- Going out to buy stocking fillers with the Husband, V, and E, and then returning home to a tasty dinner and a viewing of Love Actually.
- Watching Holiday Inn and The Bishop's Wife with my sister.
- Getting to hold my little boy and watch him properly enjoy Christmas this year...complete with destruction of all wrapping paper.
- Christmas cookies. Baking and eating.
- Getting to read the Christopher Hitchens book I already know I'm getting as a present. I've needed something well-written to read for a while now.
- Spending more time with the lovely man who is currently sleeping in my bed.
- The incredible stamina of my body as I increase my distance running.
- E's very precious ability to now sign the word "please" when he wants things...and there will be lots of things he wants in the coming weeks!
I don't really have an ideal gift list...I'm pretty rubbish at thinking of presents I'd like to receive. That said, as a kid any money I got at birthdays or Christmas was gone in a flash because I already planned months in advance what I'd spend it on given half the chance. Maybe it's a sign of maturity that I don't spend my money that way any more. I can't think of much that I'm desperate for...though I could certainly splurge for a day at the spa. Anyone looking to give the gift of being naked wrapped in mud whilst sipping tea with cucumbers on your eyes, please do come speak to me.
I'm glad that as an adult Christmas has become less about the presents I get and more about recreating the fun that I had as a kid. Baking the same cookies my momma made us as kids, singing the same carols I remember her singing on the steps before going to work meetings; playing the same cheesy-ass Christmas songs from before I was born, and playing the same games when decorating the tree together. Not to mention incorporating the fun and traditions that the Husband brings to the table as well.
All school Nativity plays and cookies and decorations and mention of the Baby Jesus and His attendant wise men and shepherds aside, Christmas - right now, for me - is about building my new family and entrenching ourselves in a web of shared traditions and personal expectations of what this time can be for us. This is the most intensive period of the year for creating ourselves as a family unit: for nurturing the kind of space where we can develop our own memories, our own dynamic, and our own identity. And that, I think, is really why Christmas is so special to me. It's when I most focus on getting to make my family become a family.