As a child, I remember the stress, I saw in my mothers eyes. The tender hooks we walked on, to keep from any strain, once mum made up Jesus in a manger, she dressed dolls and even used guinea pigs as animals, so funny, but those things, cost nothing, but are special memories to me.
We get so caught up with, bigger, better, more and fancy or expensive and why, because we have forgotten, to appreciate the one and only one.
At the time, when we were poor and had little, but somehow I knew, knew what to be happy for.
I remember one Xmas, I was asked what I wanted, it was a doll with long hair like mine, right down past her bottom, it was the only time I remember us having money. My mother won, betting on the horses and won a trifecta, I think it was.
And another time, when mum went to great lengths, to get us all together for Xmas lunch (days of hard work and planning), she was so excited, but also cautious, because we were still living with the old man. Someone decided to have a fit (its all about me moment) and that blew it, tension rose and mum was shattered, she said, that was it, and was never going to do this again, and she didn’t.
What got me was the, not understanding, mum did not have this, but craved it so much, she put a lot of herself into it, wanting a perfect Xmas lunch with her children, and instead, someone self-centred, blew it for her.
Every year for me, it was tension, I knew mum was watching the money, even when she went to the trouble of putting 5c coins in the pudding, she needed them back. I remember as I grew up, mum struggling to find something, to give as a gift, and I said, I wanted slip on slippers, these were $5 and that is all I asked for, for years, because I knew it made her happy, that she could give something, I seemed to want, yes I made a big deal (oy, could I act).
I am not putting myself on a pedestal here, but trying to explain, my mothers feeling were so much more important, than what I got as a gift.
We seemed to have not have a normal family, it was very dysfunctional, but knowing the little my mum shared about her childhood, and the pain in her words, was enough for me, to be mature and make sure, I did not further her anguish. But of course you do, but regret it all, later on.
As I grew up with my own children, the stress of trying to make do, make it special, make effort, when their dad couldn’t or just wouldn’t. And as I have grown older, seeing Santa at the shops, seeing stress, over spending and parents trying to give their best Xmas, to their ungrateful children. It has at times made me hate it, when we get Xmas in July, what the heck. Then we get it all coming out, once the last marketing comes forth.
I detest Halloween, get lollies from strangers, dress up and give the devil glory, what on earth are you doing. Sometimes we need to throw it all out, stop being religious followers of certain times of year, stop caving to peer pressure, stop all the waste.
Just stop, and appreciate each other, stop and appreciate this time of year and throw out all the tinsel, I would love an Aussie Xmas, a bottle brush tree, red tip that light up, then dangle gum leafs, kangaroos etc. Why, it does not snow here and it can get really hot and why not, make it your own.
I have had Xmas alone many times, my two children never wanted to be together and because of the times I tried and tried, I gave up. I thought if they do not realise, its about sharing time together, not me, me, me, then I am out.
So instead of sadness, I sit and appreciate time with him, and do not feel sad, because it is not, I have had times of understanding, appreciating a really special time, yes my worldly mother side sheds the odd tear, but I refuse to let it consume me.
Yes it would be nice, but life is not a movie story, it is not all a bed of roses, real life can be messy. Mine has been and currently is, but hey, I would rather be where I am, more in tune with the father, and remember, even through utter sadness, comes JOY.
So, have a wonderful time together this Xmas…