It’s just as well that Christmas comes but once a year

Sometimes it’s just as well that Christmas comes but once a year.

It’s just as well that Christmas comes but once a year

Christmas is a special time of year for more reasons than the obvious. Liv Gardiner shares stories about advent calendars, Santa and off-limits conversations.

•••

When I was about eight, I remember discovering that my four-year-old brother had eaten not only the entirety of his own advent calendar chocolates, but also the contents of both mine and my two sisters. With mouth and face covered in chocolate, he swore on our cat’s life that it wasn’t him. When our parents told him that Santa didn’t come for children who stole or lied, I watched him go white, then red with rage. I will never forget watching my little brother standing in the garden yelling profanities into the sky.

“Rudolph!” he yelled, pointing accusingly at the clouds. “If you don’t make Santa come and give me presents, I won’t leave any carrots out, and you and your deer friends will starve!”

He continued for around half an hour until his little voice gave out, but I do distinctly remember the cry of, “You will regret this Santa! And so will your elves!”

•••

The wonder of Santa was diminished slightly after discovering that when my big sister – then aged 10 – had confronted my parents about his existence they confessed. From that year on she had bussed to the shops, chosen and bought all of ‘Santa’s’ presents for the rest of us younger siblings.

•••

Years later, our Christmas days look a little different. Our home is filled with friends and family from all over, especially those who, like us, don’t practise the strict nuclear family celebration structure I grew up seeing in American movies.

My mother and uncle, despite growing up together and sharing quite similar childhoods, have almost polar opposite belief systems. As such, while my siblings and cousins all get along well, it has proven to be the source of various memorable disputes in the past.

Consequently, my family has taken to placing a whiteboard in the kitchen, on which we write a list of ‘off limits’ topics.

The list grows as the day progresses, as anyone is able to contribute suggestions, should things take a turn. The list last year read:

  • football teams
  • politics
  • climate change
  • gender roles
  • immigration
  • religion or anything God-related.

We all enjoyed extensive discussion about the weather that year.

•••

Does Christmas in your household involve a whiteboard of banned conversations?

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    KB
    21st Dec 2018
    10:05am
    If all families did the the whiteboard then Christmas would be less stressful and more enjoyable.
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2018
    11:36am
    Give 'em one chance to offer reason and fair play - then throw 'em in the river for refusal... works every time...
    GeorgeM
    21st Dec 2018
    9:23pm
    What a stupid list including "religion or anything God-related". In case the writer did not realise, Christmas is a religious (Christian, to spell it out) festival. All retail-driven add-ons are optional, for fun no doubt, but don't ignore the basic reason for Christmas!
    Also, seems like a Fake story about a 4-year old - I don't think 4-year-olds talk like that!

    The key caution when people who don't keep in touch (wonder why not) suddenly meet up should be diplomacy & tact - for adults anyway. Can't do much about the spoilt kids (like the one in the fake story)!
    FrankC
    22nd Dec 2018
    5:56pm
    Chriostmas is not a 'religious' festival, George, it is based on a pagan festival; and Jesus was not bornn in December, but in October.Take tool long to explain here.
    GeorgeM
    22nd Dec 2018
    8:31pm
    FranksC, as per Wikipedia (as neither I nor you should claim to be the expert, unless you are a Church Leader), "Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world". Who celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ? Christians of course!

    I am not interested in explanations from any non-believers anyway, so keep your views to yourself as I am well across the matter. Anyway, I was simply commenting about the stupidity of the comment in the article about what NOT to talk about at Christmas.


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