I’m sure I’m like many parents when I say that I have mixed emotions regarding the build-up to Christmas. There’s no doubting it’s a great time of year: Christmas lists, nativity plays and putting up the tree are great opportunities to spend time with the kids as their excitement levels steadily increase.
The downside, for us, is trying to organise presents for four kids. We have to identify suitable gifts, then find time to order them (thank goodness for the internet) or buy them and when all of that’s done, we need to store them all somewhere. That’s before we even consider extended family.
Thankfully we (ok, my wife) are on top of things this year and at the time of writing we only have one or two purchases to make.
On a personal level, this is probably my eagerly anticipated festive period of recent years. Due to job, and the unsociable hours which go with it, this will be first Christmas Day off in three years. I have the added bonus of also being on days off on Christmas Eve and Hogmanay, though New Year does little for me.
I’m sure for many, working on Christmas Day is second nature, but I still find it a bit weird, despite having done so several times. While the first-half of the day is great – the opening of presents etc – as early evening approaches I start to think ahead and I’m careful not to eat too much or become too relaxed.
So this year will be a pleasant change. Having 24th December off too means I will wake up fresh on the big day, though if previous years are anything to go by, the kids will be up as early as 6am. There will be no appeasing them either, if they know Santa has been and gone.
On Christmas Eve, the six of us will be attending the afternoon show of a pantomime. Christmas Day itself will mean a meal at home and seeing other family at different points during the day.
While the whole day will be a wonderful experience, I’m also looking forward to night-time. When the kids finally go to sleep, I’ll be lazing on the couch watching TV and eating junk, rather than going to work.