to leave his mum so we spent it apart. But we don’t want to do that anymore, and last year I decided I’d be the one to bite the bullet and spend our first Christmas together with him and his family.
It’s going to be a great Christmas, I’m sure of it. But actually registering that Christmas is happening is a little more difficult because my Christmas routine is off. Even when I used to work Christmas day, I would still have lunch and presents with my family. This will be the first year I’m not woken up by my nephews at 7am so they can open their presents from Father Christmas in front of the whole family. Although Peggy wakes me up at 6.30am right now for a cuddle, so I guess it’s pretty much the same thing!
But my favourite thing about Christmas is the family time, and it’s not like I won’t be with family. This is a part of adulthood, and when Tom and I have kids of our own (maybe) we’ll have a different set of traditions. Perhaps a quieter Christmas, when the early morning hits me at around 3pm and I can’t deal as well with the children running around, shouting, and asking if we can open another present, which feels that much noisier because I’m so tired, will be a welcome break. I’m so worried that the quieter room will be boring for me, but I’m also ready to have a more grown up Christmas. I’ll still be with family; me, Tom, Tom’s mum and Peggy. And aside from trying to settle Peggy into a new place with a new person to cope with, I’m not looking at being busy until Christmas is over and I have to get back to dissertation work. And you know what, that’s going to be great!
I suppose the point of this post is simply to remind myself that change is good. I’m growing up and making new Christmas traditions that are all my own. It’s definitely a part of growing up. I miss home, yes. But I’m also happy for a quiet Christmas. And I’ll be back home, boyfriend and mother-in-law in tow, next year. Now if I can just get some Christmas songs on and get going, I’ll be happy and festive in no time!
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