Hi All, firstly, I know Christmas is full of grief and woe for many people. (Here’s a page with many worldwide HELPLINES. Please call them, they’re waiting for you.) Also, I know that many of our readers have another religion or zero religious affiliation. If you find the Christian religions to be hypocritical multinational business empire behemoths, intent only on raping the world and its people then you’re not alone. My beautiful Jin is an evangelical atheist. He sneezes, I say “God Bless You” he says, “There is no god”!
Where I’m At
I was brought up in the Roman Catholic faith. Church as an infant/toddler, Nuns in Junior School, Jesuits in Senior School. The Jesus story has been inculcated into my bones and though I know it was written long after his death, changed on multiple occasions by a committee (often of unscrupulous, evil tyrants) and used as a herding tool rather than a teaching one for the greater good, it is so deep in my marrow. Jesus himself sounds like a pretty good guy, except he forgot to address some key issues in the Old Testament, slavery, sexual equality, homosexuality and a few others I can’t think of right now. Thing is, I love the idea of there being a God. That if I’m a good person then I can have eternal salvation. Just the idea mind you, in reality I think living one life and death being a full stop is good. Then there are the questions. Why would an ever loving God give children cancer, create pedophiles, rapists and murderers (many within the canon of his churches), let global atrocities continue (starting with the Crusades and working forwards) and let us so recklessly ruin the beautiful world we have been given.
I’m not looking for answers or even help here. Just trying to explain my dilemma in the face of mounting lack of evidence. Sorry to lay this on anyone who feels attacked or undermined by my thought processes. I’m just laying bare my struggle. Hopefully some of you will find resonance.
Anyway, I still love Christmas. That we come together and mourn death, then celebrate the renewal of life. We do it by gathering people we love, family, friends, even some people we dislike. Sometimes people we hardly know in an Orphans Christmas situation. We come together and replenish our bonds and links of humanity through shared food, stories, memories and proximity. Even the drama creates new stories to be told throughout the next year and beyond. Before it was Christmas it had already been ritual for millennia, we just added glitter, reindeer and song.
If You’re Struggling
For those who feel completely alone, cut off and adrift from the rest of humanity. I’m hugging you right now. Please take time now to organise SOMETHING for this holiday. It’s relentless and can push us over the edge.
Have something nice or special to eat, doesn’t need to be expensive, something you like.
Maybe, if you have the funds or want to be involved, go have a meal out. Yes, you’ll be solo but you’ll be enveloped.
If solitude is your favourite thing then maybe a ramble around your neighbourhood? I find walking a really good way to beat off the blues, doesn’t have to be far to change my perspective and mood. The weather, the nature, the blood pounding and rhythm of my steps all combine to elevate my mood. Nearby we have a few parks, there’s nearly always some kind of life going on. People watching is nice too if you’re comfortable and sip a cuppa.
Have a plan. The best way to cope with anything is to have a plan. Make sure there are a couple of plans in case one gets derailed. Best to keep plans small and achievable, seriously, have a few.
The crushing overload of forced intimacy and aspirational Christmas spirit is a lot to handle, even for the strongest of us.
Also, say NO. If seeing your family, friends, anything is not what you want to do. Say NO. You don’t need to explain, just say no. Write an email if they are bullying you. “I will not be coming for Christmas. Hope it’s everything you want it to be. See you in the new year.”
Again: Here’s a page with many worldwide HELPLINES. Please call them, they’re waiting for you.
Our Christmas 2022
This year is the most low key we’ve done Christmas for years.
On Christmas Eve we are having a small group for dinner. There will be Jin’s Roast Pork & Crackling, roast veggies, cold chicken, salads and some breads. I’ve bought a supermarket Christmas Pudding and some Custard for dessert but I think Kath will do a Pavlova too. A few drinks, some cognac and teas to finish. Hopefully done by 10pm, clean up and off to bed.
Christmas Day just Kath and us. Leftovers, chill, TV.
Last year on Christmas night we put up on faceBook that we were heading to Club Parramatta for dinner. We ended up with a table of about 20 friends and acquaintances. It was lovely. There was no cooking or cleaning, a few bevies and we all just hung out together chatting and laughing.
Boxing Day is traditionally held at my BFF Kath’s family home. We eat cold cuts, make some fresh salads and put it all on buns. We swim the afternoon away and then we all go home and crash.
Even though Christmas in Sydney is hot I’m hoping to get a few spritzes of firm favourites Caron Nuit de Noel, Liquides Imaginaires Sancti, Maria Candida Gentile Exultat, CdG Avignon andL’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme Intense. Mostly these will be cool of evening wears. I’m thinking to wear some Annick Goutals like Songes, Eau de Sud, Mandragore and Nuit Etoilee. That Lolita Lempicka Eau L’Aime, maybe L’Artisan Nuit de Tubereuse and Neela Vermeire Creations Rahele and Pichola.
These are the dream wears anyway. Honestly, I’ll probably get super busy doing stuff and wear easy reaches like Shalimar and Eau des Merveilles Bleue. Let’s see how it all comes out in the wash.
For those that celebrate. Merry Christmas.