So This is Christmas

I think it’s probably fairly accurate to say that I have just woken up to the fact that Christmas is almost upon us. I don’t mean that I had not been aware of the fact that 25 December was fast approaching, rather that the reality of being in the pre-Christmas build-up had not sunk in. If that sounds like nonsense, I apologise and will try to explain.

In December 2001 my husband was in hospital suffering from the final stages of a terminal illness. Every day as I drove to the hospital I would pass a house which had a large Santa Claus apparently attempting to climb in a bedroom window – and every day I would be startled into wondering why there were Christmas decorations on people’s houses, even though I knew it was well into December. Because of what was a happening in my life I could not see, let alone understand, the connection between December and Christmas.

This year I have again found it challenging to link the date and the season but I finally managed to make a start on preparations for Christmas whilst staying with my mother. During my stay we managed to fit in a huge amount of shopping for presents for my grandchildren (her great-grandchildren). And now? Well, all that’s left is wrapping everything! And what a lot there is!

Before my husband died I absolutely loved everything about Christmas (except receiving Christmas cards!?!) I would buy presents throughout the year, make the cake and mincemeat in October, make my cards in October or November, perhaps make some new decorations for the tree, more shopping, more cooking, lots of wrapping and, of course, writing the gift tags. But now…

Now, everything about Christmas is a chore. I have no interest in it whatsoever and sincerely wish I could withdraw from society for the entire Christmas period. Does that mean that I am a female Scrooge? No, I don’t think so. It shows that I still struggle with people celebrating what is the anniversary of my husband’s death.

I hope that everyone has the Christmas they would like – but please remember that not everybody will be hoping for a similar Christmas.

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