I want to believe the hype. I want to believe that I can make this the most memorable Christmas ever if only I buy the right things. My Christmas memories blend in to one long stream of continuous Christmas days and really, I haven’t had a most memorable one yet. What I do remember is the time spent preparing and celebrating with friends. I want to believe, because that would be easier.
My favourite memories are not ones of particular decorations or even presents. I know that there was a pink and black leotard and electronic keyboard somewhere in the eighties but I couldn’t tell you when.
My Gran took the time to polish the silver ware every Christmas and made it out like a treat to be able to help her. It is one of my fondest Christmas memories. Polishing wasn’t to my liking and I never had the heart to tell Gran. What I really enjoyed was the time spent telling the tales of each piece. Together we would get out the Pears Encyclopaedia and look up the hall marks and tell the tales about the relatives they belonged to. Domestic history has appealed to me ever since. It was the time taken with love that stuck in my memory rather than how brightly the silver shone.
Cooking with my mother was also an annual ritual. The highlight was always the afternoon tea where we would eat the left over pastry that had been magically transformed into a jam tart. Of course we couldn’t eat the cooling mince pies as they were for Christmas Day. The hustle and stress of keeping the oven stuffed with baking for an entire morning only served to make the time together afterwards better.
I need to take time while I am plotting Christmas menus, and present shopping in the hopes that these will make it a better than ever Christmas. When I justify buying that third Christmas tree to myself, I need to take time to remember that this is not what makes memories. I will endeavour to take the time to pack the kids off to Grandma’s for some festive baking, especially for the jam tarts. If I forget, and get carried away with the hype, please remind me.