I was very close to purchasing an advent calendar this year but figured I didn't need any more chocolate in my life right now. I'm sure there are calendars out there without delicious treats behind the perforated squares but the gratification just wouldn't be the same.
Ofcourse I can't say that I love Christmas as much as I did as a child. I was one of those kids that tossed and turned all night then stared at the clock from about 3am until 6am. This was the designated 'getting up' time as imposed by my evil parents who were clearly sadists. We were talking about this at work the other day when one woman said that she often has to wake her kids up on Christmas morning. What is with the youth of today?! It was apparently no suprise to anyone that I was one of the overly zealous greedy little creatures that struggled to sleep on Christmas Eve...hmm.
I don't watch the clock anymore but to be fair I probably wouldn't sleep so well if it wasn't for the traditional boozy beach bonfire I now participate in every year (great tradition by the way, I recommend it!). No, my passion for Christmas has lulled since then, particularly during my angsty teen years where spending time with family is either humiliating or incredibly tiresome. I mean why spend the day at home when I could be out with my mates stealing some booze and maybe a pash from some guy down at the park right?!
I have grown up a wee bit since then. Obviously booze still plays its part but unfortunately no pashing this year with the boyfriend at his home on the other island. That's an odd thing about twenty something Christmases in a long term relationship. Typically you don't have enough responsibility (or funds, patience, sobriety skills...) to host your own event so the tricky decision as to whose house you should go to has to be made. So we decided to not decide (we're good at that) and instead stick with our own respective herds. Maybe next year we'll choose. Although the possibility that I may have to give up my Mum's Christmas Eve ham is going to be a bone of contention.
That brings me to the next major influencing factor and potentially the difference between a great or epic fail of a twenty something Christmas. Family. You're past the years when family members merely resemble brightly coloured packages and the biggest gets most of your attention. You're also well over the 'family equals lame' phase. Now you get the dubious delight of being able to observe first hand, the strain that this magical time puts on family ties.
Naturallly such tension has probably always existed but it's just that now you're not too distracted by greed or self loathing to notice. A friend of mine has a family who are particularly difficult and so he's come up with what I think is a novel solution. Remove stress from the equation and take the family to the beach for the day. No massive feast to prepare, just a picnic. No formal dining setup, just a blanket. And if anyone starts something- go for a swim. Genius.
See as Grinchy as you may want to get on the topic, there is always a solution to family feuds at Christmas. At my house it's Champagne and lots of it. Now you see why I love it!
Oh and did I mention I still get Santa presents? Don't judge me.
Merry Christmas Twenty Somethings...and all other somethings!