I have lost count how many times I have started this blog post, wondering what to write about for Christmas or just this time of year, not that technology has helped one bit, crashing on me and deleting it twice… So, a few ramblings about a crazy, difficult year that still had incredible moments I could never forget (see the rest of the blog for a sample of those 😉 ).
I re-read Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales this year and his first line struck a cord, it might not mean it to everyone but it dusted off memories of many bright Christmases all rolling together in the same direction.
“One Christmas was so much like another, in those years…”
Christmas has always been just Christmas around here: never changing its ways. Family sat around the table, reading bad cracker jokes and laughter echoing outwards. Praying, begging for snow to make it a white Christmas morning (though it’s rarely actually snowed). Carols on Christmas Eve and Jingle Bells to go to bed, board games and trivia quizzes; I remember them as noisy days full of love and laughter. They still are noisy, but so much has changed, least of all that we have all grown up and live our separate lives. There are absent spaces family once filled who will always be greatly missed: souls that filled a room with laughter and lightness no matter what, and there are loved ones we’d welcome in and share with again in a heartbeat.
It’s the one time of year were the most absurd and likely obscure family traditions come out of the wood work. Half the time, it simply because one person wants something done their way, claiming “it’s tradition!”. I’ve heard that far too many times over TV shows and Christmas Day chores over the years. We are what can only be classed as the ‘family delivery crew’, there are carols on Christmas Eve (in typical Welsh fashion the same chapel for 20 years); dad insisting on singing the Christmas Eve verses of Jingle Bells as we all climb into bed, despite my protests that I’m far too old. And me sorting the dining table (that is now a tradition apparently…) Traditions change, our Christmas mugs are the newest, though mugs are like socks around here – there’s always one! (Exhibit A)
Christmas is still Christmas, but its magic has diminished a little; the colours around the edges just aren’t as bright as they once were.
Saying that, most of 2014 has been remembering who I am, knowing what I am capable of and learning to have fun again but this has never been just me, far from it and I’ve wanted to give my help to others but wondering just how to do that, even if it’s just a cup of coffee. If you’d told me at the start of 2013 that this is where things would be I wouldn’t have believed you, certain in the belief that I could conquer the world; I was finally getting what I had fought for and everything and everyone was okay. As it turns out, complacency and expectations are dangerous bedfellows to welcome in when you think you are living your dreams. Everything else isn’t okay and I have been left wondering whats around the next corner waiting to push any one of us over again. Enough of saying ‘no’ or ‘I can’t’ just out of a baseless fear, a state of mind for which I ended up coining a little phrase:
In the spirit of more, not less
and saying yes; not what for, or no.
A phrase that came from something of an epiphany, and one of the reasons I began weaving stories again. Finding the picture for one of the poems posted to this blog I found countless others for Christmases past and it gave me the idea for a short winter story. It’s not quite done and I’m off for New Years celebrations later on but I’ll have it ready well before winter’s over!
Here’s to a 2015 filled with more reasons to do more crazy activities or just do new things.
To happiness and hope, a cwtch, good health, friends and family. Iechyd Da!