Thursday, December 20, 2012

The First Christmas

This is going to be our first Christmas without Dad, and it's not going to be easy. In fact I'm dreading it, but I'm trying to stay focused on making it a special time for our children and my nephews.

I normally love Christmas. It has deep spiritual meaning for me, and while I realise that's not how everyone feels, I also love that Christmas sometimes brings out the best in people who otherwise can't be bothered. People send cards, and make phone calls, and bake for one another. They feel closer together and that's a good thing.

But like anyone, there are things about Christmas that drive me crazy.

I object to what I call "Christmas tat". Cheap and nasty decorations and gifts that are badly made, unwanted and unwelcome. The shops are full of Christmas tat at the moment and to me it's just a symbol of how commercial Christmas has become. I hate the fact that people refer to it as Xmas, and just remove Christ completely. 

I also find that I can't stand some of our modern Christmas carols. I adore music, I do, but some carols drive me crazy, and I was astonished to find myself in a shop being subjected to terrible versions of lovely Christmas songs in the month of October. It's October, people. It's too early for Christmas music in shops.

But those things aren't the point. The point is, I'm rather like Douglas Adams' electric monk just at the moment. I am simultaneously holding two contradictory beliefs. The first is that Christmas will be fine. We are all organised. The meals with our respective families are sorted. The presents are all bought and mostly wrapped. It will be fine.

The second is that if I just close my eyes and block my ears and pretend it's not happening, that Christmas will just go away and I won't have to face it.

At some point, I know, I'm going to have to face the fact that neither of these things are actually the truth. It won't be fine, and it won't go away.

But, as Ms Awesome pointed out to me the other day, we only have to get through this first Christmas once. It's just one day. Even if it hurts like hell, it's just one day.

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