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The Problem With Christmas

I am not against Christmas as such. For years I have had issues with December. Could never work out why. I knew I didn’t like the crowds at the shopping centres but didn’t know why.

The problem with Christmas is the amount and types of input which are not there for the rest of the year. Everywhere you go there are Christmas decorations and carols. So much more noise for the eyes and the ears. A whole month of everything shouting at you.

The social gatherings. I love to catch up with friends. Catching up with people I am supposed to like (relatives I don’t relate to) is a whole extra challenge. Being in extra social situations with people you don’t know that well, trying to work out the different social rules that apply only to this time of year and not the social activities that you normally attend, not easy. To do this while the background is already screaming at your eyes and your ears, that is an extra challenge.

At all these social gatherings there is Christmas food. The stuff that is only brought out for special occasions. An assault on nose, an attack on your taste buds and the textures? We wont go there.

So yes, this wonderful time of year, of catching up with friends and family. Of social gatherings and sharing the love. It overloads my eyes, it attacks my ears, I don’t understand the food and I have to be polite in ways I don’t know how to people I don’t know about things I don’t want.

I love the true, simple meaning of Christmas. I love to watch people I care for open a couple of gifts that mean something to them, that they wanted and will use, and are truly happy to receive. My ideal Christmas lunch is a simple meal, with everyone doing a little bit to help. Not masses of food with leftovers to feed an army for a week. We dig / pick / gather the veggies from my Dad’s garden. We pod / cut / prepare said veggies. There may be one or two meats. Favourite dishes for all of those in attendance. A nice but simple dessert, probably involving more of my Dad’s produce or things from my siblings gardens. Things we have all loved since childhood. There will conversation, all will feel comfortable to participate. Random subjects, random comments, laughs and reminiscing. Stories of lives shared or the bits we weren’t there for.

There is no huge production. No loud relatives that dominate the occasion. When we leave, we want to return, we feel happy, charged, complete. I have no problem with that.

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