Christmas means home, and long days in the country. Midnight drives to the supermarket in the next town, full baskets of fresh vegetables stored outside in the cool air because the kitchen is just too packed and too warm to keep them. Christmas is real trees, gold trinkets and not turning the lights on until the very last bauble has been hung while we all stand back and agree this really is the best one yet.
Christmas is putting presents under the tree just before we all disappear to bed, waking up and trying to hold off unwrapping until everyone's had a cup of tea and the dog has been taken for a walk. We sit and unwrap en masse - more whoops, more thanks, a floor full of torn paper and neat piles of gifts. Jumping onto the back of the quad bike to take the dog for a run, ears ringing from the cold, muddy knees and hair and puddles whipping round your face.
Christmas is turkey dinner with all the trimmings, cold champagne and a pudding that never materialises because we're all too full. The log fire is lit and kept burning all day, we take it in turns to give a hefty poke and throw a new log on to it while the cat stretches out in front - the best seat in the house obviously.
Christmas is waiting until the last mouthful has been taken before the real biting begins. Christmas is trying to connect with this man who was once my partner in crime when he was just a boy. Christmas is watching mum at a complete loss because my brother and I just cannot, will not make it through an entire day together. Tears and separate rooms and watching the parents paper over our bickering again and try to make it all ok again but knowing you have royally fucked things up. Again.
Christmas is a gin and tonic on the sofa, a special on the tv and a second rummage through the gifts. Christmas is only eating the blue and pink chocolates from a box of quality street, hunks of cheese and left over meat on crusty bread. It's a night of breathing space, softly spoken apologies followed by lung filled, gut wrenching sobs, a week of plans, a time to move on and calm down and a time to be so utterly grateful for the wonderful family we are part of. It's a time to truly enjoy. I think it just needs time.
Merry christmas x