For the past five years or so, I have been in the habit of ODing on Christmas movies. No matter how sappy, corny, dramatic, or funny they are, each one has a similar theme – Christmas is all about family and friends. But what if you’re 1,500 miles away from a sister you’re not as close to as you’d like to be and your oldest best friend? I don’t really have any real close friends – not the kind I can invite myself over for a Christmas gathering of some kind – in the city where I now make my home. For me, Christmas Day can be a collection of what-ifs and memories of spending Christmas with Dad in Winnipeg before 2011.
This past month, in preparation for Dec. 25th on my own, I thought of Christmases past, my own and those of other historical time periods. I knew vaguely knew that the Twelve Days of Christmas were associated with the liturgical calendar, and were not just the lyrics of a Christmas song. However, in doing some research about Twelvetide, I found out that I got it backward – the 12 days don’t lead up to Christmas Day; Christmas Day is the first day of Christmas. It is a religious period celebrating the Nativity of Jesus, typically beginning on Dec. 25 and ending on Jan. 5.
I decided that this year I would celebrate all Twelve Days of Christmas. Not traditionally, perhaps, but in a way that would allow me to be mindful of where I am now, focus on what is here, and come to terms with what is not here and what I don’t have at the moment.
My morning started off in bed with coffee, chocolates (four…okay, six), and a mystery novel. When I wasn’t reading a was thinking about what my faith means to me – how much stronger I feel in my faith now than this time last year. I had just finished getting dressed when the phone rang: my best friend from Winnipeg called and we caught up on each other’s news.
Then for the rest of the afternoon, since work and freelance writing have taken a toll on housework, I spent my time in front of the TV watching more Christmas movies and the commercials in the kitchen giving it a thorough cleaning before starting dinner (roast chicken).
For all sorts of reasons I won’t go into at the moment, I feel grateful for the view out of my living room window, for my family and friends in Winnipeg, and for a client Christmas bonus that allowed me to spoil myself a little