Tradition says we put up the tree on 8th December.
Usually my kids are full of enthusiasm and encourage me to untangle the lights and dig out the decorations. But this year feels different.
It will be our first xmas without my mum, their gran. Their first xmas with no grandparent left at all in fact.
It's their first xmas where I have stepped back from making arrangements for them with their father. They are teens, they have phones, they are now in contact with him themselves.
It's our first xmas in this house and it will be our only xmas here.
This time last year I had a month to find us somewhere to live and it's been a lovely home but I am done paying rent (and other people's mortgages!) so 2020 is the year when I will buy our own house, our own home.
That is my new year's resolution. I am determined.
This time last year my mother was alive but angry with the world. I wish I could put my arms around her right now and say 'mum, please, we are all on your side, we all love you, take a big deep breath and let it go...'
If she had known she only had six months left, I wonder how different our lives would have been last year, last xmas...
I haven't bought a present, not even a card. But I'm not a grinch! I will get into the festive mood. I will slap on a smile and a silly xmas jumper and a santa hat and I will wrap presents and make mince pies (okay, it'll be frozen pastry and mince from a jar but I'll be putting them in the oven so it's mostly the same thing!).
My dear auntie who I loved used to say 'I hate Christmas' and I never understood it when I was younger. How could anyone hate the most glorious time of the year? It took me a while to realise that my aunt suffered from depression. It was never understood. She was of the generation (and from a family) who thought 'a brisk walk' would 'sort that nonsense out'.
If she was alive now, I'd give my auntie a big warm hug too and I'd say 'I'm here, I know how you feel, let's have a chat, I'll make us a cup of tea and look what I brought, 'home-made' mince pies...'
Salt Water Mum
A Moodscope member.
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