Written a few days ago…
It’s that time of year again. Christmas. I can hardly believe it – it can’t possibly have been a year since the last, when I was fighting to stave off the blues and appreciate the reds, greens and golds of the season instead.
I always feel like I’m in a bit of a time-warp around this time of year but this time the feeling’s increased a hundred fold. In a way I feel the year has sped by, yanking me with it, leaving my head a-whirl as I try and look back to see where it’s all gone. But it also feels like last year’s crazy turmoil happened a hundred years ago – another life; another me.
It’s official, though. Christmas is a dish best served warm and happy. This is an obvious statement, I know, but it’s a bit of a revelation for me, given my last Christmas. Last year, the joy, the chirpiness, the anticipation – it all took such an effort. I felt exhausted just knowing I had to smile all the time. Don’t even ask what it took to actually do all the smiling.
This year, the smile comes naturally. I have my two gorgeous sisters with me after ages and despite taking some hits of the flu, my family is its wholesome, cheery self once again as it gears towards Christmas. We sat around the dining table this morning shouting over each other, trying to arrange last-minute shopping sprees, prepare for the making of the plum pudding and wrap presents all at the same time. I sat there, drinking in the smell of my black coffee, and smiled as I listened to the bustle I had missed so much all year.
I went Christmas shopping a few days ago and it was just the nicest thing. Buying gifts for the people in my life who have made me happy again. I walked through aisles decorated with baubles and lights, my clothes seeming to pick up gold dust from everything on sale, and I felt chaotic, messy and infused with cheesy Christmas spirit. Even the hideous carols on the radio couldn’t elicit more than a smiling roll of the eyes from me.
I want to give everyone something this year – from my family right down to my regular tuk driver who’s been a bit of knight in shining armour for me and my house mate. Giving feels that much more special because I have just got so much out of this year. Second and third chances, new independence, new friends, new love, a new appreciation for the people who I know love me unconditionally.
Sadness is a tricky thing. It’s so easy to wallow – to just sit there and feel tired and put out and generally awful about everything. Oddly enough, it’s addictive and it gets comfortable all too easily. Now that I feel that I have left that mire behind me, it’s wonderful. And I can’t pick out any one thing that’s made the change – I guess its been happening all year, gradually, with the people I’ve met, the people I’ve learned to leave behind with good reason, the work I’ve done, the things I’ve seen and the choices I’ve made. I haven’t even had the time to notice it until I sat down to write something about Christmas. It got me thinking about last Christmas and it just hit me then how much has changed. Still, I don’t consider last year a Christmas wasted – it just makes me appreciate this one that much more.
This all sounds terribly hallmarky, I know. But I’m allowed. I’m happy.
I hope you are too. Merry Christmas, every one.