So, Christmas is over, technically. The tree is bereft of gifts and the turkey is nothing but a carcass being picked apart for sandwiches and stock (unless you’re vegetarian, like me, in which case you’re probably so glad right now you don’t have to deal with a turkey/chicken skeleton in your fridge). The rush to get cards written and sent has passed and now it’s time to ponder the cards you did get (and why you didn’t get as many as last year or why so-and-so didn’t send you one this year) and try to figure out where to put all the presents you received (if you’re lucky).
I had a lovely Christmas. I was going to have a really quiet one, away from family and basically mope around and be miserable with myself. My Mum was going to be co-conspirator in this – she wanted to do whatever would make me happy and figured if I wanted to boycott the family Christmas, then so be it, she’d help me and keep me company so I wasn’t completely on my own. A couple of family members weren’t happy about this. Christmas is a big deal in my family – our grandparents believed in family and togetherness and so we have always spent Christmas as a united whole – cousins, Aunts, Uncles, siblings and parents. So, when I announced I wanted a break from it (for my own selfish needs I must admit), there were a few grumbles of discontent.
In a loving, caring way, I was bullied a little into joining in the festivities. I’m so glad I was. I love my family and I don’t know what made me think I would want to be away from them at such an important time. I guess, after the year I’ve had, I didn’t exactly feel like celebrating or making with the merry. But that’s the whole point. When you’re feeling down in the dumps and completely unsociable, your family should be the ones to pull you out of the doldrums, give you a kick up the bum and make you remember that you are still loved and wanted around.
So, needless to say, I had a lovely Christmas Day, spent with loved ones who have supported me and comforted me this year, as they always do. It would have been insulting if I had ended up not making an appearance. Moral to the story – be grateful for family and be with them whenever you can, because they love you even when you don’t love yourself and are more than willing to drag you, kicking and screaming, into the familial bosom for a little distraction and fun.
There was one awkward moment when my young nephew asked where Uncle “E” was, but all in all, I forgot I was on my own for the most part and just joined in with the over-indulging, gift-giving frenzy. There is something very heart warming and comforting about watching little ones open their gifts and I am so glad I got to share this Christmas with my nephews and nieces. Their squeals and cries of delight made me feel happy and content. Blessed and thankful.
I stayed with my Mum for the night. She goes all out with her Christmas decorating (I am too lazy and don’t have the space). She has six Christmas trees, throughout the house, each one with a different theme and colour scheme. They are usually beautiful and co-ordinated. In other words, they put my decorating to shame. Her home is a Christmas wonderland…no tacky neon Santas or inflatable reindeers, Mum tends towards the vintage, traditional or classy, elegant looks. There are snowmen on shelves and snow-globes on tables, baubles in boxes and enough stars and tiny twinkling lights to fill Santa’s workshop.
We spent a few nice days together, Mum and I. We even went and stayed with my Dad and Step-Mother in the country for a day and night. I am so proud of my parents for getting on with their lives and, after the initial emotionally trying time that comes with all divorces when hearts are bruised and battered and lives need to be rebuilt, they are friends and still care about one another. My two “Mums” had a heart-to-heart while my Dad and I pottered about in the paddocks, checking on fences and livestock, and I think it was good for both of them to speak freely and find some common ground. I can only hope that I do not succumb to bitterness as my separation continues and divorce looms ever closer. On that subject, “he” did not call, message or contact me at all over Christmas which has hurt me more than I can say but I suppose has solidified in my mind how much I mean to him (or rather, how little I mean to him). I don’t think I am asking for too much to have the person I have loved for the past seven years to send me a little text message or email just saying “Merry Christmas”. Maybe I am dumb and naive. But it still hurts and makes me wonder what a terrible person I must have been to him to not deserve even the smallest of kindnesses.
But I digress…
Christmas this year has been restorative and soothing to me. I am rather ashamed that I thought I would be better off avoiding it (*slaps wrist and looks suitably guilty*) and hope that next year I am a little more gung-ho and enthusiastic, if only because I am so amazingly lucky to have the family I do and I should celebrate that whenever the opportunity arises.
I hope you enjoyed Christmas (for those who celebrate it) or some time off or just had a good week. I am looking forward to a New Year with new opportunities and challenges, a fully-mended (if somewhat fragile) heart and a healthier, happier, less stressed and sad me. I want 2014 to be a year of joy and well-being for all of you too.
Thank you for reading (and sorry for the self-indulgent wallowing associated with my break-up. It will pass soon enough but I hope you can forgive me a little while longer. I’m still mending…)