Merry Christmas Everyone
The past few months I really lost my confidence in writing and sharing my thoughts on this blog. I started to doubt myself and retreated away from it but then a few days ago, out of the blue, a lovely lady I follow on Instagram sent me a private message about a blog she had just read. And it was the tonic I needed to get writing again. It doesn't matter if only one person reads what I write, the truth is once I get going I really enjoy writing and that is what should matter. I'm far from a "blogger" but I do have this platform to share some feelings and memories and therefore I'm going to use it. So my mojo is back and I'm gearing up for Christmas.
Since having my kids Christmas has taken on a whole new meaning of magical again, getting to share traditions from my own childhood as well as make some of our own along the way. This year I've fallen for the Christmas Eve box where you put together a box of treats to start the cosy family times - ours has a Christmas DVD, hot chocolate and marshmallows, a plate for Santa with all the bits to leave for him, some Slippers for the kids, a Christmas book and some decorations for the kids to put on the tree. It's a little bit of extra work but I feel the excitement as a kid by Christmas Eve is so palpable this box of delights will hopefully help to filter some of that excitement before the big day.
After losing my Mum 8 years ago there were a few years where we all just put on our biggest smiles and threw money at the situation to try and have a special day with presents galore, without focusing on the huge presence missing from the day. Christmas was so so tough but we tried to honour our incredible Mum by celebrating in ways she would have been proud of. But with the babies came a new focus and shift. Truly remembering the magic of believing in Father Christmas and the wonder at seeing the Christmas decorations after a year hidden away. And of course the presents - trying to teach my 4 year old it is not all about the presents has been fun! Next year I am definitely going to take part in the reverse Advent Calendar where each day you put an item into a box to give to The Salvation Family close to Christmas Day - these boxes are given to those in need at this time and I feel it is a really good way to teach the children about helping others in need and that Christmas is most definitely not just about the presents they receive under the tree.
However, even after 8 years and with my children, the loss of my mum still hangs over the day reminding me that as magical as the day is, so many are feeling their own loss of a loved one making it a difficult time too. Not only are people grieving, lonely and suffering but also people are spending the day in hospitals, spirits lifted by the special staff and their sacrifices to help. At the age of 18 I had the unpleasant experience of visiting my younger brother in intensive care on Christmas day with my family. I was struck by all the nurses and doctors working on Christmas day and not with their families. I had never thought about this before but since then I always admire those that spend this day to look after others.
Christmas is my favourite time of the year and this still remains. Whether visiting hospital, or spending our last with our mum by her bedside playing Ker Plunk, as long as I'm with my slightly dysfunctional family it somehow functions and makes sense. I love the mayhem, I love giving presents and watching them be opened (although since kids my buying skills have seriously deteriorated - just ask my brother who received an extremely questionable cardigan last year!) I blame the lack of time to actually buy gifts in shops and making some online errors! I love the game playing and how competitive it gets, I love all the movies and the nostalgia with watching them, I love the food and the drink and the excess that is allowed over this period, I love the closeness surrounded by so many special loved ones and I've even learnt to embrace the sadness that lingers like the smoke from a blown out candle for those not with us in person to share the magic.
Missing my mum hurts so very much at this time of year but Christmas is a time for Angels and we have our very own special angel. I hold her so close to my heart always and keep her even closer at this time of year by sharing her love of this festive period and keeping her alive in the best possible way.
Wishing you all a magical Christmas and sending hugs to all missing someone special or not with their loved ones due to work. May you find magic in whatever you may do.
Love Carly xxx