My traditional Christmas daydream is as follows...
The weather will be crisp and fresh - just enough snow to look festive of course, and the kind of snow they have in the movies (ie, the non-melting, non-slippery, never grey - or yellow! - kind). I will line the path leading to my door with those little bags filled with twinkly nightlights.
Christmas shopping will, of course, have been completed many weeks before. I will have spent an amusing couple of hours with a glass of wine sitting in comfort and placing online orders for exquisitely appropriate gifts for each and every loved one. They will be tasteful (of course), unique and in many cases handmade and bespoke. The wrapping will be crisply executed (all presents will be square or rectangular), and the paper will be of beautiful quality (with matching gift tags). There will be enough paper to wrap all gifts (no bare cardboard roll panic for me - no trying to wrap things diagonally in the hope it makes the paper go further - no adding lots of bows to cover the gaps). Talking of gift tags, I will write everyone’s names in a beautiful calligraphic style.
No gifts will feature the description “novelty” - there will be no “bog books*”, no “funny” socks or ties. No ironically bad jumpers featuring reindeers.
All cooking for the Christmas season will be planned with military control thanks to the supermarket delivering everything to my door (everything being in stock of course, no substitutions or items close to their sell by date).
Mind you, having said all that, those Christmas decorations that we put on the tree year after year are a bit of a tradition. And being a bit too broke thanks to Christmas shopping to buy any new clothes - that’s a kind of tradition too. And there’s not much point in twinkly nightlights leading to the front door when they are overshadowed by the neighbours inflatable 6’ snowman.
And it wouldn’t be Christmas if I wasn’t sat hunched over the computer wrestling with the “can I get this cheaper/faster/delivered free/with a discount/with free gift wrapping somewhere else” anxiety and generally prevaricating for so long that inevitably “out of stock” becomes the phrase of the season. And wrapping paper with an identity crisis - coupled with homemade gift tags cut from last years’ Christmas cards - that’s definitely traditional. And having a houseful of guests or planning a party can be pretty stressful - and besides, Pirates of the Caribbean might be on that night - and isn’t it so much nicer to be able to put your PJ’s on hours before bed and nick the chocolates off the tree? And I’m sure Tesco will keep up their end of the traditional bargain and try their hardest to run out of a few essential items (turkey’s, Christmas puddings, bread, milk) so that we can all laugh and embrace the fact that year after year Christmas at PhotoFairytales Towers is always traditional.
And you can’t mess with tradition at Christmas.
* ‘Bog Book’ - a book, usually novelty, that is only ever read on the loo. Often contains “amusing” pictures of old cars, bad haircuts, interesting facts and figures that are instantly uninteresting and forgettable, etc.