It’s a bittersweet time of the year isn’t it? This past week has been full of tears. Frustration, tiredness, stress, joy, pride, you name it we’ve run the gamut in Casa Neilson McLeod. The festive season is a pressure cooker: you pour in expectations of the ‘best Christmas ever’ or the ‘best this’ or the ‘best that’ ever, and at some point those expectations are going to boil over. Why do we do it to ourselves? Why is so much put onto one day out of 365? In the words of Roy Wood, I wish it could be Christmas every day, mainly so the whole thing would become less important.
I don’t remember having the same problems with Christmas when I was single and childless, that’s for sure. It was something to be avoided, or worked through. But since our little blonde goddess has been around the dreaded ‘what are you doing at Christmas?’ question has come earlier and earlier each year. In fact, if you haven’t got yourself sorted out in July then there’s something wrong with you. Home for Christmas? Difficult if you have to fly, and thank goodness we aren’t. I couldn’t stand being stranded in an airport in a snowdrift. We have friends who may not make it home for Christmas, and it is so important to them. That one perfect day, is it achievable? I guess it depends on how you define perfect. For me it will be a day with no phones, no emails, no clocks, and I will try very hard not to eat two Christmas dinners (aren’t the leftovers somehow better than the meal the first time around?).
What is the true spirit of Christmas? Brandy, Baileys? Well, they are elements of course, but for me this year it’s been about making an effort. Making an effort to be generous, remembering people who are less fortunate than we are, and doing something for children. It actually started in November, just the words ‘Children in Need’ got me going, and when the Christmas songs started on the radio I had to have a hanky on standby. I couldn’t bear it. So, apart from harassing the British Embassy in Madrid to get La Gidg a new passport, booking a ferry to go to France to see my Mum, and all the normal work/life chaos, I spent all of last week trying to raise money for charity. With mixed success, the jury is still out. If you fancy helping then you can buy a raffle ticket from Mood Beach, the money’s going to Amiticia (which is a disabled children’s respite home) and the Allen Graham Charity for Kidz. We’ll keep it going until the end of the month.
In the end, the best gift you can give is your time, and to try to be with the important people in your life. So I hope you get to spend your Christmas your way, we’re certainly going to try.
Happy Christmas, with love from V, O and La Gidg xxx