As a child, Christmas was exciting, fun and about the presents!
As a teenager, I began to appreciate family.
I enjoyed this time of the year, getting out and about as everyone seemed to be happier and more tolerant. Strangers would be wishing each other Merry Christmas, drivers were polite. I began to look forward to this time of each year as it was the only time that everyone was polite and friendly with each other!
Looking back, was I living in La La Land?! Did that really happen?!
It was the one time of each year that I saw the entire family, including extended family, all together. Some members, it was the only time that I saw them.
In my 20’s I began to experience the sadness as change began to impact upon this one, special time of the year. People married, had other family commitments, children were being born.
Those Christmas times that I remembered and cherished were forever gone.
They still live in my memories.
Change is inevitable and it’s easier to flow with it, rather than fight it.
It soon became my turn, I had other families to be with. Decisions had to be made, which family would we spend Christmas Day with this year, which next year. Rotation had begun.
In hindsight, rotation had always been there. It just hadn’t been important to me as a child.
We began to see one family on Christmas Day, another on a different day. Other members on another day.
My partner wasn’t big on gifts and after our first year together, we no longer gave presents to each other. He was all about hosting and organising the meat. I did everything else. Everything else.
I was into hand made cards and gifts back then. His family appreciated them, but it didn’t take long for the criticism to begin. They openly judged me, but one member also admitted that she felt inadequate around me. That surprised and saddened me, because rather than work past this, she and the rest of the family rejected me.
I began to reject them.
Criticism, judgment, rejection is never one sided.
During this time I began to see how commercialised Christmas was. I began to reject gift giving, which made it easier for my partner.
I was sad, what had happened to those memories from my youth?
I was rejecting my own family as well as his. Even when the whole tribe drove up to the country for the day, they managed to control us and reject me in my own home.
I’d had enough.
Christmas was no longer a joyful time with family.
I began to learn the true history of Christmas and I was glad that I no longer celebrated it. It is not what most people believe.
Have you noticed that Happy Holiday crept in a number of years ago?
People were tired of the commercialism, but it goes deeper than this. The true history was becoming known, and those details are not part of this blog.
My biological family are now few, but I spend this time with them.
My metaphysical family are dear to my heart and it was Stewart who coined Appreciation Week. This tied in with my feelings back in my teens when I began to appreciate family.
Yes! That is what this time of the year is truly about! Being with people who I appreciate and who appreciate me.
My Oiler family are far and wide as well, and I appreciate every one of them, too.
Happy Appreciation Week my dear friends and family!
What are your thoughts and feelings this time of the year?