So it is fast approaching christmas and for a while there, I didn’t think that I was going to be ready in time at all. I had all these lovely plans and then BOOM, out of nowhere, work got crazy busy and I had no time for anyone, let alone myself. At this time of year, you have to make time for yourselves as parents or the magic just won’t happen. I just wasn’t cutting the mustard! At times I felt like I was letting my team down. I have never felt so unfestivated (I made it up, I like it, let’s just go with it), and that is just not me. I am Mrs Festivity. Usually.
Usually I am the host of the ‘Christmas Decs at Becs’ night. In October. In a christmas nut shell, it’s an excuse to drink wine and buy beautiful decorations. My idea of heaven. Then there is the tree selecting day (real tree every time and a patient Mr C twirls 70% of them for the kids and I to eventually select one of the first beauties), the decorating of the tree, the mince pies, the festive parties following endless chats about what to wear, the chutney making, the ham glazing, the vodka making and home made gift making afternoons, the secret delivering of gifts around the village, the goose order from the butchers and collected on Christmas Eve, I could go on…. I make these months all about my favourite time of year. Christmas. So you can see how flummoxed I could have felt.
Ordinarily my lack of the above would have made me feel frustrated and slightly panicky. Ordinarily I would have been a right old cowbag to live with. Ordinarily I would have been trying to make any time I had outside of work a mission to rush through my list, Russian sprinter style, to alleviate my unfestivated (easier second time around?) state.
But the reason that I had not had time, nor inclination to be dragged along behind the Christmas train of must dos, was because I had had my life put into perspective. I work as a primary school teacher and pastoral leader, looking after children wellbeing is my passion. The reason I was working practically full time was that I was supporting several children and families who had lost close family members, all within a few weeks of each other. The impact on a school when things like that happen is colossal and it takes over you. The ripple effect. So instead of coming home and feeling bitter and frustrated, I came home and talked and talked, I cuddled my children, I spent time playing games with them, I told my husband how much I love him. Perspective.
So school has now broken up. I have bought the gifts, the tree and decs are up. I am mum again… almost. I have tackled most things I deemed essential but the other stuff, I let go. The children I am supporting are in the forefront of my mind daily. All that stuff that is on our ‘to do’ list is in essence to show our love for our nearest and dearest. But you hear it time and time again don’t you? What humans crave is not the stuff but the contact with people they love. What better way to show that than spending time with them. Honest time. Not chatting whilst checking your phone or emails, not saying you will play a game and interrupt it with things you deem important, not going for a family walk and rushing the little ones on when they marvel at something. Good honest time.
So this Christmas please don’t panic of you don’t have all the things on the to do list. That is not important. We can all get carried away with these things we think we need to have the perfect day. But you know what, in some families eyes most of us already have the things we need to have the perfect day. We have each other and to some, that is worth more than you can imagine.
I shall have the other families on my mind this Christmas and will certainly be cherishing my own little family.
Family is the thing.
Family is Christmas.