Not Everyone Likes Christmas

Many of you love Christmas and will have been anticipating the big day for ages. I know that some of you have had your Christmas tree up since early November! It’s not that I don’t like Christmas, but I am not disappointed if I have to work the day our Christmas tree is being put up! My husband enjoys doing it, so happy days, I leave him to do it. Everyone is happy that way.

Financial strain is a big reason why some of you are not looking forward to Christmas, you know you will have huge bills to face in the new year. It is easy to say not to put any pressure on yourself, it can be difficult to manage.

Social anxiety too can be a problem for some of you, as you are likely to be exposed to a larger volume of people in the workplace or at home. The pressure for you to go out and socialise can be huge. Not everyone enjoys the social gatherings, big or small. It can be difficult to say this to your friends and family.

Christmas can be lonely and difficult for those of you with addiction problems or if you are in recovery. There are very few places that you can go where a drink is not the first offering on the table. We can’t change that today, but I wish for you that you will get through this festive season one day at a time.

Christmas can be a lonely and sad time for those of you who are missing someone at this time of the year. Whether that is because of an illness, or a relationship breakdown, or because of bereavement in your family, I say this every year, but this year it is affecting me personally as my father sadly passed away on 7th December.

The reality of writing this paragraph has hit me and it is only now that I truly realise how those of you affected by that loss really feel. His death was unexpected, he had been in and out of hospital and had been failing in health, but it still came as a shock when he passed away. The pain of losing someone you love and realising that you will never see them again is intense, paralysing, numbing and gut wrenching. For me right now, it is beyond comprehension. It is difficult to explain how I feel and it is only someone who has experienced loss can understand it. My father died at the age of 87, he was a gentleman and everyone who came to pay their respects had the same thing to say. He was a gentleman, a quiet, and honest man, and one of great integrity. He instilled in me and my siblings a strong sense of right and wrong and a very good work ethic that has stood to all of us. He was married to my mother Eileen for 61 years and had six children. Family meant everything to him and he was lucky to have us all living in Wexford.

There is no good time to lose a loved one but Christmas is an especially sad time to lose them. He told me once that he didn’t fear death and that we all had a number, and when that number was up that was it our time was up. His number was called and he died peacefully without pain or hardship. There is a lot to be thankful in that and it will help myself and my family in the coming days, weeks, months years to come to terms with losing him. I know that I am not alone in this, there are many of you who will grieve someone over this festive period. And, you might not be looking forward to Christmas. Talk to your family and friends about how you are feeling and let them know whether you would like company or the space to be alone. The default is to presume that everyone needs company. Let’s all listen and find out what our family and friends really need.

Some of you would simply just rather curl up on the sofa with a good movie or book. For you being alone is the celebration, you enjoy the peace and the quietness of it all.

Whatever your plans for Christmas this year, I hope it is a good one for you. I wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year.