Life in Paris

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmas in my house has always been a wonderful thing and to this day it is still my favourite time of the year.

I still remember the excitement I felt as a child. I was a big believer in all things magical so it was a really special time of year. I remember my mother losing patience with my sister and I when we couldn’t sleep because we were too excited that Father Christmas was coming. In our old house we slept upstairs and for a while, in the same room, which was even harder for my parents. Being four years younger than me Lydia would follow my lead, getting herself so worked up until she had so much energy that she was practically bouncing off the walls.

“Father Christmas won’t come if you don’t go to sleep!” she used to say.

That was the only thing that eventually got us to sleep. It didn’t matter how excited we were, the thought of Father Christmas not coming and not delivering any presents was too awful to bare. We eventually dropped off an hour (or so) later.

Our poor parents. Looking back I now understand how hard it was for our parents to stay up until the early hours of the morning only to be woken up a few hours later (it still being the early hours) by their hyperactive and overexcited children. I think that’s why the Christmas nap has become a timely tradition in our house. Even now, after every Christmas dinner my parents and aunt and uncle all fall asleep on the sofa at some point during the afternoon. Recovering from the night, or maybe even days, leading up to Christmas.

I’m 25 now and not afraid to say that I still get very excited about Christmas. I was the first to wake up this morning (at 7.15am) but as 8am was agreed on as the respectable hour to wake up my parents I decided to blog. Christmas was of course the only thing on my mind.

I just wish that I could somehow recreate the excitement I felt as a young child and store it in a jar. How I felt when I still believed in Father Christmas was magical beyond words. I remember so vividly almost all of our Christmases as a family. I remember opening the door to the lounge in the old house and my jaw dropping when I saw all the presents surrounding the tree.

“HE CAME!!!!” We would squeal before running around the tree trying to decide which present to open first.

I realise now how incredibly lucky I was to have such a magical Christmas. Our parents made sure we never wanted for anything meaning our Christmas tree was overflowing. My father grew up with nothing but thanks to his determination and his love, I grew up with the opposite; a loving family, mountains of presents and Christmases I will never forget. He has made sure of that and I will be eternally grateful to him.

My parents gave us so much magic and part of me knows that although they aren’t writers themselves, it was the life that they have given me that has made me the writer I am today. Every family is different and it’s not easy nowadays to offer your children a lot of presents but Christmas isn’t about that. Magic is the key and it doesn’t cost a thing.

I believed in Father Christmas and I could have had only three presents instead of however many I got in my pile. The magic of believing, of experiencing something out-of-this-world, was the most incredible feeling of all. It is really difficult to even explain how it made you feel but it was like you were floating on air. My parents gave my sister and I that and it was the biggest gift they could have given us.

So whatever you do this Christmas, just remember that you believed once and it’s all thanks to your parents. Tell them thank you, tell them that you love them and most importantly, keep the magic alive.


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