This year for the first time, we are alone as a family. Previously we have been with wider family for the day, either in America with Ken's sister, or my Mum in Macclesfield. We have also had Ken's parents to stay. This year, however, we are on our own.
Rather than finding this disappointing, with a quick bit of mental readjustment and change of expectations we have found this to be liberating. We were talking with Angus about what he thought Christmas was about:
A Celebrating the birth of Jesus. (Okay, ground rules established.)
D Not Father Christmas coming then?
A No, it's a birthday party.
D So how should be celebrate it then? What do you want to do?
A Have a birthday party.
M Normally you would eat turkey and roast veg?
A No, I don't like that. I think we should have party food.
M Such as? Pasta and a birthday cake, of course! With a candle on top.
D I wonder how many candles we should have.
A Just one big one in the middle because Jesus is the light of the world. And then we can all light a candle off the Jesus one because his light spreads through the world showing people how to live. Can we turn out all the lights on Christmas eve and do that?
So that's what we are going to do. We won't be sitting around a telly watching films, as we don't have one. We won't be opening massess of presents as we will be seeing more family later on and have already had presents from my Mum. Instead, on Christmas eve we will light candles and tell the Christmas story. On Christmas day we will open stockings, go to church and will be eating pasta for Christmas dinner followed by birthday cake. Then presents and party games. Unconventional, but it makes more sense than many traditions. Christmas is, after all, a birthday party celebrating one big present sent to all of us: Jesus.