Monthly Musing – December 2019 – Counting Christmases

It’s a rainy Friday afternoon not long before Christmas and I’m feeling quite grumpy about the whole thing. There are cards to write, presents to wrap, presents to buy, food to organise … and that’s on top of everything else that doesn’t stop just because it’s Christmas. I look at small daughter, bursting with the agony of waiting another couple of weeks until Christmas Day and wonder where my sense of excitement and anticipation has gone.

I know that I didn’t always feel like this. I know that Christmas never used to feel like something else to squeeze into an already hectic calendar. I also know that Christmas always happens on the same day every year and if I was just a bit more organised, I could have done everything earlier. After all, it’s not a surprise that Christmas is coming!

And that’s it, isn’t it? Christmas comes every year. Just one day in a short holiday period and then it’s gone. Once the wrapping paper is recycled and the decorations are down, that’s it for another year. Less than 365 days to wait before the next Christmas Day – and who knows what will happen in that time?

If I’m lucky, I’ll see maybe eighty or so Christmas Days in my lifetime. Maybe more, maybe less, but if that’s a close estimate then I’m already over halfway through my quota which – when you think about it – is less than a quarter of the number of days in the year. That’s quite a sobering thought and it pulls me up short as I am muttering about writing Christmas cards. It’s the only contact we have with some people, who have lives equally as busy as ours but who manage to write a note on a card every year to let us know that they’re still around – and I am always glad to see the cards arrive every year so that I know that those people are, indeed, still around.

It’s entirely my choice to see the preparations as a chore, to grumble about them, to waste the opportunity of seeing the magic at this time of year – and it is always there, no matter how old we are – or I can remember that everything will eventually get done, that the world won’t stop if I don’t clear my to-do list before 25 December, and that the countdown to Christmas Day isn’t a countdown to something that I’m not going to enjoy. The only person making me feel grumpy over all of this … is me.

It’s amazing what a change in perspective can do, isn’t it? I had completely forgotten how few of these precious days we actually get in one lifetime, and I am not going to waste any of them.  Life really is too short.

It’s a rainy Friday afternoon not long before Christmas and I’m feeling full of festive joy about the whole thing. There are cards to write, presents to wrap, presents to buy, food to organise … it’s going to be great!

A photo of a beige textured carpet with a number of Christmas items arranged on it. From left: a blue Sellotape dispenser, a red roll of Christmas wrapping paper, a pink roll of Christmas wrapping paper, a DVD case for the film "Arthur Christmas", a pen, a selection of Christmas cards, a box containing more Christmas cards and the branches of a real Christmas tree

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9 Responses

  1. Julie Culshaw says:

    You're so right. Attitude is important.Yesterday I got a Christmas card from a cousin who always sends a card, despite being in a wheelchair with MS, despite awaiting hip replacement surgery, despite other challenges in her life. And not a complaint but a cheery note. She's got it together more than I!

  2. Chris Knowler says:

    I'm way behind on preparations although I did write the cards to go abroad a few weeks ago. Every year I say this will be the last writing cards to everyone but as you say sometimes it's the only contact I have with some people. It is nice to have a yearly catch up.
    We're having a quiet Christmas this year and most of the family gatherings are more towards New Year so I don't have to worry about food shopping.
    Wishing you and your family a lovely Christmas and New Year. X x x

  3. Helen says:

    The view to take on all those 'things' in life that might make us feel pulled down. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  4. Val says:

    Thank you..I needed to read this!

  5. Unknown says:

    I know what you mean and I felt like the grumpy person you describe at the beginning. And I do every year but it always happen. My salvation though is carols, I sing in a community choir and it is our Christmas concert tomorrow and I have just been going through the carols on Youtube – rather late but never mind – and my whole being now uplifted!! Thank you for helping me appreciate the power of music!! Have a lovely Christmas and a great knitting 2020. Joan x

  6. Allotment11 says:

    Hi Christine
    A very Happy Christmas period! Try to think of the whole show lasting a couple/few weeks, not one day, and some thing to be savoured not endured. Take it at a relaxed pace and savour each job that you do. Easy to say, hard to do! Then remember why we have Christmas and enjoy the special meaning of that day.
    With joy and good wishes to you and all of your family (who I feel we know through your blog).

  7. Jools41 says:

    I know exactly what you mean – I had a severe attack of the bah humbugs this morning, when my beloved suggested putting up the tree, but as soon as it began to get dark and the tree lights twinkled at me, the magic got me and I sat and looked at it, grinning. Best wishes to al.

  8. mazmama says:

    This will be my first Christmas without my husband. Last year I was that grumpy. Feeling pressurised by present choosing and food preparation. How I wish I still had that to deal with. You are right – we don't know how many Christmases we will see. Enjoy each one and see the positives. Happy Christmas to everyone.

  9. Susan Rayner says:

    Have a lovely Christmas and enjoy every minute! All the very best wishes for 2020 too!

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