12 Christmas Memories.
FYI the photo above is me on my first Christmas at a cheeky 10 weeks old.
I'm sure like me you can pull a thousand Christmas memories from the old brain bank and it's hard to choose just 12 but I've talked about Christmas a lot on this old blog and on Steph's so hopefully here's 12 you haven't heard before.
1. When the burglar alarm went off.
We have an alarm which is set for the downstairs of the house and one morning after the normal ritual of getting our dressing gowns on and waking our parents up, we crept down the stairs to see if Santa had been. Spoiler alert - he had and we opened the living room door to switch on the lights and see all the presents and were met with the screaming alarm my Dad had forgotten to disable. I bet the neighbours were thrilled at 7am.
2. My parents works do.
My Mum and Dad both used to work in the same bank and even after she finished work to look after us, every year they used to go on the works do in the middle of December. We used to stay at my grandparents house and my Mum and Dad would get ready and then leave us there overnight, only to creep back in in the early hours. One year in particular I remember my Mum wearing heels (never happens) and a red velvet dress and deep red Revlon nail varnish and I thought she was the most glamorous thing I have ever seen. Needless to say I cherished that nail varnish when she gave it to me when I was older.
3. When I had a strop.
This is my one of the most shameful moments of life and a memory I hate but it reminds me to be grateful for my presents every year. One year after receiving more presents than I knew what to do with, I had a paddy because my Mum and Dad hadn't given me any. They explained Santa does my gifts not them and they don't remember the event at all so it didn't last long but I distinctly remember sitting behind the back chair at the dining table having a sulk.
4. When we got iPods.
Honestly the most surprised I have ever been and the present I had the best reaction to was when my grandparents bought me and my brother iPod shuffles when I was about 15. We never had the newest technology, we didn't have fancy phones, we'd been using tapes and cassette players to listen to music for years and I just wasn't expecting it. My parents and grandparents had schemed together and bought us them as a surprise and we opened them together and I cried.
5. My first secret santa.
I had never done a secret santa until I was on my Foundation course and we all picked names from a hat and I got one of my dearest pals and I bought her penis shaped sweets and we all had a right lol. I've done countless secret santa's since but we'd not known each other all that long but we were already thick as thieves and Zoe who I had also had me and bought me a photo frame and put a pic of all of us in Venice on a gondola in it and I still have it up in my office.
6. My last nativity.
I remember a lot of my nativities from school from my first one as a fairy to the one I played 'a mother' to the one I was cinderella in my Dad's boots and a dress made of rags my Mum created. But the one I remember most vividly was when I was in year six and it all came full circle. When I was in reception in my first play I was a fairy who was asleep and the lead fairy bopped us on the head with a wand and we all got up and danced. In year 6 I was that lead fairy and I had all my little fairies that I had to bop on the head and they all danced and omg so cute.
7. When me and my brother went all out.
Me and my brother always try and get really solid presents for my parents but we don't have a lot of cash and they know it so they're all good with a few little bits. But one year when we were both in uni we splashed out a bit of our student loan and bought them tickets to see Elbow live in Cardiff the following April. I think they were about 60 quid and I remember being on the phone to book the tickets the day they came out when I was heading to lectures and we were so pleased. We'd seen Elbow together in Reading festival in 2011 and always said my parents simply had to go and they loved it when they saw them too.
8. When my Dad hid a bike.
My Dad always goes off list for my Mum with one main present and it's always something good. Lots of years it's been a weekend away or a gardening course or a comedy gig, one year it was the first mobile phone we had in the house and one year it was a bike. She'd wanted one to come out with us, he bought one and he hid it in his Mum's house. Late on Christmas Eve he went and collected it and I remember him wheeling it in on Christmas morning - still wrapped up.
9. Christmas dinner in uni.
Some of my fav memories of university were the three Christmas dinners we had there. The first year in halls we bought a 3 ft tree and did a secret santa and we invited all our friends and pulled crackers and had a roast. The other two years in our little house we had our two besties round and cooked a big chicken dinner with all the trimmings and decked the house out and had snowballs and played Trivial pursuit and got shouted at by our neighbours for shrieking too loud.
10. My first Christmas jumper.
When my brother was in university in Reading I remember him ringing me from outside a shop whilst waiting for one of his friends to do their shopping. He was bored, he called for a chinwag and happened to mention he had bought a Christmas jumper for their flat Christmas dinner and I said I'd never had one. That Christmas he bought me a novelty jumper with a polar bear on because he'd listened and remembered and it was one of the most thoughtful things he's ever bought me - I wear it every year without fail.
11. When me and Mum matched.
I think I mentioned this in my guest post with Steph but a few years back my Mum came to stay with me in my house in university and we spent a few glorious days together which included wandering town starting our Christmas shopping early. We went to Wilko and saw a little elephant doorstop that was adorbs and both fell in love with it. When she went home I went into Wilko to buy it for my Mum and it'd gone so I ordered it online and bought it anyway. Cue my surprise when on Christmas morning I opened a parcel to find the very same doorstop - turns out she was the one who'd gone back and bought it in Wilko in Wrexham when I was in lectures. Now hers props her kitchen door open and mine props our spare room open.
12. Christmas with the Craddocks.
Joss and I have been together for 8 christmasses now and have slowly but surely worked more time for ourselves into busy days with the family. After a few Christmasses of him coming to mine in the evening and then a few years of him working on Christmas Day, last year for the first time I spent the evening with his family. We played games which me and his sister were really good at and I saw all his extended family and we watched Love Actually before bed and it was a new tradition I didn't know I needed.
So this brings us nicely to this years Christmas and a new memory to add to the collection. It's Christmas Eve and I am officially signing off. I won't be posting again till next Friday when I'll be doing a big ol' Friday Favs roundup and then we'll be onto the new year. So there's just one minute to say thank you for reading my 12 days of Christmas series, I hope you enjoyed it and I wish you the very merriest Christmas of them all. Nadolig Llawen.