There are many times when I can be a mean discontented cow...muttering about turkeys and a cupboard heaving with enough chocolates to last for a good six months...I even putter and glare balefully at Christmas cards with pictures of the Nativity when anyone with half an ounce of sense knows Jesus wasn't born on December 25th...
And I could be nice and say it isn't meant...I don't mean to mutter under my breath about cooking a long dead bird who quite probably had a truly nasty life before it was electrocuted along with thousands upon thousands of its mates...I could announce that I actually like Christmas and that it doesn't bother me one hoot that the people who remember and acknowledge my birthday are those who live far away and aren't family. Because family don't bother you see...apart from T and Reuben that is.
What I find increasingly difficult is the ever-growing distance between us and family...and that doesn't matter either...plenty enough people have little or no contact with family at Christmas time...many, many people's birthdays pass by unacknowledged no matter what time of the year they fall on...
It's just...difficult.
I don't like it.
It's sad that Himselfs children and Grand children virtually ignore his very existence...a couple leave brief messages on Facebook...but that isn't quite the same as receiving a carefully chosen card.
My own children have rather forgotten I still exist...
We are fed a constant diet of happy families in advertisements for everything from ready Christmas dinners to buying a new sofa for weeks before the event...so it is a letdown when that magical day arrives and there is no happy family...
I don't mean to sound whiny and whingy because actually I don't feel like that in the least...I rather think I'd love the courage to simply not attempt to take part in a festival which has virtually no meaning for us anymore.
We've been working towards it for years...gradually using less decorations...sending less cards...
I really loved buying the children's presents this year...thoroughly enjoyed choosing non girly pyjamas for Caitlin and sticking silly notes on the pockets of the apron I made for Wendy...I liked wrapping up decent coffee for Jason and finding just the right tattoo book for Jamie...but truth be told could I not do that throughout the year?
If there is an offer on books in Eason's about dinosaurs that Jack would like at the end of April...wouldn't it give him as much pleasure to receive it then...why do I need to wait until December 25th to give a gift.
Some of my hesitation stems from a couple of years ago when Himself was still working in the arcade. He'd buy a newspaper each day which once had a series of DVD's of children's films...so we saved them all up and I sent them to one of the Grandchildren whose own children were small but of an age to enjoy watching them...she said thank you on Facebook and all hell broke loose.
My daughter-in-law flew with her venom...war was declared...daughter-in-laws child was only a few months old...not old enough to gain any pleasure from sitting in front of the television watching a Disney film...how could I possibly send DVD's to Another...and nothing to her.
I retreated hastily.
But it simmered away for feckin' weeks until the original complaint about those free DVD's given away with a tabloid newspaper reached the proportions of the onset of World War Three...
Perhaps I'm making too much out of one day in the year...there was a time when we were a happy enough family gathered together...but that was then.
Maybe it is time to acknowledge times have changed.