It’s Christmas Eve here in my part of the world. I have a list of things I need to get done before the day is out, but for now I want to stop, and think about what matters, what really matters to me this Christmas.
Christmas is will be about family for me this Christmas. I am expected to be part of the family Christmas by some, simply because I don’t have a family (I mean a partner and children) of my own. But that is small stuff compared to what matters to me. I play along to meet expectations but really my heart is some place else.
Yesterday I went to a family Christmas lunch. The whole family wasn’t there, but those I wasn’t going to see on Christmas Day were. I arrived on time armed with Christmas gifts for the children, only to find they had all started the meal without me. When I asked why (calmly and politely), there was no explanation forthcoming, and really all it did was tell me yet again, that to those people, I don’t matter.
“Family isn’t always about blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”
I am fortunate to have some family members who are blood-related and fit this definition. They weren’t there yesterday, sadly. The people who were there simply told me by their actions that I didn’t matter… and yes, that hurt like hell.
I’m not going to get bogged down in how that hurt, but rather focus my energy on those people who do matter to me, and I know I matter to them. What is difficult is that this Christmas I am cut off from the people I would prefer to spend Christmas with. People who would want to include me and want to show their love for me.
I also want to be with my friends who are struggling this Christmas. Christmas can be a time of hurt and depression, and I hate that. I really hope that somehow those friends can find some peace tomorrow, and know that they are loved (even from afar)
Those I want to be with are thousands of miles away, and so today I will place them in my heart, where they belong. And I will take them with me as I celebrate Christmas tomorrow. That way they are with me, in my heart and the physical distance doesn’t seem so harsh.
And to finish, a quote from my favourite wordsmiths. Not because it necessarily fits with what I have said, but simply because I like it.
“CALVIN: This whole Santa Claus thing just doesn’t make sense. Why all the secrecy? Why all the mystery?
If the guy exists why doesn’t he ever show himself and prove it?
And if he doesn’t exist what’s the meaning of all this?
HOBBES: dunno. Isn’t this a religious holiday?
CALVIN: Yeah, but actually, I’ve got the same questions about God.”
– Bill Watterson