Tag: Christmas tree

Why I like Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day

This is the weird thought I’ve had today, it being Christmas Eve.

Everyone is out and about on Christmas Eve

Although all the shops are always very busy on Christmas Eve, everyone is cheerful and full of Christmas spirit. If you go shopping on the 23rd December, or the 22nd, everyone is grumpy and pushy, determined to grab that last bag of sprouts. Wait until Christmas Eve and they are happy and don’t care about the last sprouts. The people who are working in the shops are cheerful and happy to serve you despite the big queues They are wearing their Christmas hats and looking forward to when they can shut their doors to their last customer.

Worth fighting over?

Worth fighting over?

There is excitement about what is under the tree

I love that feeling of expectation that only comes on Christmas Eve. Once Christmas Day arrives and the presents have been opened, that feeling deflates like a whoopee cushion. It’s not that we don’t like the presents we get and we aren’t grateful, but that element of surprise has gone. That ‘it must be a book’ has a name and colour. The magical object becomes tangible and real.

Spot the present

Spot the present

Christmas Eve feels Victorian, and perhaps also medieval

There is something antiquated (but in a good way) about Christmas Eve that Christmas Day lacks. I think it is the carols, the busy ye olde English shops (if you live somewhere like I do with lots of black-and-white Dickensian buildings) and the mulled wine. If you don’t go to church regularly but don’t object to a bit of Christmas church, there’s a good chance you will go to church on Christmas Eve (I used to take the children to the Kristingle service every year) and this always gives me a butterfly feeling about the following day.

People in the pub are your best friends for the night

If you go to the pub on Christmas Eve, the magic is there too. Everyone loves you and you genuinely wish them a Happy Christmas. Wait two weeks and they won’t give you a second glance and they resume their British grumpiness.

The Father Christmas magic

Once night falls, the magical feeling grows exponentially, and as the stockings get hung up on the mantelpiece that expectation of something wonderful in the air and of a special guest coming, is even more heightened. Even at my age, I still believe.

Our magical visitor

Our magical visitor

It never rains on Christmas Eve

Perhaps is just my perception but it feels to me as if the sky is always clear blue on Christmas Eve and there is a frost in the air. That is what the weather is like here today.

And then finally comes Christmas Day…

I like Christmas Day, of course, it is my birthday after all and I get loads of presents, and it is fun. I don’t have to work on Christmas Day and there’s nice stuff to do and lots to eat. However, I find Christmas Day overwhelming. I always feel overloaded by the end of the day: in terms of digestion, alcohol consumption and present opening. Also, my sense of sight, hearing and touch suffer from not enough disk space. I get to a point when I can’t take any more and I crash. I don’t know if that is just me or whether other people feel like that. That doesn’t happen to me on Christmas Eve. It only happens on Christmas Day. I actually dread that point in the day when I feel like that (usually about 6pm). Then the depression sets in as I realise that it is all over. The house is full of stuff, paper, food, boxes and tired people and it will be another 11 months until I can play Christmas music again.

So in conclusion, I wish you, dear reader, a happy Christmas Eve and hope that tomorrow meets your expectations and brings you joy. I think the key is to keep an open mind how Christmas Day will pan out and the day will be good. In other words, take a chill pill. I will try to take one too.

Greg Lake, I Believe in Father Christmas sums up very well how I feel today: excitement, anticipation, wishes, belief, sparkle.

The Smiths Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now sums up my feeling at 6pm on Christmas Day: overindulged, overstimulated, and just plain over.



Matching baubles? Not in this house.

I’ve had a weird thought about baubles after talking to my husband just now, two days before Christmas, and while looking lovingly at the tree in the corner. The discussion we had was about what his ideal Christmas tree would look like.

This is our tree - stylish or what?

This is our tree – stylish or what?

I was shocked and stunned to hear him reply that in an ideal world (i.e. one where I didn’t just take over and decorate the tree myself every year) he’d have a tree with single colour baubles on it. He wouldn’t have any variation in colour. He wouldn’t even have two colours. He’d just have a single colour scheme. He even said the phrase ‘twelve silver baubles’. I’m sure he’d place the baubles neatly equidistant part. He might even use this website as a guidance.

So I asked him: don’t you feel any emotional connection with the family baubles and a need to see them every year on the tree? He replied that no, the tree was to him, merely a decoration. A decoration? A decoration!?

My husband's idea of Christmas heaven

My husband’s idea of Christmas heaven

He said that he’d also go for an artificial tree over the real tree were it up to him.

We couldn’t be more different in our Christmas tree styles. I like a real tree (I love the smell). I like a mix of baubles. I like them to look what I see as stylish but I like the juxtaposition of old and new, funny and serious, trashy and classy. I like to look at them and remember Christmasses past. I like the memories each of them holds for me. We have baubles from Habitat, pre-children (classy) and ones from B&Q post-children (trashy). We have home-made ones, also post-children. We have borrowed ones, pre-children. We have old ones, very pre-children.

Our Christmas tree is decorated with many baubles from our family history.

Disco ball from c.2001 next to salt dough decoration from 2011 (the year we made these for the teachers)

Disco ball from c.2001 next to salt dough decoration from 2011 (the year we made these for the teachers)

The baubles are a mix of all sorts of things.

Every year we add a new decoration - this is last year's - a pudding

Last year’s  new decoration – a pudding

We have a Collins family tradition and that is to add a new decoration every year.

This year's new addition

This year’s new addition

So today I find out, after 14 years of marriage, that my husband and I have irreconcilable differences on Christmas style.

Oh dear. He added though he doesn’t mind that he doesn’t get to choose the Christmas tree (which he’d get from B&Q) or the baubles (all silver). Would I feel the same way if it were the other way around? I doubt it.

Now that is what I call a tree to beat all trees

Now that is what I call a tree to beat all trees