Thursday, 26 December 2013

Santa and me

Everyone who knows me and/or is reading my blog knows that I'm a determined Christmas hater (and you probably pull a face now thinking "Oh, no, not again this old nagging").

It is a long time ago now that I made/received the last presents and I couldn't be happier with this and never ever want to go back to this bothersome obligation.
Now that the holidays are nearly over and done with  (and a weight has been lifted again off my shoulders, well at least for another year...) I wanna try and articulate my more than ambivalent feelings concerning Christmas.

I don't think I'm a Scrooge through and through.
The idea of sparkly festive clothes, nice food, a large family gathering and  a "proper" Christmas is not completely unappealing to me. Fact is, I never had it.
As a child of course I was happy about getting all the presents (as an only child and only grandchild you can guess what waggonloads of stuff I got each year!). Then I got a little older and was dissappointed by our low-key traditions. I wanted to have picture perfect celebrations, a Christmas that could be described as "normal" and not out usual slumber party in jogging pants and slippers. Trying to enforce my vision was hopeless and resulted only in a poisoned atmosphere where it was last needed. My Mum liked fairy lights and roasted goose but didn't care much about the whole dressing up, being together and celebrating thing so was naturally always on edge before anything had even happened.

The coming home myth never had any thruth in it for me as I always have been home. No delayed flights, no packed motorways, no snowy train rides - I should have been happy about that but it always seemed even more boring.
I watched American  films and started fantasising about a decorated house full of uncles, aunts, grandparents, grown-up brothers and sisters and babies, all coming home, all having a good time int the snow, stuffing their faces...and knew it would never happen.
My first granddad died in the winter when I was just 3 years old, years later one of my grannies was dying and lay in bed with terminal cancer, a confused mind and morphin plasters in the room next to the christmas tree. Another year my other granny suffered a stroke that she never recovered from again on New Year's day. Then my Mum spent the run up to the holiday season in hospital after a difficult cancer op, a few years later in another hospital recovering from an even more major (and hopeless) metastasis op, a year later she was at home with the mark of death and knew it was the last ever Christmas for her.
Even in the years desasters didn't strike there where at least cases of food poisoning, a near heart attack, emergency doctor visits or simply a hefty cold. Would have been boring otherwise, wouldn't it?!

Even though I can't fight it sometimes my concern is not to feel sorry for myself now or to get pity by everyone.
I just have been very very unlucky with Christmas in my life so far and have given up hope so I'm rather ignoring it as good as I can than being in for another disappointment.

Enjoy it when your celebrations so far have been under a luckier star and be thankful! I'm envying you.
But never forget that others might have their reasons for not being all christmassy at all.

It's Boxing Day, I have been hitting the shops to make some bargains in the sales and feel relieved.
Nearly twelve hopefully wonderfully normal months are lying ahead of me. I can't wait.


  1. Some parts of your plight sound awfully familiar...
    I am not a big fan of Christmas either. However, my husband and I started out own tradition in celebrating away from home. This works splendidly for us.

  2. amen, that's exactly where I'm coming from. it was my first year of ignoring Christmas, and I've never felt better. Christmas back home is such a disappointment. always has been. I think my whole family is a disappointment, and the holidays are always when it becomes most obvious. I'd like to have the stereotypical happy Christmas with everyone getting alone, a big tree and a snowman in front of the house, but you can't force it. so I'm better off without it... xoxo

  3. A very brave post in a culture with an arguably unhealthy obsession with Christmas.

    I was brought up in a Christian family. My dad was a minister. And although I have many unanswered questions I still believe in God. So I have no problem with the religious aspect of Christmas. It's what we've done to it over the years that I object to, transforming it from the celebration of the birth of a baby in a stable to a sentimental family fest or a commercial orgy.

    I've had some wonderful Christmasses and a couple of truly horrid ones. The best were those spent in the company of other people. And by that I mean, not just my own immediate family, but other families and friends, and the odd stranger. The ones where we rewrote the rules.

    I believe the time has come to reclaim Christmas and celebrate it in a way that enhances rather than oppresses our spirit.