As previously discussed (here and here) I am a true non-believer in God as an omniscient, omnipresent, benevolent creator-of-all-things being. I do, however, believe that, to borrow from a fairly well-known playwright named William Shakespeare, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in my philosophy. Like the possibilities that String Theory suggests. Not that I claim to have any deep understanding of it. I am no scientician.
I have to admit, though, that I love love love Christmas. I love the food. I love the lights. I love my tree. I love the kitsch. But what I love most of all about Christmas is familial warmth and conviviality, the reiteration of old traditions and, as my children grow, the creation of new ones.
When my brother and I were growing up, my father annually video-recorded us decorating the Christmas tree in the lounge room, all skinny brown legs, sun-bleached hair and terry towelling shorts. When my brother died just before Christmas 1997, none of us left behind had a whole lot of Christmas spirit. (Benevolent God? I don’t f***ing think so.) For the first time ever, we went had Christmas lunch at a restaurant. Circumstances notwithstanding, it was a revelation. To sit, eat, drink, and then just leave was unbelievably … relaxing. We maintained this new custom for some years until marriage and the joining of two families initiated a shift into a new approach to Yuletide.
It has been wonderful to host Christmas in my own home. It has been wonderful to be spoiled, stuffed stupid and play front-lawn cricket at my parents-in-laws’ home. This year, however, I am going “home” for Christmas. It will stir up many bittersweet memories. But I don’t mind that. I will be enveloped by love – my parents’, my husband’s, my children’s, my parents- and brother- and sister-in-law’s …
Je vous souhaite un joyeux Noël xxxxxxxxxxxxx
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