Nicola Morgan's Heartsong Christmas
Christmas means different things to different people. For many, it’s a difficult time, a negative time, a time when almost everyone else seems to be enjoying themselves but when they just can’t. Perhaps Christmas brings bad memories or perhaps something sad has recently happened and you’re not ready to embrace what seems like compulsory happiness and cheeriness. I know some of my friends are in that position and are just looking forward to the festivities all being over.
I have a friend who hates Christmas and always has done. This year, she’s getting together with another friend who hates Christmas and they are going to hate it together. As I pointed out to her, they might have so much fun hating Christmas that they will defeat the object and have to admit that one year, at least, they loved Christmas!
But I’m a Christmassophile. I know, I’m lucky because nothing has happened to make it tough for me, and long may that last. So, I’m looking forward to it. I love cooking. I love being the one who produces the Christmas turkey and and I love watching everyone’s faces as they indulge in a crazy number of dishes.
My children are adults now, and they come home (and I know that one year they won’t, as they’ll go to partners’ houses or whatever, but for now, they’re coming home – starting tomorrow, which is why this is my last blogpost of the year) and we all enjoy the traditions we’ve developed – such as the Christmas Eve canapé feast where we eat nothing but canapés and nibbles and drink sparkling wine and take turns to read out the very badly-written Christmas story on our falling-to-pieces advent calendar. The stockings, which my daughters still get and which are nowadays likely to be laden with functional cooking ingredients. My annual failed attempt to get everyone to agree on what they want for breakfast. The present-opening routines, whereby you have to receive a present rather than take it from under the tree. The home-made crackers. Relatives coming over for Christmas lunch and at least one of them falling asleep. The day slowly sliding into chocolate, snooziness and dipping into the various books we will have been given. (I’m hoping…) And candlelight everywhere. I do love candlelight.
Oh, and the Boxing Day walk, on which we play the game, “Spot the Christmas Present Jumper/Coat/Scarf.”
Whatever you plan, whatever your hopes and fears over this period, I wish you a good one, the one you wish for. I wish you peace and rest; I wish you books and rich, mind-opening words; I wish you your favourite food, cooked with love either by yourself or by someone else; I wish you fizz, in a glass or in your heart, ideally both; I wish you warmth and light and comfort; and after it all, I wish you rekindled energy, inspiration and hope.
I wish you heartsong.