Families are complicated.
We all know that.
We all wish we could change something about our families. Whether we just wish our fathers would tell less dad jokes or our mums would finally learn how to cook without burning everything. (My mum is an amazing cook, I'm the one who burns everything!)
But sometimes I wonder if mine is more complicated than most. If there was a competition for the most disjointed family, I'm pretty sure we'd be guaranteed at least a bronze medal. Maybe even a gold medal at times.
That's not to say that I don't love my family, because I do. But each year I convince myself that we'll have a massive tree with hundreds of presents underneath it and all the family will be there. Basically, I think my life will turn into an American holiday movie. You know the ones - there's a massive Christmas tree and lots of wine and laughter, not to mention the ginormous amount of presents. Seriously, does anyone ever get that many presents in real life?! I really want to know the answer.
And so far, my life has never turned into an American holiday movie! (Never say never though, right?)
My family is split into three separate groups that never mix, and never have done for as long as I can remember. Three groups that keep getting more and more dysfunctional and drift further and further away from each other. And I have to ask myself, do I really want them to mix? The honest answer is... no. It would be like mixing Coca Cola and Mentos. It wouldn't be pretty whatsoever. It would be dramatic, but very ugly. I love drama, it's what keeps life interesting but I don't want to watch my family implode in front of my eyes. No one likes painful drama. Especially not at Christmastime; the time of year that is all about family and love.
But my heart has a different answer. I want the Christmas of my dreams... Maybe one day I'll get it. But for now, I'll just have Christmas with my two favourite family members, laugh an excessive amount at the jokes in our crackers, and eat way too much trifle as always! I'll watch back to back episodes of Dad's Army - one of the most stereotypical British tv shows that's always on at Christmas - and laugh until my stomach hurts. Maybe there will be snow and we'll be able to have a snowball fight and build the best snowman you've ever seen. Although the last time I saw enough snow to build a snowman I was a toddler, and now I'm 22 so I think that's pretty unlikely!
While writing this, I've realised that my Christmas will be magical... maybe not in the way that I wish it would be, but spending time with people who love me is what Christmas is all about. My family may be as dysfunctional as they come but they're my family. And despite all their flaws, they'll always be family. And I hope that they can find the magic of Christmas for themselves.
And I hope that all of the people reading this feel the spirit of Christmas this year. I hope that no matter what you do for the festive season, you have fun and spend time with the people who matter the most to you. To those of you whose lives are like an American Christmas movie, I'm slightly *very* jealous and I hope that you realise how lucky you are. Also, make a snowman for me. It's definitely not going to snow here!!