This year, my friends and family have been a little surprised at my change of attitude towards Christmas, and all things festive. I am known as being very bah humbug, get very stroppy at posts counting down to Christmas before it’s even December, and prone to making sarcastic remarks at people announcing they have done all their Christmas shopping early!
I have to confess, whilst I do like Christmas, and the actual day, and some of the planning and prep for it, and usually enjoy bits of the celebrations, and I am pretty good at pretending to enjoy it because the children love Christmas of course, but mostly, I have spent all of my adult life, anticipating Christmas with a mix of dread and sadness.
I don’t like the commercial aspect of Christmas, and how early the shops and retailers start pushing the Christmas season, but there is more to it than that.
My mother died on Boxing Day, 19 years ago this year, and I think all of my Christmases have been tainted slightly by the memory of that year, despite therapy, and also trying to just pull myself together and move on and knowing that she would have hated me to be so miserable, on a day and in a season that she generally enjoyed. I also find planning, and catering for people at Christmas stressful, and exhausting, and the whole emotional expectation that family can put on each other at this time of year, is harder to manage when tinged with the wish, in the back of my mind that the one person who I would like to have, here isn’t there.
My dad being away for the first Christmas in a long time, really could have put the cream on the cake for me, in terms of slipping into a pit of bah humbugedness and hoping that Christmas would come and go as fast as possible. We will miss him this year, and the family time we have, and I have to cook Christmas Dinner (he usually does) so really, I have the perfect excuse to be a grinch…
(add a mop of gingerish brown hair and glasses and you’ve got me!)
But, I have decided that I am NOT going to dread Christmas this year, and I am not going to let myself get maudlin and mopey. Some time in September, I just decided, that for once, I was going to look forward to Christmas, and we would do Christmas the way we wanted, and we would have some lovely family time, and I would enjoy it.
So, my to the shock of the world around me, I have been anticipating and sharing my new found love of all things Christmassy. I have done things I had meant to do years ago (get myself the Christmas candle set my mother always had, bought a gingerbread house kit to make with the children, and a new Advent Calendar, and we actually made Christmas cards this year, and they will be posted in plenty of time too) and I have even done some Christmas shopping and booked my grocery delivery slot. I don’t feel a cold sweat coming on when we talk about what we will do for our Christmas meal, and I am looking forward to hosting friends on Christmas Eve, instead of sloping off to someone’s house and pretending all is wonderful, when really I have wanted to curl up at home alone, with my memories. We have a whole new set of Christmas songs and carols to listen to, and for the first time since Mum died, I can listen to Hark the Herald Angel sings (her favourite song) without breaking down in tears. By the way, if you want to listen to a non traditional, very lovely version of the song, this is my favourite.
So no more feeling sorry for myself. Bye Bye Bah Humbug. Hello Christmas Spirit.
Sharing this no more Bah Humbug revelation over at The Oliver’s Mad House, for Magic Moments…