If I say that Christmas makes me sad I’m sure that, unfortunately, most people can understand exactly what I mean without needing to elaborate too much. A time of extremes, even the greater nuances and excitement of reunions and treats is sometimes not enough to offset the Crimbo Troughs. Certain things are mandatory for a Good Christmas; family, friends, money, relaxation, time, etc. Without the full benefits of these things, Christmas can be a gruelling, painful ending to the year.
I have been so fortunate. I have had family, friends and (enough) time every Christmas so far. Thus I can calmly forgo the money (relaxation has been largely absent, but that’s a separate, non-Xmas matter in itself). Yet, something melancholy and hollow about Christmas remains. Toying with a rejection of gross consumerism, I tend to try and focus on food; however, this nervous focus inevitably leads to overeating, and the lethargic guilt that immediately follows remains long into the following year (again, another chronic non-xmas matter). The only saving grace is the time spent with my family; but the surrounding fug of Christmas™ can lead me to fear how I would experience the shopping holiday were something to happen to them….
Ahhh. Another Merry Jolly Christmas.
I stumbled across the documentary What Would Jesus Buy? early this December, just in time to inspire me to evaluate what I needed from and for Christmas this year. I spent the whole month trying to keep in more regular contact with my family (sending letters to Gran, helping my siblings out where possible, dropping my parents a text at least once a week so Mum knows I’m alive [can you say ‘hereditary neuroses’? Just kidding, Ma…]), and working out things I could do for, rather than give to, them.
I feel much more prepared this year for being grateful and giving personally, rather than financially, making the next week or so much more soulfully substantial. But I worry I have years to go before I understand what might make a truly meaningful, fulfilling end to each year.