This is the usual response when I tell people that I’ll be spending Christmas day on my own and then it’s often followed with an offer for me to spend it with that person’s family, which I politely decline, I am always grateful for their generosity in opening up their home to me at this special time.
Now don’t get me wrong I actually love Christmas & everything that goes with it, however for me I feel that the reasons behind Christmas have been totally lost in this mad world we live in.
Having grown up the family run food business, Christmas proper didn’t really start until late on Christmas eve as my parents were busy up until this point with the business, we would put up the decorations as a family early evening on Christmas eve before one of my parents & older sisters would head out to midnight mass so for me seeing Christmas starting sometime in November if not before really does make me feel sad. Having Christmas for just a couple of weeks is what made is so special.
We did enjoy the run up to Christmas with advent calendars/candles but these were traditional ones with no chocolate in sight!! And I really enjoyed making the orange offering for the Christingle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christingle) service and carol singing & concerts.
The focus was always about helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves not on how much we can spend on presents & how much food & drink we could consume in just one day!!
I have to admit I do love all the Christmas adverts that are now a sort of tradition to mark the start of Christmas, however by the time Christmas day actually arrive the idealist “perfect family Christmas” does start to wear a bit thin!!
So why you might ask do I often spend Christmas on my own, well there are many reasons:
All my family live miles away from me here in Lincolnshire and yes I could go & stay with them however I do like my own company and to do my own thing, so find it hard when I have to fit in around others!! I know this sounds very selfish but luckily I do have the choice, some people don’t have this choice & i’m acutely aware of this.
I love my family dearly but we are all very different people with totally different outlooks on life so spending time with them is great but can be a little strained at times when our views clash, this I find stressful & want my Christmas to be as chilled & calm as possible.
As I run my own business I don’t get many days off (again my own choosing) so I use Christmas as an opportunity to have some proper days off where I don’t feel obliged to check emails or tick things off my to-do list.
So my day is usually pretty quiet, I cook myself some really nice food & enjoy a relaxing day watching TV or reading a book. I may be on my own but I know that I’m very much loved by my friends & family. You don’t need to be with people to know that you are loved!!
In the spirit of Christmas past I’ve decided to do something a bit different this year, instead of sending out cards I’m going to give £3 to a different charity everyday up until Christmas eve, these charities will be ones who help people who are less fortunate than myself a bit like an advert calendar but giving something away instead of receiving.
What are your family’s traditions? Would love to hear what you do to make this time of year special & memorable.