When I think about the perfect Xmas I think about waking up in the morning and seeing snow outside my window. (I guess I should mention that I am talking about a Norwegian Xmas, where we celebrate on Xmas Eve, not Xmas day.) As a child I enjoyed getting up really early in the morning and going into the living room to see the decorated Xmas tree with its light, and for the first time seeing all the presents underneath it.
Then, I’d spend the rest of the day looking at the presents, just looking. I never touched them or picked them up. I remember, especially, the afternoons when my mother was busy blow drying her hair, whilst I would watch the traditional Disney cartoons on telly. This was my perfect opportunity to look at all the presents. To this day, my parents do not believe me when I say I didn’t touch them, but honestly I didn’t!
There are, of course, lots more aspects to my perfect Xmas, but I guess what I find a bit surprising is that my perfect Xmas is the one that I had as a child. I just don’t seem to be that open to new ideas when it comes to this one day of the year. So, when it comes to my wee lad’s first Xmas, I, of course, want it to be perfect!
My husband’s idea of a perfect Xmas is nothing like mine, as he grew up in England where there isn’t any snow for Xmas (or if there is it is a disaster, as nobody is prepared for it and the cars do not have winter tyres). He prefers going to the pub on Xmas eve, and opening his presents on Xmas day, in his pyjamas!
The fact that my wee lad is not yet one, and will not remember his first Xmas has nothing to do with the fact that I would like for it to be perfect. (Oh dear, I sound really spoiled and selfish now!)
Anyway, as we live in Norway and my parents get to spend a lot of time with their grandson, it was really only fair that we spend time in England when we have time off work, so this year Xmas in England it is.
Where to spend Xmas isn’t the only decision to be made, but also how should it be celebrated? Although my first Xmas in England was a little bit strange, I soon got used to going to the pub on Xmas eve, but not sure that will work with a one year old…
We have this year decided that the grownups should not give presents to each other, so we will only buy presents for the children. This does mean that the amount of stress in December will be drastically reduced, as we spend so much time calling around trying to figure out what to get one another. So, back to basics – children will get presents, grownups will not (unless the item is small enough to fit into the stocking — this is what I try to tell my husband anyway!).
Then we are faced with the issue of presents for children. How many presents should they get? Our little lad is almost one, and I personally don’t think that he needs that many toys. He already has lots and lots, but he is always the happiest when he gets something else to play with, for instance, a cardboard box or a magazine. But, I will, of course, want him to have nice things to play (and develop) with. (Any views on this would be much appreciated!)
Another question we will have to face at some point, although not this year, is whether or not the little lad should believe in Santa. I risk annoying all the American readers here who celebrate Xmas (oops, and there I probably did by assuming that all American readers would be annoyed, but bear with me), but I just don’t see the point in going to the mall and making your kids sit on a strange man’s lap (a man in disguise)… As you’ll probably understand this is not part of my Norwegian tradition. (But, I would be very interesting in hearing other views on this one!)
After a lot of debating with myself, I am starting to come to the conclusion that any Xmas is perfect as long as you share it with loved ones, whether that be in a camper van in Australia (yes, I’ve done that), or a big family celebration with the in-laws (I’ve done that too). And, I am sure that my little family will start to make its own traditions, and hopefully, my son will look back at Xmas in the same way that I do – that the Xmas he had as a child was the best.
Are you celebrating this year? Where are you spending your Holidays?
Photo credit to http://www.flickr.com/photos/yozza/4360367926/. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.