Tuesday 26 December 2017

A Very Happy un-Christmas

Saying you are not going to do anything for Christmas feels a little like I imagine it would be if you had just announced you had given up your well paid and respected job, have bought a camper van and plan to go driving around the world. 
Everyone thinks you are mad, but won’t say it – well not to your face anyway. 
Although I have a feeling more people would understand the desire to travel than the desire to stop the Christmas ‘celebrations’? But I didn’t celebrate the 25th, and (very surprisingly for my past Christmas record) it was a lovely day.

I had told the kids (and Dave) ages ago that I was not going to be celebrating it, but that they could do what they wanted to as I would not stop them. The kids chose to either go to their partner’s family, or my parents, and have Christmas with one of them. There was a part of me telling me that this shouldn’t be right- that I am somehow letting them down and ruining Christmas for them. But deep down I ‘knew’ it was fine, despite what society may think. 

I was doing what makes me feel best and with that I am sure what was best for them too. Plus if there is one thing I want my kids to learn is to do what brings ‘them’ joy and not what is expected or wanted from them. Loving and honouring themselves.  

Plus why would they want to be with me when I am just putting on my fake ‘oh isn’t this fun’ expression, hating every ‘celebration’, while silently just wishing the day would fast forward? I knew as a child when my family were stressed so why wouldn’t they too? I don’t want that for them.
I didn’t buy Christmas presents, nor send any cards or say Happy Christmas to anyone.
I did buy each of my children a fluffy clothing item for winter solstice and gave it to them on the 21st. Plus for Roan (who is only 11) I got a PS4 game he wanted to give him on Xmas eve (I felt too unkind giving him nothing when I had brought presents for all the older kids when they were his age). But that was it.
No stressing over shopping or waiting for items to arrive in the post, no making myself skint and us struggling to buy dinner and pay the bills for the next few weeks just so people can have an extra present they don’t need which is supposed to somehow be a sign of our love.  
As society said so.

So we took the kids to my parents on Christmas Eve, I still got given some items when I requested not to have anything - so took them home with me (and which if I am honest has annoyed me as I said not to do so as I wouldn’t be buying anything back- but I did tell them, so I guess it is their choice if they still feel the need to buy things) and the day was about as Christmassy as I could manage. Many a time it came too close and I wanted to walk away, and I did escape for a walk in the woods with the dog. But I managed it and we left before dinner. I then got a headache coming home in the car and felt I needed to sleep to ‘reset’ myself after we got back. I don’t think many people can understand how physically draining a supposedly fun family experience can be?

My parents actually gave me a jigsaw puzzle, so that evening while Dave was watching some junk on telly, I numbed my mind into a meditative state by jigsaw! I was totally in my own little world for a few hours- just what I needed. 
On the 25th we didn’t wake until after 11, got up and took the dog for his favourite walk in the local woods, had some lunch and I fell asleep again! 

Dave watched some TV, cooked dinner (yes we had a delicious bean casserole with lamb noisettes) then later went over a friend’s house to see them. We spoke to each of the kids – who all seemed to be having fun- and I was just glad I wasn’t there. Not pretending.

I didn’t miss any of it, my stress levels have been half what they are for a normal Christmas, I don’t have to take anything back to the shops.  Put decorations back in the loft or tidy mess. I still have the same amount of money in my bank account. I didn’t have to pretend- I could be me and no one moaned at me for that, and my kids all did what they wanted.

A no stress, un-Christmas… I’m repeating it next year. 

A little Weird is Good

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