Why It's Okay To Not Love Christmas

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I've never really understood people who don't like Christmas. Y'see, until this year, I've always been the over enthusiastic one, the one who is watching festive films in October and putting the tree up stupidly early. I'm a sucker for fairy lights and cinnamon candles and mulled wine. I love writing Christmas cards and I get such a kick out of buying thoughtful pressies for all of my loved ones.

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Christmas has always been such a magical time of year for me, ever since I was tiny - I have a huge family and we always celebrate enthusiastically together, with far too much food and fizz. We have our own little traditions that we roll out every year, and it's always just been such a happy time.

But this year it will be different, because this year we don't have Blossom. And I've never realised how awful and difficult the festive period can be when you're missing someone. Because grief is hard enough as it is, but when everyone around you is super cheerful and full of excitement, it feels even lonelier. The sadness feels even heavier.

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It's the things that I hadn't even really thought about that have caught me most off guard. Like when I was driving to work last week and a Christmas song came on the radio - I had barely registered what was playing before I felt the tears start dripping down my face. Those songs usually signify the festivities getting into full swing, but this year they just feel like an extra reminder of what we're missing.

I've never realised until this year how in your face Christmas is, how hard it is to escape it when you don't really feel like celebrating. It makes me cringe to think how thoughtless I've been in previous years, how quick I was to judge anyone who didn't like the festive period as miserable or grumpy. I suppose I just never really understood how relentless it was.

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I'm trying to stay positive. We all are. We have six other gorgeous little people in our family that need us to make Christmas magical for them. It's been a rough year for them too.

I'm still looking forward to spending time with all of the people I love. I'm still so excited to give them the gifts that I've chosen for them and to eat and drink way too much with them. But I'm sad too. So very, very sad. And that feels almost like a crime at this time of year, when everyone else seems to be laughing and joking and celebrating non stop.

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I suppose the whole point of this post is to say that it's okay to not love Christmas. It's okay to think that it's totally and utterly shit and unfair, to spend the whole time counting down until January when everyone goes back to being grumpy and cynical again.

And I also wanted it to serve as a reminder that just because Christmas might be a lovely time of year for you, it doesn't mean it is for everyone. Enjoy yourselves and squeeze every last bit of joy out of the holiday season, but don't forget to share a bit of love and kindness with those who need it too.

And don't be so quick to judge those who seem a bit Scrooge-like. Christmas might just be a little harder for them.