Still swapping gifts in March isn’t unusual!

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Leighton Buzzard Writers’ weekly LBO column. This week by Rebecca Wilson

It’s Christmas, at last! Given its frenzied four month lead-up where we are whipped up into a massive guilt-related spending spree, it’s a huge relief when Christmas’s fun bit is here: eating, opening presents, quaffing mulled wine and for us lucky ones, time off work to spend arguing – I mean celebrating with partners, family and friends.

My husband and I rarely have a traditional Christmas (apart from spending a fortune on presents of course and eating too much), preferring to send a donation to two charities in lieu of cards and then spend the festive period somewhere hot and tropical rather than forced jollity in the freezing cold at home.

We don’t have kids and our families usually do their own thing too, so we get away with it. I should point out though that all I do is prolong things for myself: instead of celebrating Christmas with the family in one or two hits over Christmas itself, it takes about a month of catching up and ‘false Christmas days’ with family and friends who have been flung far and wide after the event, instead of seeing them all in one or two locations on December 25 and 26. I’m often still exchanging Christmas gifts in March.

So this year I decided to embrace Christmas at home in all its red and white, berry-scented, Leighton Buzzard glory.

I also went to my work party, which I normally leave to the youngsters, and rather than sitting in the corner like a disapproving aged auntie watching the alcohol related antics of the twenty-somethings, I joined in and embarrassed them (less the alcohol, though. Work and alcohol do not mix, as I have learned from bitter past experience, but that’s a whole new column!).

I would like to dedicate this column, however, to those who will be missing someone special round their table this Christmas. The festive period is a time for loved ones far and near and sadly, 2014 has seen several of my friends lose parents. It is also our first Christmas without my mother-in-law, Lynne. We shall be raising a glass to her, and my dear late grandmother who always loved Christmas with her family, and remembering happy times spent together.

So whatever you were doing this year, I hope your Christmas was merry and bright, and you didn’t forget to double-check the turkey for giblets. Cheers!