This year I didn’t get a Christmas tree.
It wasn’t really a conscious decision. I’d planned to get our tree the weekend of the 13th but after spending those couple of days in London with old friends (hungover, decease post the annual Christmas pilgrimage to Shoreditch House for Espresso Martinis) a busy garden center was really the last place I wanted to be.
Then it didn’t happen that next weekend and by the time life slowed down enough… well, doctor it actually didn’t ever slow down enough. Suddenly it was the 23rd of December and what would be the point in getting a Christmas tree then?
I think, symptoms though, the main reason I didn’t get a tree this year was because I knew the children wouldn’t be around to enjoy it. That’s why I didn’t haul my box of decorations out the garage or locate my fairy lights. I didn’t really want to celebrate Christmas without my two sidekicks.
Having children makes Christmas so special. They are what it’s all about. And I feel like I went from being a child at 24 to celebrating Christmas with my own children, so I didn’t have many years of Christmases without them. I’ve never really gone out to the pub with friends on Christmas eve and returned to my parent’s house belting Christmas carols at 1am, I’ve never spent Christmas day snoozing on a sofa with a hangover before gorging on cheese (note: I do always gorge on cheese, though).
So this year felt very strange at all. I didn’t want to think about what Christmas would be like without Elfie and Hux and so I just didn’t think about Christmas at all. I just pretended it wasn’t really happening, and work complied by being crazily busy enough to let me bury myself in it.
Dropping them off with their dad on Christmas Eve was predictably awful but I did it without crying before going to get a bikini wax to take my mind off Christmas without them (FYI it totally worked). And then off to the pub – hooray! I finally got there on Christmas eve! – for Prosecco with family.
Waking up at my house alone on Christmas morning felt strange. Not bad, not good, just strange. It just felt like a normal day. I opened some pressies at my parents’ house, Egyptian cotton bath sheets, Diptyque candles and John Lewis pjs, THRILLED :), and then we journeyed up to Rutland to my aunty and uncle’s house.
And despite the children not being there we had a really lovely day. We ate delicious turkey (thank you aunty Jinny!), drank red wine, scoffed cheese, played games and rang bells (yes, really). I have to say though I am glad it’s now the 27th December which means it’s just 360-odd days til I can have a blow-out Christmas with them next year.
In the meantime I’m making the most of my adult time: catching up on sleep – very much needed after a hectic December – going to the gym, seeing friends, spending time relaxing at home. Planning my next moves. As cheesy as it sounds I love the new beginnings that come with a new year and 2015 is definitely going to be The One. The year I find my work/life balance, the year I get properly fit, the year I turn 30.
Let’s have it…