Say what you like, Christmas has become an incredibly stressful experience.
When I was a child I revelled in the whole Christmas experience. Born in the late 50's in a Scottish backwater, my early Christmasses were universally magical, from my first doll's house, all the way through to my first Dansette record player when I was in my very early teens. I believed in Santa Claus until I was 12 and somehow managed to weave the whole Baby Jesus thing successfully into the Christmas story. I well remember putting two and two together re Wise Men + Gold/Frankincense / Myrhh = PRESENTS.
As an adult, Christmasses were rather less magical until I had my children, and then I suddenly rediscovered just how wonderful they could be. My children were born in the early/mid 80s, and even then, there was a naivete about Christmas which was delightful.
Nowadays, I deplore the inexorable slide into rank commercialism. Shops are full of 'XMAS' even before Halloween. There is HUGE pressure to provide the perfect Christmas and women are in the front line of everyone's expectations.
If I have to listen to another celebrity chef telling me how to cook the 'perfect' sprout, or make the 'perfect' stuffing, or 'perfectly crispy' roast potatoes I swear I will run amok with a cranberry/vodka jus.
Even as I write, I can hear Gordon Ramsay banging on about making truffles.
Our little bit of the South East is forecast more snow tomorrow (up to 5 cm) and yet more on Christmas Eve. My daughter is currently in deepest, darkest north-east Essex, and it's touch and go whether she will be able to get here.
I'm torn because although I want her with me for Christmas (we haven't missed a Christmas Eve together in 28 years) I also want her to be safe, and not driving in dreadful conditions.
Add into the mix the fact that she's caught some dreadful lurgy from her boyfriend and you can understand why I want her safe, AND warm, and not stressed about having to get here if she can't.