Christmas 2014 – I’ll Do It My Way
Christmas that is.
Not to the outside eye perhaps. But in the little details.
We are skirting round the edge of a cold/flu bug, rather than all getting super sick. (Keep your fingers crossed for us!) Thanks to our elderberry/ echinacea magic potion. So we’re the last few days we’ve been watching loads of Christmas movies, and feeling almost zero guilt, rather than cooking my way through all my cookbooks.
So there’ll be less foodie temptations around too. (I have already lost so much weight my trousers are falling down!) This will be my first gluten free, chocolate free Christmas – I’ve improvised a chocolate free, gluten free yule log. And GF mince pies. I have the GF bread for bread sauce and stuffing and boxing day sandwiches.
Talking of which – I have also bought a turkey crown so I can do it MY way at last (we always eat at my in-laws, and I never get to do turkey how I want… nor do we ever have the leftovers.) This in itself is REVOLUTIONARY!
It is silly how much the little things matter – and how long it takes us to just bite the bullet and do what we want… but there it is!
I haven’t been to a single Christmas party. Nor have I attempted to hold one. I cancelled our women’s group one.
The lack of stress and anxiety in both decisions feels wonderful.
Nor have I sent many Christmas cards. Ditto.
We didn’t go to a carol service – since childhood I have always gone to multiple carol services. I sang in lots of choirs. At graduate school in Cambridge I went to church twice a day on a Sunday. I loved the good hearted vicars. The caring community. The beauty of the 600 year old chapel. And the miracle of Trinity College choir – one of the top choirs in the world. My spirit felt at home.
But these past few years have been a journey away from the faith of my youth. Kindled in part by my weekly doorstep debates with the lovely Jehovahs Witness women. They wanted to bring me closer to god… and in preparing for my debates, in reading my Bible and their magazines, I found just how far from it all I felt. How much did not sit in any way comfortably with me. I couldn’t square it with my own values and outlook any more.
And so there has been an uneasy space where what was, was no more. But what is was still forming. And it still is.
The last couple of years I was sick so didn’t go to carols. But this year I chose not to. I have found the couple of times I have stepped foot in church the past year or so, for weddings and funerals, an anger has risen in me that makes me want to jump to my feet and yell. And that’s not a feeling I like.
So this year it is a quiet year. A season of reflection. Of zentangling and movies. Of dreaming and visioning the new year. Board games and the occasional spot of festive cooking or craft. And the occasional burst of exasperation as cooped up kiddies go loopy!
There will be presents galore on the day. As always I am freaking out that there will be tears as Santa buggers it up again. The children have been making and buying and wrapping for everyone in the family, and every day the stash under the tree gets bigger. I am loving watching the joy with which they are approaching gifting – so free, in comparison with my own angst that goes with gift giving.
I am giving myself permission that 2015 is the year I really do my life, my way. According to my priorities. I have been stepping closer and closer towards it these part years. Shedding skins. And doing a calm Christmas seems a good first step.
Wishing you the celebrations you need, in your very own way. Ones that make your spirits soar. That soothe and nurture you and your family.