This year I am really trying hard to stay jolly in the run-up to the madness that is Christmas! Becki reposted my little rant about not enjoying last year’s festivities and it made me feel ever so slightly scrooge-like. I suppose being woken in the early hours of Christmas morning by a vomiting six-year-old who subsequently shared that gift with most of our extended families didn’t help. It appears I wasn’t alone and a few stressed out mums agreed via Facebook that they too hadn’t felt the yuletide joy.
As I write this on what is apparently according to twitter #panicsaturday with the tree up, most of the presents bought and wrapped, some cards are written (but not delivered) and no food, booze or excessive amounts of chocolate purchased as of yet I am actually feeling rather calm. Maybe it was the Wednesday night full moon gong bath I attended or perhaps it’s because I’m catering for seven on Christmas day instead of my usual five thousand. (I’m a feeder!). Could it be the excitement building up for The Strictly Come Dancing Finale! Fingers crossed for Danny and Oti.
I am not going to lie I have had my moments; I was not my best self during a late-night dash to lakeside the other night. Think ugly sister. Oh yes, I was! Shouldn’t buying gifts be more enjoyable? Isn’t it a lovely thing to be able to do? My youngest believes we can have absolutely anything we want. Because everything is free. Because Santa gets it for us. No pressure! If only! Yeah right! Help!!!
Here at Yoga Leggs HQ, we have been busy elves sending out our shiny red parcels and (this makes us so happy) to lots of lovely men, yes girls they have been listening to your hints, suggestions and yoga pants demands. And even though #panicsaturday hasn’t reduced us to crazy, frenzied shoppers #givingtuesday did inspire us to find a small charity that we could make a donation to. (See social media isn’t all bad.) We were extremely delighted to send The Beauty Therapy Project some of our colourful rainbow kit bags. The white experience is a campaign that will provide feminine care for homeless women, something that we all surely take very much for granted. My own children’s schools were very active this year also in fundraising for worthy charities including Crisis. Did you know that £22.32 will provide a homeless person with a chance to wash, get clean clothes receive a health check, advice and three meals including a Christmas dinner in a cheerful environment? I’m very thankful to be able to contribute and to encourage my kids to care and be generous. Well, I couldn’t force the big ones to wear a Christmas jumper on #christmasjumperday (begging, even bribery didn’t work) but they paid the pound!
So I am focusing on the magic that the Christmas season brings like the Christmas tree festival in our local church and school nativity plays, the brilliant school pantomime, drunken nights out with crazy friends and eating too much turkey with people you love, spoiling the dog (it’s his first Christmas!) drinking snowballs, eating quality street, playing silly games, singing carols on Christmas eve with the crazy but hopefully not drunk friends. (We will be in charge of small people!) There’s even a gogglebox Christmas special. Reminding myself to be grateful, to feel gratitude for what is surely the best and most precious gift, the fact that we are here to celebrate at all.
Someone very dear to me that shared our Christmas table will be missing this year, after the shock and the grieving that accompanied my step father’s death earlier this year, it occurred to me the other day WOW who knew that last Christmas would be Kev’s last Christmas! Was it a good one? He pretended not to like Christmas. This time last year he wasn’t even going to come, due to some inter-family feuding that thank Jesus got resolved. A Christmas miracle brought some peace and forgiveness to our celebrations. Imagine the extra heartache if that situation hadn’t been healed. On our way to the dreaded Lakeside Trip, as we moaned about traffic and all the things we needed to buy and all the things we’d rather be doing, we passed a car that had been in such a horrific accident that the driver and passenger were about to be cut out. (Puts a trip to Primark into perspective doesn’t it!)
It has been a sad year with some big losses. Christmas makes us nostalgic for the people that we love, especially the ones we cannot be with. If you can pull crackers with all of your loved ones and not feel the aching loss of a family member or friend that has passed then I’m sure you are in a tiny privileged minority. It is clichéd to say that health is wealth but it truly is. It takes something to be lost or missing or taken from us for us to appreciate its beauty, its value. Every healthy miraculous cell that keeps us functioning and able is a blessing not to be taken for granted. Every breath we receive is priceless. Give your presence to the people that you love, it is the perfect gift. None of us knows which Christmas will be our last Christmas. So let’s hope this one’s a good one. Sing badly laugh loudly eat drink and be merry. Cheers to the ones we love. Cheers to the Angels.
Season’s greetings, good health and much happiness, love and light