This Christmas is going to be different for so many of us.
Originally it had been planned that Mr Pumpjack was going to be away with his family in the UK and I had been contemplating a quiet Christmas by myself. And then it was all change, when his train was cancelled last minute. Luckily other family members made it through, so in our respective families no one is alone. We are feeling very grateful for that.
In enjoying a Christmas Eve walk last night we got to talking about traditions . And the realisation dawned that this Christmas is an opportunity to make new ones. There are so many lovely traditions we have enjoyed over the years with our families. But with everything changed at the 11th hour, we suddenly had nothing in place to celebrate in the traditional way. And then realised ~ this was a very nice thing.
There was a certain sense of relief. A feeling of a weight off our shoulders, a lifting of peer pressure. We realised we could do what we want, when we wanted. It was a chance to celebrate Christmas our own way. We just didn’t know what that was yet. But, it was rather a heady moment.
We talked of and honoured the traditions that our families had instilled in us. And which we had, without thinking, continued each year. Lovely traditions, but traditions based on being surrounded by friends and/or family.
What we realised is that this Christmas unburdened us from having to ‘do’. With no one else to share it with, so much pressure was off. Nothing had been organised. We hadn’t planned on giving each other gifts, since we thought we were going to be apart. (Home made gifts instead were planned for New Year. Or around then. Or when completed.)
So we have made some very simple decisions. I asked Mr P what he would like to eat Christmas Eve and Day. ‘Meatloaf’, he said, for both meals. Okay. Why not. It’s a weekly staple for us, discovered about a year ago. A real comfort dish.
I fancied pumpkin pie, a favourite of mine and now loved by both of us. Made from one of our own pumpkins sat patiently waiting on the table. Some clementine oranges and a nice piece of cheese rounded out the treats. So food decided on. What else?
Nothing else. No fancy wines. Or mad dash to the shops to buy last minute items. No overwhelming cooking sprees. Just, peace.
We decided this Christmas we would make no plans. Instil no pressures. Our only chores were the taking care of the animals. And that is never really a chore. And we agreed I would cook today’s meatloaf (the pie was already made, and partially eaten, from last night) and Mr P would do the washing up. That’s the summation of our day. Maybe a film together, probably a walk, or two. Who knows. And maybe this Christmas is the start of how we will celebrate our own choice of traditions.
Was invited to Christmas lunch at our friends’ the Montmayeuls, along with a Scottish friend whose wife is in hospital, so alone. This morning Christiane called. Perhaps the most wonderful gift this year is, in fact, realizing not that it can’t be Christmas as usual on Christmas, but Christmas can be not as usual every day. A quiet day, not thinking about other “have to do” responsibilities. Just being thankful. Two close friends for whom this will be their last “Christmas”, illness oblige, also helps puts things into perspective.
Beautifully said Barbara. And I wish you and yours all the best now and in future.
Merry Christmas. to my Wonderful Friends and such a Joy in my life.
I am to you giving the gift of writing you a letter!!!
I am in my 2nd year of Christmas without my John. I am Doing Fantastic with all the love surrounding me. I am a very Happy Lady
Love You and Wishing You a Wonderful Christmas Sarah
Happy Holidays Sarah
So lovely to hear you are doing well and surrounded by love. It’s a truly wonderful thing.
Wishing you and your family all the best, a happy Christmas and new year Alycea