People keep asking me “Are you ready for Christmas?”
Well, the house looks festive, – there’s a beautiful Christmas tree in the living room, a wreath on the door and sparkly lights outside the house. I’ve ordered a goose (not a turkey fan) and I seem to have bought enough cheese to feed all the mice in the village. And their cousins.
But overall, the answer is no, I am NOT ready for Christmas. Hopefully, by the time you receive this, I might be more “ready”, but at the time of writing (Thursday evening), I most certainly am NOT! I haven’t wrapped a single present, I still have a fair bit of food shopping to do, I’ve done no “get ahead” cooking and I definitely don’t have a bl**dy plan for Christmas Day (or any other day). Nor have I “packed away” work for the Christmas break.
I’ve spent today working hard to resolve stuff that wasn’t even on my urgent important list, but which overtook the urgent important stuff. Hmmmm… It’s as if somebody is testing me to see how much I can take! I doubt it’s all going to magically fall into place just in time for when the bell strikes midnight on Christmas Eve, like it does in the Christmas movies!
But hey ho (ho ho).. it’s just stuff.
Christmas can be a time of love, joy and togetherness. It can be a time when we get to slow down (after we’ve bought and cooked the goose!), ditch the healthy eating (goose fat roast potatoes?) and indulge ourselves (make mine a large Baileys on ice). It’s also the time just before New Year – a fresh start, a new leaf – so it’s also a time for reflection, gratitude and planning.
And part of that reflection, for me, has to be about others.
There is so much pressure around Christmas to get it all done, have a good time and “be happy”, Whilst I don’t want to be a killjoy – many love Christmas and are excited about it – I think that it’s important to think about what a tough time of year it is for many people.
Time to address the elephant in the tinsel decorated room:
Many people are grieving; many are worried about their marriages; many are worried about money; many are ill; many are alone….
Even in my own little World, I can think of at least 5 of my friends who have suffered a bereavement this year. In just the last week, my oldest son Max told me about the battles some of his friends are facing – it made me weep. I feel so much for those poor kids facing very difficult challenges in their young lives.
I love this quote:
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle: Be kind”
It reminds me that each of us has our own story at Christmas.
So my Christmas message to you is not a phatic “Have a great Christmas”! It’s a message from one human to another to say – I see you, I acknowledge you, I’m with you. In some small way, across the miles, even though we might not know each other, I send my heart out to you, whether you’re feeling upbeat or a bit battered, joyful or sad, healthy or in pain.
Whatever your Christmas story, I send you my love.
p.s If you want to reply in the comments below or even drop me an email in answer to the question I posed in the title, I’m here and I’m listening. Really!