Friday, 23 December 2011
Who will YOU be missing this Christmas??
Please don't think that I now base my life around the diktats of the Daily Mail Online but, once in a while, they do throw up a thought-provoking question. One of yesterday's articles in Femail had 4 writers explaining who they would be missing around the Christmas table and why. Which got me thinking.
As I'm having Christmas in a very small, quiet way with Richard, will I miss anyone or everyone this year? Which then sets you to thinking about which Christmases have been the best over the past decades.
I honestly don't think I'll miss anyone this year. I love my family, truly, but I'm used to not always being with them. It's not as if we ever had a settled run of adult Christmases together or a series of set-in-stone rituals or anything. We have always been quite a semi-detached family I suppose. Probably because we lived abroad throughout our childhoods so went to boarding schools, travelled a lot and now live miles apart. I feel that we're close but close within a losely-linked, widely spread unit rather than being tightly knit geographically speaking. We don't need to be together physically to feel close to each other.
So, not being with my parents or siblings on Christmas is not unusual and won't make me MISS them as such.
That was true within my marriage too as D worked on the rigs so was, more often than not, away for Christmas leaving me to make the best of things. I often found myself being a bit of a spare part at Christmas, tagging on to someone else's family arrangements and, because I was the one on my own, doing most of the cooking and the "fitting in". I didn't really miss him all that much (which is telling when you think about it) as I was used to him being away but I did used to miss being part of a couple. So, I won't be missing D or that feeling either.
When we went to D's family in Ireland I always enjoyed myself but their rituals were so different to those of my family, that it was often a bit disappointing. I remember one year waking up quite late because we'd been in a pub 'til late and walking down to the front room to find that everyone had already opened their presents without us. So, we sat, pretty much by ourselves and opened our presents before lunch - not my idea of Christmas!! I also used to go to a different church to the rest of them which created a sort of aloneness. I would have joned them at the catholic service but it was never suggested and I didn't fancy standing out in a churchyard listening to the service from outside as D used to do!! If I'm going to church, I'd rather BE there and sing some hymns!!
So, so far, can't find anyone or anything I'll be missing.
I know who I missed last year. Richard. I spent Christmas at my parents with some family friends. It was the right thing to do as Dad was still a bit raw about the whole split and he needed help with their guests who are a lovely family. It was a nice Christmas but I was aware all the time that I would rather have been somewhere else and couldn't wait to get back home. I suppose I am missing singing hymns in my home church on Christmas Eve. But I've already arranged to plug that gap as I'm going to a carol service in my new home village.
So this year, we're going to start our own traditions and rituals. We're going to put our little unit at the forefront for a day and hopefully build something lovely for the present and the future.
Are YOU going to missing anyone or anything this Christmas? I hope not, but if you are, I hope it's not long before you're with them again or, if that's not possible, before you can remember them with joy.