As I put up our Christmas tree at the start of this month, I found myself getting emotional.
In general, I’m a very emotional person and my hormones often run riot, causing me to cry at the drop of a [Santa] hat, but I wanted to talk a little about this specific instance of emotional-ness.
Christmas can be a difficult time for a lot of people, for a lot of complex – and, often, interconnected – reasons. There’s the ‘winter blues’ brought on by a lack of sunlight/vitamin D. A lot of people are overworked. There’s a lot of social pressure to buy the best gifts and go to ALL OF THE THINGS, and have mountains of time to devote to friends and family. And cooking! The list could go on, but I’ll stop it there because I’m starting to stress myself out just thinking about it. The point is, alongside all of the Christmas cheer and happier things of the season, there are also some rough parts.
As I was decorating our tree, I started to think back to the Christmases of my childhood. Which were… let’s just say, not so good. I thought about the general feeling of stress and aggravation that went along with those holidays, as well as specific unpleasant seasonal memories.
I’m not going to go into those here (saving them up for the memoir I’ll one day write! lol), but I will share this:
My brother and I had a conversation, fifteen or maybe twenty years ago, about how we’d lost the magical feel for the time of year that we used to get as very young kids. We lamented this loss to our mother, who was confused. She’d apparently never experienced the magical feeling, to begin with, so she didn’t know what we were talking about.
That makes me so sad.
But, despite the sadness of that and the gloom of remembering it, I wasn’t just sad as I fiddled with lights and tinsel; I was grateful that those days were behind me, and overwhelmed with positive feelings for the Christmases I spend with my husband now.
I might never have the elusive magical, festive feeling of a five-year-old ever again, but I have something better. I have emotional security. I have physical safety. I have love.
To anyone reading this who is struggling right now, particularly with family… I’m sorry.
I wish for you the happiness I’ve now found, and share these thoughts in the hope that they will bring, well… hope. Life can get better. If thinking of the past, or even the present, is too painful, try and imagine a future where you’re free from the things (or people) currently dragging you down. Don’t give up, and you stand a real chance of getting to that point.
I’m worried that will come across as cheesy and insincere, but I mean it. I’m writing this because it’s what I wish my younger self would have been able to read, and take solace in.
Please, dear readers, stay safe this holiday season. Don’t let the muggles get you down x