This is one of my favourite times of year. I get the feeling I have said that enough times before but needed it as an opening gambit. It’s nice and cold outside and we are now a week off from Christmas festivities.
It’s strange the way the focus of Christmas changes as you grow up. There was a time when I was getting up on Christmas morning to watch the latest Disney video left at the bottom of my bed, wrapped in something hideously festive. The intention was that I would watch the video and buy my parents an extra hour and a half in bed when otherwise we would be hassling them to get up and open presents. Ritual always was to have breakfast before we opened anything. You’ve never seen three boys giddily bolt down food that quickly in your life. It’s an incredible feeling waking up on Christmas Day as a child. I don’t think I’ve matched it as an adult.
Now I make it a rule to head into Christmas with friends and alcohol. Luckily they’re quite willing to get into this ritual with me. Every year since I was eighteen we have gone to the pub on Christmas Eve. It’s just the way things are. It’s one of the most consistent nights. There are good vibrations in the air. It also feels a little bit naughty because I know Santa won’t come until I’m in bed so technically I’m keeping him up on the night shift as I swagger home in the cold, wobbling.
I love giving presents, more so than receiving them. I have this strange guilt about getting gifts as an adult, like a Jehovah’s Witness or something.
At the weekend I went to see my friend Will and his little son/my godson Toby.
Kate and I got them such good presents and they genuinely seemed to appreciate it. It’s worlds away from just getting something for the sake of it, I try to put something into the thought of what I get for people in the way I hope they do for me.
That’s the start of it I guess. I also love the food. It’s one of the truly gluttonous times of year. I love the films on TV (except ET). I even love my family. I am just stuffed with cheer right now.