Listen, I’ve been excited for Christmas since October. I was forbidden from expressing my joy until after Halloween, so you can believe that on November 1st the first thing I said was, “Guess what, guys? It’s fucking Christmas.” And then everybody has spent the month of November trying to stop me from celebrating until December, but my jolliness has persisted.
I was raised Catholic, so Christmas has always been a big time of year for me. Even though I don’t practice that religion any more, it’s a time I associate with family and since moving out of my parents’ house I’ve appreciated it a lot more. Living alone is wonderful, but knowing that come December I’ll get to go home and cuddle my dog and watch television with my family and play board games that may or may not end with A) arguing over whether you’re allowed that word class in scrabble or B) my dog getting jealous and knocking the board game off the stool, all while surrounded in tinsel and tealights? It’s almost impossible to feel sad.
Not to mention, my birthday actually comes right before Christmas, on the good ol’ 16th of December. December is a good month for me.
It’s November 23rd now, which means everybody is sort of coming around to the idea of getting excited for Christmas, so I thought I’d make a post of the top five things I’m excited for this holiday season. There’s a severe lack of pictures because I’m just going to pull what I can from google, it being 11pm on a Monday night and me having decided to write this post an hour ago.
#5: Christmas Markets
I think Liverpool is an amazingly beautiful city to live in. I’ve been fortunate enough to live here my whole life and have grown up with a strong sense of community and pride in my hometown. Sure, Church Street is booming on a good day, and the appearance of the Christmas markets might make it a bit more difficult to zip down the street with any speed, but with the smell of hot food and chocolates and the stall upon stall of trinkets and treats to peer at, it’s not exactly an unpleasant stroll, is it?
On Friday I nipped into town on the way home from uni to get some things from primark (including a Christmas jumper and a nice bobble hat). I had my first glance of the markets then, and I’m eager to get back and have a proper look at all the stalls. There’s something a thousand times more magical about buying a bag of chocolate from the friendly person smiling at you out of their stall than scanning a bar of chocolate at the self service machine in Tesco.
#4: Christmas films
I put this one at number four because, truth be told, I’ve already watched one Christmas film. I caved last week and watched the 1964 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer film after discovering my girlfriend had never seen it. I loved it, and I think it’s what’s held me over in my excitement until now. I’ve already started compiling a list of all the films I intend to watch, including but not limited to: Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, and The Polar Express (which was added at my partner’s insistence because I’ve only seen it once and don’t remember anything about it except one specific shot of them standing outside the train which may or may not even be in the film).
It’s my 21st in December, but the problem with having a winter birthday is that everywhere is usually booked up for Christmas, and it’s sort of too cold to go clubbing, isn’t it? Never mind the fact that a lot of my friends will have already gone home from uni for Christmas or live far away anyway and I can’t even rely on the fact that the trains will be running for them to pop down for a visit. It usually means my birthday is a pretty bog standard day, so this year I’m thinking of possibly having a night of “HEY, COME TO MY HOUSE, BRING SOME ALCOHOL, AND WATCH ALL THESE CHRISTMAS FILMS WITH ME, Y/Y?”
#3: Christmas playlists
Christmas songs are amazing. I love them. They’re incredible. I made a Christmas playlist last year (boop), but I’m already planning a fresh one for this year. Christmas songs remind me of my little sister who excitedly constructs a CD of her favourites to play in the car from December 1st until about April.
I listen to music all the time because I walk a lot and it’s the prime time to listen to all of the fanmixes my partner puts together for me, so it will be nice to have Christmas music to match my mood. You can bet your arse that every time I’m in my shared kitchen I’ll be putting the television on the music channels and blasting Top 100 Christmas Tunes every day.
#2: Decorating + Present Buying
I realise that these don’t seem very similar, but I’ve grouped them together because to me they mean Christmas in relation to other people. I’m excited to go home and help decorate my house* because it makes me feel really, properly close to my family, and it really means Christmas is close. I can’t wait for the dog running around our feet covered in bits of tinsel and my dad getting frustrated because why is that light not working? I can’t wait to string up the cards on the walls and start piling the presents under the tree and teasing my family about what I’ve gotten them, which brings us nicely onto present buying (and wrapping).
I’ve already started my Christmas shopping. I’ve actually gotten a good chunk of it done – my parents are proving to be a bit more difficult, but I’m sure I’ll manage. I love buying people gifts. I love finding something and knowing it’s going to make somebody incredibly happy, and I love wrapping it up and letting them stew in their excitement over the hidden item. I love seeing the gifts piling up under the tree. I just love giving people things I know they’d love but wouldn’t be able to justify buying themselves and so go without just because they feel like treating themselves is bad. I love giving them something they might never have known to get themselves! It just makes me happy. I feel like Father Christmas.
Reading is a big part of my life day in and day out. It has been since before I could read. It’s not really specific to Christmas. HOWEVER! This winter, my wonderful partner has let me in on her Christmas tradition.
See, she used to have an audiobook of The Hogfather that she listened to every Christmas. Then, I think, she lost it (?), and so last February, for her birthday, I got her a beautifully bound edition of the book (it was The Death Collection cover). She’s waited all year to read it, and she finally started properly reading it to me this past weekend.
I count myself incredibly lucky to have a girlfriend with such a wonderful reading voice. She does all the voices (a totally different one for every character! You should hear her Raven! It actually sounds like a bird!), she does little gestures and noises, she’s got a wonderful narrating voice. It’s a treat. It’s probably my favourite Christmas thing that’s happened so far this year. We’ve just not long met the Oh God of Hangovers, so I’m eager to get back to the story. I’ve got a feeling we’ll probably finish it before December is even here, to be honest. We spent the weekend reading it surrounded in blankets, lanterns and tealights in our little cabin in the garden, and I think this might be the most absolute winter wonderland experience I’ve ever had.
So that’s what I’m most excited for this Christmas! I think I mostly wrote this so that I could gush about Christmas, but I hope it’s got some of you in the holiday mood, too! I’d love to hear what you’re excited about for whichever holiday you’re celebrating this season, or even just in winter itself! Let me know in the comments or tweet me over at @remylebeautiful!
*Last year, I went home on the 12th of December to help decorate my house, because that’s the day we decorate every year. The decorations were already up, and nobody had bothered to let me know. I didn’t let them live that down until about June.