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Monday, 31 December 2018

Not the best Christmas

Well, Christmas is over, accompanied by a huge sigh of relief.
I never really look forward to Christmas and this year particularly was never going to be good. With my mother's death still leaving a raw wound, and a couple of bouts of illness hitting me in late November, I was immersed in gloom, unable to plan ahead, and leaving present-buying and putting up decorations till the last minute. Then a Twitter friend reminded me of a conversation we'd had back in September - that grief is at its worst after about three months, and for both of us, that was lining up with Christmas - and things started to slot into place. Sometimes understanding what is wrong is halfway to curing it.



There were changes this year. Once my parents came over every Christmas day but it recent years that wasn't possible due to my mum's mobility problems so we'd have a lazy morning and visit them during the afternoon. This year my dad came over to ours, and our day had to fit round him - the times he likes to eat, actually cooking full Christmas dinner, not watching anything violent or noisy (or those nude scenes from Love, Actually) on TV. A was an odd combination of sad and boring.


A happier change was passing on a family tradition to the next generation. When they were younger, our daughters had The Night Before Christmas read to them just before bedtime on Christmas Eve, but this year we all went to the eldest's to hear it read to my grandson. He fidgeted a bit, but hopefully will grow to love it.

There's so much pressure though to feel Christmas must be happy and fun-filled for every minute, and obviously in my circumstances it wasn't really possible. There were a lot of tensions and emotional moments, and I sometimes felt like all my small sadnesses were joining themselves up to make a huge overwhelming wave.


There have fortunately been good moments this Christmas. There's a massive amount of fun to be had just watching and playing with my grandson, but perhaps the best thing was having our youngest daughter home for the whole week, which was really special as since she left home in February we've only seen her for a couple of days here and there. Somehow she took me out of myself, changed my focus and I now feel like I've turned a corner, and the new year looks welcoming in a way I wouldn't have believed possible in the run up to Christmas.

This year the (rather pathetic) decorations will come down early - partly because I still don't really feel jolly enough to leave them up till Twelfth Night, but also because I'm impatient to get on with next year.




6 comments:

  1. Mary you have had a tough year for sure and I am glad that you did manage to get some comfort from having your family around you at Christmas. I am sending you the very best wishes for a happy 2019 and a period of new beginnings. #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. Thank you, Jo. Like you I'm looking forward to a happier settled year x

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  2. I really suffer with the pressure to be 'happy' at Christmas Mary and I have to admit that it's not my favourite time of year. You have had a tough time recently and at least the New Year feels like a fresh start. Wishing you and your family very best wishes for 2019. Thanks so much for joining us at #TweensTeensBeyond xx

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    1. Thank you, Sharon. It sort of feels an appropriate time to draw a line under the last year, and start to look ahead again. Hard to do in many ways, but I think it's for the best. Always happy to join in at #TTB

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  3. I love the passing of the Night Before Christmas tradition Mary. We also still read it to my daughter on Christmas Eve and this year my niece too. They are both teens. I can imagine that you could have done without Christmas this year but it's one step closer towards your fresh start and the making of some new traditions while cherishing the old too. Thanks for sharing with us at #teenstweensbeyond and I hope that January has brought some respite your way

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    1. Thank you, Nicky. It was certainly an odd Christmas, but life marches on regardless. I love that you have teens in your family who still listen to Night Before Christmas. Sometimes the best traditions are the ones we make for ourselves x

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