Getting festive

| posted on December 21, 2017

EVERY year, without fail, after everyone has started to wind down from the sugar rush of candy canes and gingerbread and has had their fill of Christmas roast chicken lunch, my mum silences the house in preparation for the Queen’s annual Christmas speech.

Rustling packages from new presents are confiscated, the kettle is taken off the boil and Grandad is told to stop talking, as Queen Elizabeth II fills the TV screen and delivers her reflection on the past year.

All families have weird and wonderful traditions at Christmas time, and this tradition is one from my family.

I’ll be perfectly honest with you; as a child, when I was old enough to understand who the Queen was and why I should care about her, the Queen’s speech was always utterly boring.

It was a few minutes of my life where I either had to disappear to the other end of the house if I wanted to play with my new toys and gadgets, or sit squished on the couch between siblings, grandparents and my parents to watch an old lady slowly chew through a rehearsed chat.

However, as I got older, I thought those times were kind of cute.

Mum would get all excited and patriotic as Her Majesty graced the screen, everyone would be together in one room instead of sprawled across the house, and we would just sit there and enjoy the last couple of hours of Christmas.

There’s a lot of fluff around Christmas time and no one can ever agree on what Christmas is ‘truly about’, but as I grow up, I see more and more that it is about family.

Get rid of the temptation to go into debt over the latest smartphone or top-line leather jacket, because debt causes stress and there is nothing worse than having a head spin during what is meant to be a holiday.

Don’t worry if the turkey or chicken is slightly burned or the salad dressing has gone gluggy, because at the end of the day, people just want to come together at Christmas and eat, drink and be merry.
I know a large family who without fail, gets everyone around the table for Christmas lunch every year.

Aunties, uncles, cousins, nannas, parents and grandkids from all over the place gather around an enormous selection of homemade pastas, biscuits, salads and a roast, and spend the day catching up and simply being together.

Curiously enough, from what I have seen of this family, no one ever complains about preparing the Christmas food.

Everyone who helps out is happy to help, and enjoys getting down and taking the time to prepare a feast for their loved ones.

In today’s world, where terrorism threats and horrific weather conditions constantly have countries on edge, I think it’s important to remember the simple things this Christmas.

Remember your family and how important they are to you.

Yes, your aunt might get tipsy like she always does, and your baby cousin will again nag you for piggy-backs all day, but just take a step back for a moment.

Christmas is about giving, and your family is something in your life that constantly gives.

Your parents gave you life, your sister gives you a lift to school every day, your nan gives you an extra meatball at dinner, and your uncle tries to give you life advice.

Family giving can’t have a price tag put on it, so if you are sitting there stressing over whether you will have enough food at your Christmas table, or that your gifts aren’t from the most expensive shop in town, just remember this: Christmas isn’t all about the family presents, it’s about the family’s presence.