I hope that you are having a lovely festive period, however you have had to adapt or chosen to spend it! I am not a fan of Christmas, however I am having a lovely day! I also hope that all our essential workers who never get mentioned: delivery drivers, bus drivers, teachers, refuse workers, cashiers/ store staff at essential shops, cleaners, plumbers, electricians, service people in general, hospitality staff, farmers, people who pick, pack and make our food, people who work in factories and all those who I have missed that have kept our countries moving, I hope that you get a lot of well deserved rest over this period. I hope that you keep safe and that you get a much deserved break from everything! There are people who really appreciate you and are very grateful for the sacrifice that you more than likely had no choice in making.
For a long time the xmas season used to trigger me, it was a time that I used to feel so sad and alone in my childhood, which cross over into adulthood. I couldn't wait till it was over, I resented people talking about it with me, I hated how the shops wouldn't let you breathe, the way it was shoved down your throat from as early as September, and it would be non-stop till the 26th December.
It felt for me, like a whole lot of stress for one day, for people you don't really like, spending money you don't have & I couldn't understand what the fuss was about; and I still don't really get it to this day. I mean I understand why Christians celebrate it, but why it's such a globally loved holiday is a mystery to me. Even when people are presented with the capitalistic aspect of buying and proving worthiness to each other, people still continue to not just celebrate it but hold so much value in this one day; I don't think I will ever get it, and I guess in some ways nor do I want to.
However, part of me likes this time of year because everything slows down, the world becomes almost still and I love it, it also gets brighter and for that I am greatful; I guess it's more so the Winter Solstice and the upcoming Gregorian new year for me! That aside I find that there is no heart in Christmas time and it's still very egocentric and fake to me. Spending time with and buying presents for people you don't really like, seems extremely wasteful and expensive to me. It also is a very isolating time for older people, homeless people, singletons, disabled people, people who are estranged from family and just anyone who doesn't have community. That to me is horrible and thinking about all the people who are struggling right now makes me sad and angry that more isn't being done to help one another.
Christmas is very family orientated and many people do not have healthy families (which very much includes people who participate in the festivities) & I know that it is not as simple as this but it would be nice if people would create their own traditions like having a friends xmas, making each other gifts, doing outside activities like walking or just not participate -if it really doesn't resonate- what is essentially just capitalistic greed. This is coming from the person who loves to give gifts by the way, but I feel as if there is more to be done around this season and throughout the year to combat loneliness, self esteem and depression.
Loneliness and depression are very serious issues that can lead to suicide, it debilitates people, isolates many and stops people from reaching their personal goals. This should be highlighted from September if we are going to be forced to see cards and promotional material in shops. I do see some work being done though and this isn't to critique those either because trying is better than nothing. But, what I would like to see is more safe spaces, for food and gifts to be distributed, for the above mentioned people and included in community throughout the year also; too often people are discarded and tossed to the side because they are not "family".
I see lots of toy drives and things for children and these are great but what about adults who need love, appreciation and support? We don't stop needing these things because we aren't children any more and I see this in many things throughout society; it's as if by a certain age your life should be in order and there is nothing more for you to do but work and die. Emotional support does not stop because we become adults and if anything, we probably need it more, especially those who come from adverse childhood homes, such as myself.
Christmas was a strange time in my home, there were decorations, cards and a tree, but they were for show, the actual day was bland and boring, we would sometimes go to my God mothers home for xmas day, which was nice, but when we didn't and I was at home alone with my mother. My uncle would come round for dinner and leave by a certain time, when my grandmother was alive she would come in the evening after Church. There was no games, I got presents from my friends in school, and maybe from some family members but more often than not, after about age 7, I wouldn't get anything from my mother and she made it so that no one could buy me anything either.
As I got older she would buy random things, like jewellery instead of thinking about something I would like and getting it for me. Lot's of things she bought me, or paid for (like holidays) were a way to paint her in a positive light, to make her seem as if she was a good parent, it literally was just for show. I went a long time during secondary school where I got nothing for xmas and that was hurtful, I wouldn't have anything to show in January, not even a good enough reason to report back, as to why I didn't get anything. As I got older, she realised that I would talk and my friendship circle was getting bigger via work and college, so she stepped up and started buying things that were visible, like jewellery, jumpers, electric toothbrushes etc and they were never surprises on xmas day, she just wouldn't' let me be happy for one day.
I remember one time that I went to my God mothers house for xmas dinner and I believe that year, I was supposed to go to another family member but she convinced me not to go at the last minute. When it was time to open presents, I got one random purse because they felt sorry for me, whilst she was showered in gifts (as her birthday is close to xmas day), she had set it up that they wouldn't be able to buy me gifts (the days before amazon prime) in time for me to open on xmas day, I was (about) 12. I suffered around xmas time as a child, I hated it, I enjoyed the two week break from school, but whilst I was in school from about aged 6/7 to 17 I received nothing from her. She was the biggest enemy in my life and whilst presents are not everything, there was no thought, care or consideration, she never tried in the slightest.
So xmas was a sore point for me, for many years, but when I finally fled from her, it started to become more a time of stillness and peace, I do enjoy that admittedly but I do not enjoy the lead up, the songs, the ugly xmas trees (sorry), the decorations (aside from the lights), the prices of necessities rising (so that they can "fall" in January), the fake love, the crappy xmas movies, forced gift giving and faux compassion for those who are less fortunate. Family is community and community is family, I know that everyone doesn't think like this, but I do and I want others who are physically alone to know that this will pass and that there are lots of ways to make your day happy (which I will do in another post). Please do not let the media and social media make you feel less than, or unworthy, you are very much worthy.
My day has been lovely, I went for a walk and despite the entitled white people who do not respect personal space and physically distancing, it was lovely! I have never been out walking on xmas day and I am so glad that I did! This will definitely be my new tradition! I had a bath and ate till I was full, I am so grateful for my day!
Next xmas I want to be more active in the community for adults as I think it is very important for us to come together to just enjoy each others company, play games, watch a film, connect, plot to take over the world and love one another!
Till next year,
I hope that you enjoy this time, stay safe and remember that you are loved, you are necessary to the world and you are worthy