You see, part of me...wants the family gathered round the table on Christmas day. A bit of me still wants to have the house heaving with decorations and delicious smells coming from the kitchen...a little bit of me wants to serve a gigantic turkey and pull crackers with silly gifts inside and have seriously crispy roast potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce and look around at everyone gathered together and wish we could all get along so well at any other time of the year.
Part of me resents the endless advertisements showing happy families opening presents while sitting around a perfectly decorated tree...a tiny bit of me dislikes the endless carols coming over the music system in shops and the other part hums along happily to O Little Town of Bethlehem...
Our family are scattered...not just in terms of distance but in terms of closeness to each other...the children meet up at weddings and funerals that's all...most of them work all over the Christmas period because they work with livestock...those that don't, keep to themselves.
Other people have much nastier Christmases'...those who have partners who drink to excess or have children in prison or those who are homeless and totally friendless...we have none of those problems. But we are estranged from so many of our children for quite incredibly paltry reasons and isn't this the time we ought to be all together...
So I struggle a bit...torn between the ideal Christmas scenario of happy family gathered together around a laden table while I have a niggle about Mid-Winter and the Solstice and my wish for a jug of berried Holly and some beeswax candles...without a tinsel garland in sight.
It is a pleasure to give carefully wrapped gifts adorned with ribbons and bows...but there is no pleasure in never receiving a word of thanks...so I struggle over Christmas with part of me wishing we could go back to twenty odd years ago with a table crowded with people and a house festooned with decorations...to the here and the now when life itself is simpler and money harder come by and there is no harm at all in lighting fat beeswax candles and wrapping up in a soft throw with a decent book to read.
Maybe I'm caught in the 'should' and the 'ought'...perhaps I really should leave the past behind...that was then and this is now...it's just a bit difficult.