I remember attending a marriage preparation course once where the facilitator said: “You’re weeks away from getting married, knee-deep in organising photos and cake and table decorations. Well, today we’re going to put all that to one side and focus on what marriage is really about.”
There was an audible sigh of relief around the room, and that feeling is what I get when, on Christmas Eve, we meet our good friends and head for the hills.
Our two families go for a long walk usually in the Pennines, occasionally in the snow, and then back home for soup and bread. Afterwards, we sit around chatting over cups of tea while the children hang out.
It’s deliberately simple, and that’s what I love about it. Time out from preparing gifts and food, from fretting over decorations and frippery. Just family and friendship.