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Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Now where was I?? ... Oh yes, Christmas....

Some of you will have read my previous post (if not, then stop here & read “Christmas Misery”) and will know that for some years the whole experience of the holiday season has not been particularly joyful for me. With both arduous family commitments and a lot of singing involved, it has proven to be far from the “joyous” festive season, one would wish it to be, indeed, it has been nothing but hard work, seriously un-rewarding & a constant battle to try and feel good about the gifts I buy my children. Not that they are particularly demanding, they aren’t, I am proud to say that I have brought them up without the “Brand” ethos, or “Next New Thing” Christmas list... It’s just that having been out of work for most of my adult life, and indeed, with neither my OH or I working at all since 2003, Christmas gifts have been so tightly budgeted for as to seem miserly, even to Scrooge!
That has just added to the stress of each Christmas day morning, especially when I knew that a number of their relatives would routinely spend the next opportunity they had (normally later that day or boxing day) rubbing it in just how much they had received for Christmas from “Santa” ....
So OK, this year, I have the far better start on the situation by having a good job, having been able to plan my Christmas shopping over a period of time & ask my children to write a list of what they would like and possibly get them something off that list!
So, Christmas Eve arrives, I have a few last minute things to get, Panto to go to, and the usual (but I’m afraid no less painful & tiring) Midnight Mass, to sing at. Then it’s the ritual early morning wrapping, depositing of the Santa sack by the bedside of the sleeping ones & finally bed for me.
Christmas morning, and my youngest awakes to her sack & each item pulled from it draws a little “yay” as she does so... unfortunately, her older siblings are either already downstairs on the Xbox (having walked straight past the sack by their bed) or still asleep, and have to be woken in order to get ready for church once more, and so we lose just a little more of the pleasure of the day.
After Church, we come home & they get to open the rest of their presents, at which point I get to see some genuine joy, until my youngest son opens his new PSP and announces that he wishes he could sell the games it came with & get a different one as these are boring! ...

So ends my attempt to enjoy Christmas...

Monday, 13 December 2010

Christmas Misery

Christmas is supposed to be a time for families to come together, share time, work at being happy together, and just co-exist peacefully.  So why do so many of us find that we experience the complete opposite at the festive season?
There can be so much stress and disappointment, so much ill feeling and regret which comes from the holiday period; it really does leave me wondering why some families bother getting together at all.   
I have very mixed memories of my family get-togethers – some good, especially when I was younger – but some less happy. I didn’t appreciate being dragged to spend time with people who made fun of the fact that my immediate family (Mum, Brother & I) attended church a lot during Christmas because we were in the choir, and in fact thought it was very funny to take the p**s out of us. I also am not very secure in my height, and this was also a source of amusement for family members, especially as my sibling was taller than me.
I can’t be alone in feeling that these once-a-year excuses for  large alcohol consumption, were nothing more than a playground for all those pent up sour grapes? A place for tantrums, tears and throw away criticism.
Surely it would be far easier if they kept their distances, fine, send a card, made the call on Christmas Day and send the soon-forgotten-gifts, but just do each other a favour, and stay away from each other! That way you might find that you will all have one less miserable memory of a Christmas time to try and forget.