There was daily, wonderful snow last week, but now it’s raining and I’m no longer feeling Christmas-y at all! On top of that, Mam told me we are probably going to spend Christmas Eve at my grandmother’s. Christmas Eve, eek! Not my lovely Christmas Eve with all the nice traditions!
Now, since I write in English and most English-speaking people celebrate Christmas on Christmas Day, let me explain: Where I live, we celebrate on Christmas Eve, at night. We usually get the afternoon off from work to decorate the tree and wrap presents and cook, and then we have dinner and the handing out of presents afterwards. Many people sing Christmas carols together and then attend Church at midnight, but not our family. We just eat and give our gifts and then have coffee and talk and laugh, and it is always the highlight of Christmas. On Christmas Day, we have a nice brunch, maybe some more gifts, and usually a walk and another festive dinner. The next day is still a holiday, with the same things as on the 25th, but in more moderation. And that’s it.
Mam has to work both on the 25th and 26th, at dinner time. So the only chance for a real Christmas with the whole family is on Christmas Eve. Since Grandmother is so frail, we can no longer have her stay with us, so we intend to visit her. Now, I was under the impression that it would be for tea, or on the 23rd. If we really spend Christmas Eve at her house, bringing the dinner and gifts with us, and later returning to a cold and dark house to quickly exchange our own gifts, it won’t be nice and cosy at all. Grandmother will be overwhelmed by all the goings-on, Dad will be tired and want to go to bed, Mam will be stressed out from organising and caring for Grandmother, Dinah will be stressed out from managing Tippy on the road and Sissy, well Sissy will be annoyed by the whole situation. And I will be sad to see my grandmother deteriorating and fighting for the last bits of her dignity, and for not having the Christmas we always had.
You know, it doesn’t sound too bad. Maybe I just needed to complain, and maybe after some time I will get used to the idea. It COULD be nice. It just came as a little shock: No Christmas-as-I-imagined-it. No burning candles on the tree and scent of resin, with all of us around. The trouble is, with Mam away, I somehow feel responsible for everybody and everything and can’t relax. The nights she works, I prefer to be out, just to escape this feeling. Why is that, I wonder?
On a more positive but still Christmas-y note: I ordered my duvet and duvet cover, and I really hope they will be here on time.