Today is the first post after Christmas. Every year around this time, I think about my past, I go through my good choices and the worse one’s, I am trying to analyse what exactly brought me to the point of my life where I am now. I also look at my present. I try to see all the good things, that very often I tend to take for granted. I am trying to be grateful for all the things (not necessary material) I have. But I think about every change I would like to see in the future too.
In this post, I would like to tell you about one thing that I wish to change, although it doesn’t depend on my at this point. And it will explain, why Christmas is a very depressing time for me. I will try to show my opinion about changing the rules given by myself to myself. I’d also like to share a story about appreciation and personal growth. And finally, a story about changes and adapting to them.
I’ve divided this post into the three parts. My childhood, adulthood and future Christmas. It reminds me of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, which, by the way, was my favourite book to read in December, when I was a kid. In this case, future Christmas is about my plans.
Starting a story, when I was a child, we hadn’t had a lot of money. Throughout the year my parents struggled to provide food for me and my two brothers. It didn’t happen often, but there were days when we went to sleep hungry. However, Christmas was always different. I used to believe that my parents get some special power during this time because there was always plenty of food. Polish tradition includes a twelve dishes meal on Christmas eve. Of course, we don’t eat full twelve plates of food, but it is said that you have to take at least a bite of each of them, otherwise you’ll lose as many teeth during the following year. At that time I didn’t know that they were borrowing money to make memories for us, but Christmas always was a very special time in our family. On the 25th of December, there were always gifts waiting for us under the Christmas tree. Usually small, but Santa Claus doesn’t forget about any child on this special day, does he?
Christmas was also special because this was the only day of the year when all family gathered together for a day. In our two-bedroom flat, there used to be over thirty people. All cousins, aunties and uncles. We had a lot of fun playing and waiting for the first star to appear in the sky. We sang Christmas carols, built snowman and threw snowballs at each other.
Everything started changing when my grandma passed away. Some of my aunties didn’t want to come, because it was hard for them. There were so many great, but also painful, memories. My grandma’s favourite place stayed empty, as no one dared to take it. We could almost feel my grandma sitting there. Especially for the first couple of years after she died, we were just waiting for her to start her story about the time when she was young. It has never happened again.
Another turning point in our family tradition was after my parent’s divorce. Half of the family wouldn’t attend, as they felt awkward and anyway, my mum lost her interest in preparing a huge Christmas Eve meal. That’s how on Christmas there was only my mum, my brothers and me left. It was still amazing, but already a lot of magic has been lost.
Here we are coming to my first adult Christmas. I newly moved to London and I couldn’t afford to buy a ticket to Poland, so I stayed alone. I haven’t got a lot of friends here yet, and most of those who I consider friends went back home anyway. I wasn’t in the mood for preparing a great meal just for myself, so I’ve spent all this time in my bed crying and hoping that I will be able to spend next Christmas with my family.
However, next year I didn’t get a holiday for Christmas and I was trying to convince myself that I don’t need to celebrate this holiday. It isn’t so important.
Years later I am a mother. Although Christmas is still a very depressing time for me, I’ve decided to keep organising a great time for my son, same as my parents did for me and my brothers. I hope that when he grows up, he will remember the time when we decorated the tree together, cooked great food. I hope that he will keep in his memory the excitement of opening a gift and wondering what is inside. And finally, I hope that he will remember having a great time with his family.
To conclude, for me Christmas lost a lot of magic. I don’t have much to look forward. I regret not being able to appreciate this time when I could, but I want my son to feel this magic the same way as I did as a child. And although now we are in the middle of the pandemic, I hope, that we will be able to gather with all family next year and celebrate it all together.
And that’s it for today’s post. I wish you all very merry Christmas and I’ll see you in my next post.