So I’ve mentioned in passing that I don’t like Christmas much. Well, I’m apathetic about it now, I used to dislike and I used to hate it. Since meeting my wife, it’s gotten better. Every year I feel better about it but I still struggle with the same Christmas anxiety.
One of the many anxieties I don’t want to pass onto my son.
I don’t remember any Christmases before my parents divorced. I have vague memories of sharing my mum’s bed with my sister – my parents sleeping in our (separate) rooms so they were both there in the morning. Apparently we would go and visit my great aunt after this, and have dinner and my dads who lived my grandparents from the day he moved out until they died a few years ago.
After we moved to Wales when I was ten we spent all our Christmases with my dad and grandparents. I didn’t spend anther Christmas with my mum until I was in my late twenties. Christmases with my dad were the same every year. Every year.
We listened to my dad and nan putting out presents out the night before, got up, opened the presents and ate chocolate and watched tv Then we called mum and spoke to her for a little bit. Then dad went to the pub and my grandparents argued and made dinner. Sometimes dad came home in time for dinner. Sometimes he didn’t. If he didn’t we started without him, the Queen’s Speech on the television in the background. We ate, quietly, my sister and I were allowed a Babycham. My grandad washed up. My nan and dad fell asleep in the chair and sofa respectively. We watched the Christmas soaps and went to bed.
Same every year. Until I was 19.
Every year after that I spent most of Christmas drunk. And New Years but that’s another issue.
I spent most Decembers (and November and October too) filling with dread. So I drank through it. Worked Boxing Day with a hangover. Spent the week self harming or in a state or deep depression and anxiety until New Years and got drunk again.
That was then.
Things are different now. New Years is still difficult (another story). Christmas has slowly become something I do not dread but don’t necessarily look forward too. Apathy is definitely the best way to describe it. When I moved back to Wales I spent it with my mum and Jay, my sister and her kids and not alcohol. It was nice, but I always felt a little out of place and I would go back to my flat and still be alone.When I met Bethend we spent Christmas together with the rest of the lost souls of Aberystwyth – people we knew who had no where else to go on Christmas or no family to be with. I liked that in a way.
Then we spent out Christmases just the two of us (well, the two of us and our cats). Also nice, but never enough to really get rid of that feeling. So while my feelings improved I have never really looked forward to it even if I enjoyed it. It’s been hard going, year after year and I’m 34 now.
So far this year, I’ve not been sure how I feel. I am looking forward to it. It’s weird. There are a few things about it that are going to be awesome.
Snappy’s First Christmas
Snappy will be four months old. His first Christmas. He should be sitting up properly by then (he’s already doing it!). We took him to the Magical Festival Of Lights in Birmingham for Christmas a couple of weekends ago. He won’t remember any of it but I will. We will remember how much he enjoyed the lights. We will remember every smile and laugh and grumble and cry. I carry that funny looking little face around with me at all times and in years to come these memories will sustain me for long long moments.
I love all these firsts too.
On top of that my best friend is spending Christmas with us. I’ve been bugging her to come spend it with us for years now. Insisting every year, telling her right up until Christmas that it’s not too late to jump on a train (she currently lives 200 miles away) and spend it with us.
This year she’s actually coming and I’m looking forward to that fact as much as it being Snappy’s first Christmas. She’s not met my son yet and I want her to be his godmother (fairy or otherwise). She’s one of the few people that have been able to put up with me for any substantial amount of time (a decade now) and one of the few people I am willing to put up with and be around for longer than a couple of hours at a time (I’m very anti-social in case you hadn’t noticed).
I have high hopes for this Christmas and I think that I have any hopes at all says a lot about how far I have come as a person and dealing with my Christmas demons.
I know this was a little hard going, and I might save you the New Years ramble this year. Plus 2016 has been a pretty good year for me so maybe it won’t be so bad. thanks for sticking with it. Here is a song to cheer you up and really explain how I feel about Christmas.