At the end of the Christmas season last year, I noticed someone on eBay had discounted their vinyl Christmas-themed table cloths. Given that was something we don't have, I went ahead and ordered one without mentioning it to the family.
Before I was due to go in for my operation, I went up to our loft and brought down all the old nappy boxes full of Xmas baubles and the likes, as I am the only one who knows exactly where in the loft everything is stored. Inside one, I had put this so I didn't forget about it.
When I pulled this out proudly to show the family, Charlotte knocked me down with the cutting comment: 'Good God, the Grinch has bought herself a Christmas tablecloth!'
That got me to thinking... Do my family consider me to a festive party pooper, and if so, why?
It is true that I find Xmas quite stressful. I want everyone to be happy and finding gifts to please everyone equally worries me as I don't want to let anyone down but don't feel confident that I have found the perfect present. Maybe that comes across as me being an unhappy gift-buyer, when in fact I am just a bit of a paranoid one. I want it to be so special for everyone that I apparently screw up by looking worried!
Then there's the tree. I like our tree but our house barely fits the seven of us so half the dining room being taken over by a Scandinavian pine forest stresses me because it makes me feel a bit claustrophobic. But where others interpret this as me being pissed off at having a tree kicking about my house, what is stressing me is in fact the size of my dining room and not my tree! I get quite S.A.D. in Scotland in winter so can't imagine how I'd cope without all the pretty lights and candles, but again, all people see is me being grumpy, once again.
I don't tend to decorate the tree itself, not because I am not interested in it, but more to give the kids pleasure. I know so many parents who won't let their kids near the tree for decorating purposes because they have a very fixed idea of how it should end up. I love the chaos we end up with every year, with sparkly shoes next to various birds and all sorts of home-made baubles from years gone by. I like that it looks like a kid decorated it because that means the kids had fun. But somehow me sitting taking photos of them putting it up comes across as me just not being very into it☹️ Who knew?
There's nothing I like better than listening to the Xmas CD on the school run all of December, but because I vetoed it once in November, I apparently don't like Xmas music either!
I happily participate in family evenings in front of Xmas movies but no one seems to notice. I even read Skipping Christmas, long before it hit the screens as Christmas with the Kranks...
I've never been a baker, that's true, but again I love to see the kids making their Danish biscuits and gingerbread houses. Thomas and Charlotte take over on that front leaving the Grinch out, as usual.
To me Christmas is more about seeing family, chatting and eating the lovely and traditional meals we serve up, both on Danish Xmas day and on the Scottish one. Everyone being together is much more important than anything else.
So somehow, I have become known as the family Grinch, even if I'm not the least bit green or evil. I'm not sure how to change their perception of that for the future.