This year I’ll be spending the day with my parents, which will be quiet but pleasant.
But is being on your own for Christmas as bad as the media would have us believe? I really don’t know – but until I got the invite, I thought I probably would be on my own, and I was OK with that.
After years of hosting eight to ten people for Christmas dinner (including, at various times, vegans, vegetarians, gluten-intolerants, teetotallers and someone who turned their nose up at any sort of vegetable whatsoever…), with assorted people staying over either before or after (who sleeps with whom, can we fit the Z-bed in, who gets the short straw and sleeps on the sofa, do we actually own enough pillows), drones flying round the living room, and – once – a pet rabbit in the utility room, the thought of being on my own for Christmas doesn’t actually fill me with dread.
Don’t get me wrong – I love having the family round, it’s hectic and fun and crazy. But don’t let’s pretend it’s not bloody hard work as well. The lists, the laundry, the queue at the supermarket. All that extra food ‘just in case’. What the hell to do with all those leftovers. Trying to please everyone, knowing you won’t. And making sure the spoon you used to stir the giblet gravy doesn’t get used for the home-made vegan-friendly gluten-free stuffing by some well-meaning relative who’s only trying to help…
And what about the decorations? Do you put decorations up if you’re going to be on your own? Or do you tend not to bother?
I put my tree up about a week ago – I’ve never been one for putting them up too soon. I own one of those ‘instant’ trees, that come ready baubled and lighted and just need to be taken out of the box and unfurled – and I was just going to put that up. But when it came to it, I decided to do what I always do (and Christmas is all about tradition) and put the big tree up with all the decorations. The big tree is in the living room window, the instant tree is in the window on the landing.
It was kind of my parents not to want me to be on my own at Christmas. But truly, I wouldn’t have minded. What I certainly don’t want is for anyone to feel sorry for me – you should know me well enough by now!!
So – I won’t be on my own for Christmas. But next year, if I am, it’ll be OK.
I’ll miss the craziness, but I’ll enjoy the peace and quiet.
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