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A Christmas for grown-ups is relatively easy and one to look forward to

By Nina Steele 

Childfree couples having funMy husband and I spent Christmas with his parents, and it was a relatively simple affair. As was the case the year before last, it was just the four of us. As the only couple on his side of the family without children, this arrangement, although never discussed formally, has become the norm.

As you would expect, there were many articles in the run up to Christmas, advising readers on how to cope with the inevitable tension that would arise around big family gatherings. One article referred to how, many families revert to childhood pecking orders, with old wounds being reopened in the process. I have to admit that I read these articles with a certain sense of relief, knowing that this was not going to be our experience.

Indeed as it was just the four of us, mention of other people was kept to a minimum. The focus was mainly on us, and the world at large. As you can imagine, with the UK going through a political turmoil of epic proportions, Brexit was never far off. Thankfully, we had Netflix to distract us from all the turmoil going on around us. We were all hands on deck as far as the Christmas meal itself was concerned. The same thing was true when it came to cleaning up afterwards. It was all very civilised.

The fact that it was a grown-ups only Christmas didn’t make it less steeped in tradition. On top of having turkey, another tradition we observed was the opening of presents. Well my father-in-law made sure of that. It was rather amusing when he kept reminding us that it was time to open our presents. The remaining three of us were playing it cool, trying to delay proceedings, but he would have none of it. It was all great fun of course.

Christmas may be associated with children, but above all, it’s a time for people to get together and have some fun. Whatever form that gathering takes, is of course up to you and your personal circumstance. This arrangement works very well for us. Equally, we don’t mind it being just the two of us at Christmas, and have spent it that way many times before. What we are unlikely to do in the near future however, is big family gatherings. Christmas is a stressful enough time, without having the added stress of dealing with a big group of people, particularly when there is so much baggage attached to some of those relationships.

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