Saturday, 20 December 2008

Great expectations

I've had to think carefully before writing this post. After all there are only 5 days to go until Christmas Day and I've realised that this year I have been living in a HUGE state of denial.

And it's the kind of denial that makes you want to run to the hills and live in a cave for a week and then come out when it's all over.

Yes I know, perhaps I need therapy.

Especially when you see the evidence...

  • I've only written one card - and yes I know today is the last posting day before Christmas.
  • I've not bought any crackers - we're going to make hats and Mr A will make up some jokes instead.
  • Our presents for the boys have been pared right back to just a few things each, plus some coins and the traditional satsuma.
  • I have not even bought a bottle of Baileys Irish Cream.
Oh my word - you can see what I mean can't you!

But therapy would only be useful if I really wanted to get back to the norm.

And the norm is - or more to the point was - filling the house with booze and food that would end up going to waste or making me fat, spending stacks of cash on Mr A and the children and expecting him to do the same and then surprising others with presents they probably don't need or even want.

I'm not really up for that this year! Not now that I've woken up to the amount of waste that our excesses used to create.

I don't think I need therapy and I'm certainly not going to run and hide in a cave because believe it or not, after months of denial I am actually looking forward to Christmas and the festive cheer actually starts today!

Not September, when the shops start selling presents, nor the middle of November when the lights are switched on. And visiting Father Christmas at the beginning of December, when we all know the big guy doesn't make an appearance until next week was most certainly not on the agenda.

Phew - at last I feel that I've broken free from the burdens of Christmas that has become as traditional as the event itself and I can tell you, with it comes a huge feeling of relief.

But I really feel like I'm breaking the rules. - the rules of social etiquette that bind us together giving us a shared understanding of how things should be.

To break away from all that is not easy. It is hard to be different and really does need strength of character to fight those feelings of automatic generosity or conformity, whilst defending any impressions of selfishness. It's not even as though I am particularly religious but I can't help wondering whether, it might be easier if I was bound to a faith.

But I do have renewed faith in Christmas and now feel brave enough to share my beliefs.

It's taken me a while but I've grown to realise I don't need gifts to know that someone cares for me. For those that do, I will respect it but memories of good times, traditions and laughter last much longer than presents.

And a card is only useful for sending Christmas wishes that I can't deliver myself. A personal hello, a telephone call or an email are much more appreciated than an automatic card from someone who has become a stranger.

But the one thing that has kept me most sane is the growing realisation of one important fact and I can't believe it's taken me so long to work it out or indeed share the knowledge. we go, my one pearl of wisdom, for what it's worth.

"Christmas Day is a just day and not a deadline".

There, I said it and how wonderful it feels to get that off my chest!

So please forgive me if I remain calm while the rest of the world scurries around me. I shan't judge those who do, just as I hope those who enjoy or accept the excess and panic of Christmas will not judge my realisation that it no longer suits me.

Ah...Peace at last.

Now doesn't that sound as I break into the Carols and start organising Christmas, I'll see you next week, when I will have finally sorted my Christmas greetings and caught up with replies to other posts.

.........Tis the season to be jolly, tra la la la la, la la la la!"

"Ho, Ho, Ho!"



mrs green said...

Glad you are feeling peaceful and calm, Mrs A. Sounds like a good few epiphanies you have had over the past couple of months.

Good for you :)

Mrs G x

John Costigane said...

Hi Mrs A,

Christmas is a commercial vehicle but I look to the good in the festive season, which for me is family, especially the young. The worst, I try to minimise.

The first Zero Waste Christmas attempt will be difficult. Food particularly is a nightmare. We can all learn from the experience for next year.

Margaret's Ramblings said...

Can I borrow that. 'Christmas Day is just a day and not a deadline'. It's brilliant.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Brilliant post. And you can compost my card right?? Hugs.

Karin said...

Don't forget, Jo Beaufoix, that you can recycle your cards in January at various points organised by the Woodland Trust.

Karin said...

Ooops, forgot the link, now added above


Thank you Mrs G - I am a long way down the road from whence I came. I'm just glad to know that it is okay to feel like this. The funny thing is, after writing this post, I went in the shower and when I emerged I simply crumpled into tears. Mr A looked at me in confusion and all I could say to explain my emotions was "I think I'm turning green". LOL. But I calmly sat and wrote just 13 more cards having a nice cup of tea and a sit down. This household has got used to writing 120 so I put 13 down as a blimmin' good result. :-D xxx

Hi John - Sounds like you've got it sussed. One good thing about our new habits is that food waste shouldn't be a problem for us this year. The key for me is avoiding the supermarket so I am not tempted by the nibbles. It will be a market shop for me this year :-D

LOL Margaret - I'm flattered. Please do borrow and reuse as much as you like. Maybe it will end up with many of those much used quotes LOL :-D

Hi Jo - Thank you. LOL, of course I can. It will be well looked after don't you worry x :-D

Hi Karin - thanks for dropping in the link. That's brilliant. Everyone - reuse and recycle what you can and encourage all your friends to phone or send ecards next year :-D

a pot, a thought & a smidgen of dirt said...

Thanks for your comment, still feel silly about it, I not got any editors or anything yet just see what happens, I cant even say the B (book) word, we call it 'the long story' LOL,

a pot, a thought & a smidgen of dirt said...

am so pleased you feel at ease over Christmas, Mom and I were saying today how this year is the most stress free we have ever had, we not even got our decoration up yet!! will see what we got in later, no crackers and no massive amounts of food, its great, we went to town today and had lunch and watched so many buying so much or kids and relatives, OMG they all looked so stressed out, take care and once again thanks for the comment on the B word.
oh and ps, we even wraped up our presents in brown cheap asda paper and instead of putting in the bin, will go straight to our compost bin!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Well done for sticking to your convictions. For a few years now I've thought we over do everything for just one day! I honestly do not want presents but haven't voiced it to anyone!! (what does that say about me?) So - next year ........

A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year Mrs A, to you and yours.

a x

Ruby said...

I agree with every word, AMA. Christmas has got ridiculous these days! And since I don't feel remotely Christmassy this year, my own Christmas is downshifted to an absolute minimum. There won't even be any Quality Street on Christmas Eve. But will be looking forward of course to the best meal of the year - Christmas dinner, sprouts and stuffing, I love it!! xxx


Hi Pot...The wonderful thing about writing is that when you do it for yourself, you do it with an intent that serves the soul, but when your write with others in mind it can put fear into what was once a calming process. Just relax and enjoy your long story (LOL, love your description). Now as for your Christmas preps...all is left to say is....go girls. You're ladies after my own heart and I wish you the most fabulous of festive times. Merry Christmas :-D xx

Hi Anne - Merry Christmas to you too. And isn't it a funny old time. If you say you wanted nothing, people would find it hard to come up with a big fat zero, zilch, nowt or whatever name they find for it. If folk struggle, there's always a bottle of wine or some scrummy jam...mmmm. P.S. I haven't forgotten my tag. Will do it in the new year :-D x

Hi Ruby - I think you've just summed it up honey. I can't wait for sprouts...shame it's only me who likes them, so I'll be sure to buy just a handful LOL...Merry Christmas Rubes...see you soon. :-D x

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