Not Scrooge – but oh how I hate Christmas.

I remember how Christmas used to be, the children coming home, decorating the house, endless beloved visitors, cooking, laughing, our unique Christmas traditions; someone would ‘declare’ Christmas which meant I had to stop being harassed,we could start eating the Quality Street, son Paul would start making exotic cocktails, midnight mass. Of course as we get older our children take over the hosting and that’s something all we oldies have to accept and be grateful for = and I am. But now it is all too noisy, too crowded, everything looks different. I see a Christmas tree in the restaurant that is part of the Madeley Centre and think ‘what is that for’ of course I remember straight away, but the constant ‘asking’ and then remembering is like a thousand blows on a sore spot. With my large amazing family I have always Christmas shopped all the year round and it was always a joy and I still do it, but organising it all,is such hard work now. With my total lack of sense of numbers and prices I worry that there is not parity in my presents, the recipients won’t care but I will. And then there are the rats. I think it started with the rustle of cellophane in a Christmas bag, but somehow at Christmas I always think there just might be rats in Christmas parcels. I’ve always loathed rats, who doesn’t? And I have a vivid and still sleep haunting memory of a BBC production of 1984 and Peter Cushing seeing the rats about to crawl onto his face, also a terrifying short story called the Copper Bowl, in a Pan Book of Horror Stories (remember them?) about a rat put on a woman’s stomach under a copper bowl that was then heated. When the bowl was removed the woman was dead and the rat had disappeared. Whatever the origin come Christmas come rats.
I hate getting the Christmas card list out and crossing off people who have died during the year. A lot this year. As I remember what I had forgotten the hurt comes rushing back.
This is a dreary Fizzy Hammers post. And of course there are good things. I love Christmas cards and the messages from people I rarely see but wish I did. I love the sound of carols though I am still waiting for my first hearing of The Pogues not a carol but my favourite Christmas song ever ‘ and the boys of the New York PD choir are singing Galway Bay, and the bells are ringing out for Christmas Day.
And then there are my beloved little ones promising to phone this evening with their list of Harry Potter wants for Christmas. J.K Rowling the author who got children reading again.God bless her.
Still haven’t written a Christmas card or packed a present but hey I’ve got Dementia. Cut me some slack.

2 thoughts on “Not Scrooge – but oh how I hate Christmas.

  1. Well Shelagh, if it makes you feel better I only got to ‘S’ in my address book and the unwritten cards and second class stamps are still sitting on the dining table. I’ve missed the last second class posting date now and they won’t get done tonight because the step children are with us, and it’s more important to have family time than right blinkin’ cards 🙂
    As for not being the hostess anymore, my 88 year old Mummy said the other week when we were at afternoon tea with my 3 older sisters… “I used to participate in the fun when the family were together, now I mostly feel like I’m spectating”. She wasn’t complaining, it was an observation, but she (and we) would much rather have her there observing than not at all, and I’m sure that’s the same with your family.
    And as my Daddy used to say, the stresses and worries don’t get any less as you get older, they’re just different


  2. I get angry with myself EVERY morning because my brain does not wake up before midday. What may do the damage is the image of oneself as competent which has to be forfeited after decades of being true. I just cannot imagine myself as ineffectual tho every morning that is a bit true. But I think if my ineffectuality lasted all day I wd either commit suicide or, better, develop an utterly different image of myself.


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