Updated: Jan 1
I used to adore Christmas as a kid, but as the years went on, the people that I loved were no longer around, and it became harder and harder for me, particularly after my beloved Dad passed away 25 years ago. I didn't know how to be at peace with Christmas and so I became bitter, angry and very lonely. I tried various solutions to help me through it - I spent the time with other peoples' families, I volunteered at a local charity Christmas lunch, I tried to ignore the whole thing - but to be honest, nothing really filled the gap, because what I wanted was the Christmases I used to have, and love, as a child.
Two weeks ago, during a weekly support group meeting at The Listening House, we talked about the possibility of making Christmas be about "Christmas time", rather than Christmas Day itself. What a revelation! I had already decided to be open and curious about the elements of the season that I did enjoy, for example the twinkling Christmas lights, the singing, and this revelation of Christmas time just opened up a whole new world. Since then, I have put up a mini Xmas tree on my mantelpiece, along with a beautiful reindeer ornament made out of wood, Richard the cuddle cat cushion wears a Santa hat, and I even bought a Christmas jumper! To be honest, I didn't even really like the word Christmas before, and this blog post contains the word 12 times!
I'm really excited about how this Christmas time is going to play out for me. The day itself will still be the same as it has been for me - I will treat it like a day of rest, with lots of cuddles on the sofa with Coco (the actual cat), probably bingeing a boxset on Netflix, and enjoying a bit of peace and quiet as everyone else will be busy and not be requiring anything from me! And I am going to choose how I spend my time and energy for the rest of the festive season.
And I reckon I'm really going to enjoy it now I'm calling the shots :-)
Thank you for listening.
*if you enjoy the themes of these musings and would like to learn more, or join in similar conversations, please head over to The Listening House.