In my family, Christmas is that time of year when my Mum works well into the next morning for weeks on end preparing gifts for all the people she likes to make things for. She makes Christmas puddings, Christmas cakes, Christmas fruit mince pies and all sorts. She goes shopping for presents for us all and makes lists of what she needs to do for the day itself, it is a huge extra workload.
But in among all this, she has not forgotten the meaning behind Christmas, it is not just a commercial holiday for the shops to benefit from, it is a special time of year to remember the wonder and meaning behind Christmas, a time to let your differences go and celebrate with family making time for everyone in a way that often gets lost throughout the rest of the year.
I felt frustrated and guilty many times in the preparation before Christmas this year. I did not help in the way I wanted to, the way I always used to. I wanted to help and make her load lighter but physically I was not capable and she often shooed me away off to bed or to rest because she knew and understood that my needs were greater than hers. This was the hardest Christmas for me yet, even harder than the year I had just had surgery and was on two crutches still. I don’t think it was because I didn’t make the effort, I just think I didn’t have it in me, things have got worse and I’m still drained from the year at uni.
I’m glad she understood though and even said I had done my fair share and it was time to get out of the kitchen so the boys would go in and help. I just have to accept that doing what I can is good enough and not to think about previous times.

We had a lovely day for the most (apart from a few small hiccups of lost recipes and no boys in the kitchen etc). Started the day with Christmas Mass and then home to prepare for our guests and our Christmas lunch. We had a lovely dinner with food a plenty and were still at the table talking and enjoying the company till late into the afternoon. Crackers were pulled, presents were opened, jokes were shared and the mood was merry.
I was thoroughly spoiled with many presents, my Mum always spends a lot of time deciding on what a person may like and I got some really lovely gifts because of her thoughtfulness.

I had uni friend stay for Christmas-her first, I found out she would be alone for Christmas and although she doesn’t celebrate it I didn’t want her to be alone for the holiday. I think she enjoyed her time with us and it really helped keep me busy (although I found it hard work) so that I didn’t spend time missing my best friend too much. We are very close and with her having just moved to London I am rather lonely at times as I miss her so much. My uni friend helped me decorate my room, and wrap presents and it was nice giving her gifts and a Christmas stocking and including her as part of the family.

I’m glad we still remember what Christmas is all about despite the tone of this time of year. Despite the stress it creates we are still able to find enjoyment and take time to remember its more than just food and presents, it’s a special birthday celebration that we must never forget.


Lisa Moon said...

Your Christmas sounds amazingly beautiful, Alessea!

Your family, especially mum, sound amazing. I'm so very glad you have them to support you so well.

I do really understand how you feel about not being able to help much, not wanting to feel like a burden... when you're used to being able to DO, not being able to is a huge blow!

There is a line to walk for us where we must be allowed to do what we can as normally as possible, but also to not overdo it. I find this such a challenge as the line constantly changes for me!

One of the hardest things has been to learn to ask for help for things I think I 'shouldn't' need help with, such as lifting a heavy box from the floor - it might be something I can do at the time, but inevitably it leads to a pain flare of varying proportions from the pressure it puts on my forefoot, for example.

But back to your Christmas. What really touched me about your post is that recognition of honouring the true meaning of the holiday, not the commercialism and such.

To be honest, I'm rather envious (not a positive thing, hm) of having that in your life, that appreciation of family and celebration as I have no real family, but my friend who is family to me and my son.

I gladly take the feeling I get reading your lovely post as something to strive for in celebrating the holiday season with my own little family.

Thank you for sharing, my dear. I'm so glad you were gifted in your life in so many ways.

Happy holidays to you and your loved ones.

Much love to you,


Alessea said...

Thank you Lisa, remembering the true meaning of Christmas is very important to us and I am blessed to have so much family even if they do annoy me at times. Your words bring home to me just how fortunate I am, it is something that is forgotten at times. I just wish I was able to share it with everyone, if only we were all not so far away it would be easy to get together and share the good cheer around.

You take good care also, and know that some of our Christmas spirit has been sent your way.