Christmas music today. Yup. Whilst walking the dog, the festive playlist was shuffled. And it felt so good that I followed it up with a Christmas movie, whilst building the first parts of the LEGO Christmas scene. “WHAT?” I hear you cry. Don’t worry – there’s a good explanation. And it’s all here in this blog post, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Every year, after the back-to-school advertising is removed from the shops, the seasonal aisle begins to change. As I mentioned last week, I was elated that the Christmas stock was already taking up aisle-space in my local Supermarket. Some people aren’t big fans of this, but I am and I make no apology for it either!!
Throughout my twenty-something Christmasses, I have gone through the various styles and methods of celebrating the big day and its surrounding season. Early childhood mostly consisted of mind-blowing excitement, followed by teenage apathy (lasting only one or two years, fortunately) to be replaced by the festive-worker (see my early Supermarket Chronicles!), Santa trapper, Christmas celebrator and then into the ultimate Christmas Promoter. This final title combines all the positive emotions of Christmas and rolls it up into one big infinite supply of Christmas joy snowballs, which I then throw at everyone. Both in person and online. Because it’s Christmas! But the reason behind this blog is to lay out my rationing for the timing of being the Christmas Promoter that I am today…
Now, first things first. Let’s talk about what being the Christmas Promoter really means. It simply means this, starting that Christmas feeling. It’s like lighting a small match in the wind. At first it’s likely be extinguished by all the Scrooges and ‘sensible’ characters in your life. But keep it protected, whilst complimenting it with a tad of festive music and Christmas media – you’ll notice the flame begins to grow. As the Christmas music, movies and TV specials become more increasingly common in your calendar – the flame gets fanned into an open fire. Mix it up with some roast chestnuts, walks in the cold and a tad of early Christmas shopping and you’ll notice that you have become a Christmas Promoter! You’ll be full of the Christmas joy and excitement that no-one can extinguish. And if you want to kick-start this process, the movie Elf is an excellent place to start. Now that’s been established – lets look at the timing of being this Christmas Promoter.
Throughout the years, many things have contributed to the timings that I follow to celebrate Christmas. Shops, friends, TV… But I think the biggest contributor has to be family. Now, my immediate family were always big fans of Christmas – but it would always be my sister and I that would have to push for the early Christmas decorations. No, the family influence goes back a little further than that. My mum’s parents, my Nana and Grandpa. The Christmas guru’s. They would put up the decorations as soon as they could. And their decorations were fantastic. None of this ‘complimentary to the decor’ nonsense, they would put up the brightest of lights in the most random colours and shapes along with loads of Santa’s, Christmas Tree’s, tinsel, hanging foil decorations and holly-wrapped-in-fairy-lights. These guys knew how to celebrate Christmas and they’d often do it early. My Grandpa loved it so much and took great pride in seeing his (MASSIVE) family all come around on boxing day to enjoy the decorations, festivities and presents. For the record, the photo at the top isn’t a photo of my house or his (although I know he’d have loved it to have been, if he’d been able to!). Sadly, a few years back Grandpa was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and then passed away in 2011, just before Christmas. This however, did not eliminate the passion for Christmas – far from it. My Nana still does an incredible job of (pretty much everything, but in this case…) putting up the decorations and keeping Grandpa’s legacy alive. They both mean a lot to me. And so, for me, the things Grandpa taught me, resound:
- 1. Never drink hot drinks. No need. Squash is amazing, why bother with anything else?
- 2. Railways are awesome and should be recreated in model form at every possible opportunity
- 3. Celebrate Christmas in the best, most extravagant way possible. Structure and colour schemes are a big no-no!
With this in mind, over the last few years of marriage, I have had the absolute pleasure of spreading the Christmas joy in my own household. Sure, I realise that for the first five Christmases, it’s just been me and B (and the dog for four). But I have also had the great joy of experimenting with the timing of introducing the Christmas ‘snowballs of joy’. I have experimented with the ‘acceptable’ introduction of Christmas celebrations (the start of December), this proved good, but frankly way too short – I didn’t get enough of a chance to savour it. We have tried the ‘slightly early’ of November 25th, also not enough time. I felt like we were rushing things. Since then, we have tried other variables – right up until November 6th, the day after Fireworks night. These were all great, but have all proven to me one thing. Christmas is too big to fit into just one (or even two) month(s). I was already considering bring Christmas Cheer back a week this year, to around Halloween time. But before I could even think that far ahead… The best news ever happened – we realised we were having a kid (more opportunity to spread the Christmas Joy) – and she was gonna come around November 1st!
With this in mind, there was only one reasonable course of action. I knew I had to start the Christmas Cheer early. Things need to be ready people. There’s a lot riding on this. It’s gonna be our Squish’s (her nickname until we reveal the real name) first Christmas. And even if she doesn’t remember a single minute of it – I’m sure-as-anything still gonna make it the best Christmas yet. And that means it needs to be ready for when she arrives.
So – with all these things in mind. That is why today on my dog walking, I was listening to my newly created Christmas 2014 playlist, continued onto watching Nation Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and proceeded to build the first building for my Christmas LEGO scene.
Friends, family, Blog readers – the Sholdstock household just started the Christmas Promotion, and let me tell you, once this train picks up some speed – you are gonna feel the cheer! So if you’re wondering why at least once a week im September you’re reading a Christmas blog, tweet, status or message – you now know why. Here’s to you Grandpa! I’ll raise a glass of Ribena in the honour of your most-excellent legacy!