Christmas | 2015

I remember being around fourteen years old sat on the floor in one of my aunts house rolling my eyes in that teen angst 'this is lame i'm so over it' sort of way, as my youngest cousins tore once carefully wrapped colourful paper off boxes, squealing in joy at the present clutched in their pudgy hands. My ever vigilant family caught onto my not so subtle exasperated sighs and turned to me with a pitying smile, "once you have children, you will enjoy christmas again". I'm not sure what happened after that, I can imagine I denied this and went back to being my surly teenage self pretending to hate the festivities but not hating it as much as I was making out to be.

Since then, I have had six more very different Christmases but I've never been able to quite shake the feeling of not enjoying them as much as I perhaps did as a child. I know this is not a revelation to many and a mere side affect of growing up; yet it is something that became even more apparent when I started university this year.

As the festive season approached I watched my flatmates, and by this point I would call them friends, become excited for all things Christmas and I realised that this was the first time in my life I could control and create my own Christmas. I wasn't dictated by my family and extended family of what Christmas day would entail and instead could have the Christmas day I had always hoped for...just not on the actual day. Luckily one of my flatmates took Christmas very seriously and threw herself into planning an entire day of festive fun with a Will-Ferrell-in-the-movie-Elf like enthusiasm.

Naturally, trying to organise a fake Christmas day for eight people who have different lives and university still to attend things didn't go as planned but when does life anyway? It was still one of the best days I have had at university and made me feel very grateful to have such a great flat. The fake Christmas day of flat J2.1 consisted of: board games, obnoxiously loud singing to festive hits, charades, a roast dinner, secret santa, christmassy films, too many snacks and a drunken quiz that got slightly out of hand.

It turns out I didn't have to wait until I (possibly) have children to enjoy Christmas again. It may have been on a budget, with questionable decorations and nothing extraordinary to others but for me, it was everything I had hoped for. I went to bed that night with flushed, aching cheeks from laughing all day long and my heart fuller than my stomach.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, with much love from my dysfunctional uni family xo

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