Favourite day of the year.

It’s late, but it’s Christmas Eve. My favourite day of the whole year.

As a child, the anticipation, the waiting, the excitement was almost over. Possibly the slowest, longest day ever.
Chances of sleep? Nil.
Chances of remaining calm? Nil.
In the bath, quick bit of supper, then a long (and I mean long) night ahead.

No Christmas Eve jamas, just clean sheets and my swede was surely going to burst.

Ambling around the bedroom in the dark, extra quiet, so as not to stir the rents.
Often, Aunties and Uncles would land for a “quick drink” then they’d disappear into the night.
Everything switched off, then an eerie silence descended upon the house.

Every creak of floorboards and stairs could be heard at full volume.

Christmas Eve 1975. After 3am.
Sat in the front room, trying to guess what was in our presents with the brother. (one stumped me, it was a colour changing torch) we’d already missed Father C.
Suddenly, the bedroom door handle of Mum and Dad’s room creaked open.
Off went the light we were using, the gas fire on one bar.
Quick find somewhere to hide!

Behind the chair for me, behind the tree for brother. Thought my heart was going to come out of my chest. We were sure to be rumbled as Mum came down the stairs. The front room door opened, deep breathe!
It was Mum coming down for a drink.
Kitchen light on, surely we’d be spotted?

Taps running then light off, doors shut.
One quick last look into the front room. Was the fire still on?

Mum was gone.
Huge sighs of relief all round. Phew.
Stayed up until around 5.30am.
Regretted it the next day though. By 10am we were wilting. Never again.

Christmas Eve 1987. After 3am.
On way home from the club. Frozen as had to walk because there were no taxis.
Spent the day working until lunch, then out on the beer until well after 2am.
Exciting, as all the gang were out.
Not one bit of trouble all night. Everyone having a good time.

Lived in digs on my own. Strange Christmas day. Spent wondering around.
Was ok as landlady put on a few crackers and made us a dinner. Early to bed, worn out.

I usually make all my mince pies on Christmas Eve, but this year I’ve prepped a bit better.
All done as we moved into Christmas Eve.

Means something a bit different nowadays.
Lots still to do, some of it will get done, some won’t.
Up at 6.30am to get the meat, fruit and veg.

No fav Christmas tune, each year it tends to change depending on what mood I’m in.
As does the theme of Christmas.
Some years I’m ahead with buying presents, others not so much.
Some years it’s a baking Christmas break, others it’s a messing about break.
Sometimes I go out and about, other times it’s a stay at home and chill out break.

What ever you do for Christmas Eve, here’s wishing you a peaceful and healthy Christmas and New Year.
Don’t be staying up until 3am waiting to open your presents!

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