We put the Christmas tree up over the weekend. Which was exhausting. Of course it is: my husband is still getting over his broken leg (and will be doing so for a long time), I have a trapped nerve in my back, making all movement excruciatingly painful and the kids just want to jump into the tinsel like a ball pool.
My sort of Christmas however, is undistractedly plonked on the sofa, TV and PJ’s on, kids cuddled in, lights out apart from the Xmas ones and him in doors snuggled into the three of us, his big bear-like arms wrapped round us like a man-blanket.
I don’t get the whole go-out-and-get-leathered thing. I’m not sure I did when I was young enough to get away with it.
I’m not Christian either, so for me, celebrating Christmas, or Yule, is more about what it has represented to mankind for thousands of years: hope.
Celebrated around the time of the winter solstice, we witness the darkest of days and the longest of nights. This is the time of year when mankind requires kindling – for both warmth and remembrance: the light is coming. The warmth is on its way.
It is a time to shove the bleak, hopeless darkness back into its box and show it that it can rage against us with its worst, but we will still endure. We put up glittery baubles on an evergreen tree, along with lights. We spend time together, keep warm and staying close. We give presents to bring joy into others lives and remind them that they are thought of and cared about. We vanquish the dying embers and replace them with brighter ones still.
That is what this time of year means to me. Call it Christmas, call it whatever you like. I see it as a time of joy and a time of promise – that change is possible and that all darkness ends with light.
If you celebrate this through religious beliefs (as I once did myself when I belonged to a faith), then I hope this period only adds to and augments your joy at this time of year.
The world has so much darkness in it – making Christmas time vastly more important than ever. So much love and goodwill is needed for all mankind right now.
PS I will try and remember to post a photo of my tree 🙂