I have a confession: I won't be spending Christmas Day with my boyfriend.
I never have in the years we have been together, and in all honesty, I don't plan on doing it any time soon. And it's not because there is anything stopping us spending the day together, it's a conscious decision that actually, didn't take much thought.
I'm well aware that there's a large majority of people who will disagree, and then there will be a group of people, perhaps a smaller group, who will firmly sit in the same camp as me.
Since December started and plans for Christmas kicked off, my choice of not spending Christmas day with my boyfriend seems to have been a topic of conversation.
"You're not seeing him on Christmas Day?"
"Not at all?"
Initially I didn't really have an explanation. It wasn't really a choice for me. Do I need to explain why? Does there have to be a reason?
For the record, and for the next person that wonders why I'm very content with my decision, here it goes.
Quite simply, I've whittled it down to these two things: family and tradition.
Christmas is by far my favourite time of year and it's never really been a discussion with my boyfriend as to whether or not we'll spend it together. We just don't.
Even at 25, I'm firmly stuck with the same traditions that I've had since I can remember. There is nothing that brings me more happiness than spending Christmas with my family, cousins, aunties and uncles. And of course, just as I have my own family traditions and routines on the big day, my boyfriend does too.
For me, and I'm sure for the majority of people, Christmas is the one time of the year our entire family comes together, aside from one-off events such as weddings or anniversaries. It's that one day of the year that is guaranteed. We know without fail everyone will be there. It's the one day everyone looks forward to. We count down to it. We buy new games, we swap Christmas lists, we start getting excited to see each other as soon as the festive season hits.
My whole family loves Christmas (almost as much as me) and while we do have the whole year to see each other - distance, work and general life gets in the way. Yet at Christmas everyone is always there. And it doesn't matter how long it's been since we've seen each other, it's always the most incredible day.
We find out about each other's new jobs, new partners, anything and everything that's new that we might have missed in the past year. We hear about each other's achievements, plans, funny things that have happened. Oh and we eat, a lot. No one is distracted by work or having to leave quickly to head home. Everyone is focused on the day, not wanting it to end.
Although my boyfriend is very much part of my life, our parting of ways on 25 December is not to do with me not wanting to see him, it's about wanting to see the people that I see so little of. Is that so bad?
But it's also about those traditions and routines and that feeling of being a child that I don't really want to let go of yet.
At about 7am myself and my sisters will go into my parents room and open our stockings, an hour later we'll head downstairs to open more presents, then have breakfast, then head to our neighbours for champagne and more food, then see our family... it's the same every year.
My dad will cook breakfast (and my sisters and I will sort of try and help), my mum will cook the most amazing roast (and my sisters and I will sort of try and help again), we'll sing loudly, wear Santa hats, drink prosecco and swap presents.
Am I ready for another body to be part of that routine? Not really, not quite yet.
Although my sister and I have moved out, we don't have our own families. We aren't the adults in the family, we're still the kids. And up until the point where we do have our own families and begin to create our own traditions and routines on Christmas day, I don't want it to change. I don't want to be splitting my attention between my boyfriend and my family.
Eventually I will. So what's so bad about holding on to the familiarity and joy of being a kid at Christmas? Getting as excited opening stockings as I was ten years ago, singing Christmas songs all day, filling the floor with wrapping paper.
When I do have my own kids I'll take up that role of being a mum, doing the cooking, buying the stockings. I'll create new traditions and the day will be completely different but up until that day, I'm not willing to negotiate how I spend Christmas. Soz.Suggest a correction