Christmas in the Gilmore house was always a chaotic and wonderful affair. My mother likes Christmas to be a vibrant and fun-packed day, tinged with alcohol, usually, from ‘testing’ the red wine sauce and a celebratory early morning Buck’s Fizz. She would dance about the kitchen, singing Christmas songs and making sure everything was merry and bright.
Once upon a time, Ivy and I used to share a room, and it was our tradition to wake up at about half past four to open the stocking presents – from our homemade, personalised stockings that I was very sad to retire last year. I remember one year we got a playstation game, and decided that four in the morning was a very good time to start playing it. With bleary eyes we turned the TV as quiet as we could without muting it and played from the warmth of our beds. Of course, this was Playstation 1, and no matter how quiet the telly was, the racket of the disk spinning and the cooling fan was enough to wake our mother and she told us to go back to sleep. I think the game was Final Fantasy 8.
One year, we had the entire family round. We were all in the process of moving house – both our family and my aunt’s were relocating for work, and our grandparents decided to move with us, downsizing from their house to a nice bungalow. We were the first to make the move and Mum decided to have everyone round so Christmas didn’t have to be out of a box for them.
Both our family and my aunt’s are large. Back then there were slightly fewer of us, but we were still squeezing fourteen people into a four-bed house. I shared with my grandparents and one of the cousins. The grandparents had my parents’ bed, while we were on camp beds. They were terrible things – a good idea in principle that just didn’t work in practice. They were like fold out cots, with three bars, one at the bottom, one in the middle and one by your head. These bars kept the bed stretched out and upright, but they didn’t work very well. Quite often in the middle of the night there would be an almighty clang as one of the bars either end collapsed and suddenly your feet were one the floor, or worse, your head. Even worse, sometimes the middle one went, and then the whole thing would snap closed on itself, trapping you in a tangle of duvet. Fortunately, we saw the funny side.
These days I’ve left the Gilmore household. They’ve moved house yet again, and there are two new additions, both young enough to appreciate the magic of Christmas in the most innocent of ways. The original Gilmore girls (not the TV show…) have long since been too old to believe in Santa. But with a two and a half year old around the old traditions of drinks and mince pies for Santa have been revitalised. She doesn’t quite understand yet, but soon she and the five month old will both believe wholeheartedly. I’m really looking forwards to it.
My house is just a flat, with barely three rooms. It’s too small to decorate, really. Any tinsel would add instant clutter. The boyfriend is also a Christmas Scrooge – the downside of working in retail through college. We do have our tree though. Here it is:
Don’t laugh, but that photo is close to actual size!
Tomorrow we’ll be spending lunch with my family and dinner with his. Then probably evening with beers and friends and Call of Duty: Black Ops. A friend got us a third PS3 controller for christmas. All I can say is: Bring on the Zombies!
So, to all my readers, and all who happen to drop by once in a while: a very merry Christmas. May your stockings be filled with good books, your stomachs with good food and your hearts with love and happiness.
Am I being too cheesy yet? I think so.