I spend the day with my little cousins and help them to deliver cards around their housing estate while we all wear Santa hats. Then my mum picks me up on the way home from work, bringing the kids' presents with her so they can open them while we're there. Then we go home and I generally act like I'm ten years younger than I actually am, jumping up and down like a total moron and gibbering incoherently (OK, this is more of a bad habit than a tradition, but shhh). Then I watch festive TV in the evening, and go to my room to make sure all my parents' presents are packed nicely in their gift bags (of course they are, I've spent weeks re-arranging them, but I have to do it once more just for the excitement...)
Then I watch cartoons that I watched as a kid and get dreadfully sentimental, so indulge in a glass or two of wine/port/whatever's closest and scoff fruitcake with my mum. My Dad arrives home from work and empathises with my childishness.
Then we all sit in the glow of the tree and the lights (which never look prettier than on Christmas Eve) and watch festive TV, like
films, sitcom holiday specials, festive documentaries, whatever's on, and snack on our own body weight in indulgent munchies. Then I go to my Nan's house a street away to exchange gift bags (save her carrying things up the hill). Then I generally slug my way upstairs for a few hours to talk to people online (guess which site I'm going to be loitering on this year
hi there) then I get changed and me and my Mum meet my Nan who lives a street away and we all walk to midnight mass.
All through midnight mass I'm shamefully distracted from religion by the lovely atmosphere and my own silly excitement. On the way back we wave goodbye to my Nan and go home, where my Dad has hot turkey and stuffing sandwiches prepared for us. I put my Christmas PJs on (the past two years, it's been a Disneyland Paris Christmas Nighty, terribly unflattering but so adorable), I carry my parents' gift bags downstairs, then disappear into my room and lie there reminiscing about when I was younger and I'd be listening out for Santa's sleigh.
I just realised that I really ought to grow up by now. 19's not too old for still acting like a child, right?