Christmas is about children, well about one in particular to be accurate, but rightly or wrongly celebrating the birth of baby Jesus is not most people’s priority at this time of year. So, it’s about kids, simply because of the magic of Father Christmas, of toys and games and chocolate. People like me, the childless not by choice might have cause to struggle at Christmas time but I don’t.
Quite naturally there is much talk in the community of the childless not by choice, of the pain of feeling excluded and ‘other’ during the Yuletide and yes being invited to the homes of young children, feeling that the fecund parents are almost flaunting their fertility can be tough but avoiding the company of children at this magical time is, in my opinion, sad in itself.
Children exude joy at Christmas time and the joy is not exclusively for the parents to bathe in. Whilst I am now safely ensconced in the land of acceptance and not up to my throat in grief because children won’t ever happen for me, I have never avoided kids at Christmas because to focus on what I may lack is to miss out. I have often found that the exhausted parents who have been up since silly o’clock very often crash and burn post Christmas lunch and fall asleep. Not the kids of course, no they’re still at high energy level and that’s where I’ve found the role I have embraced as mad batty auntie comes into its own, even if it is for the simple reason said auntie is still awake.
Many people feel loss more keenly at Christmas for a myriad of reasons. Missing family members, friends, homes, jobs, pets… cash. To focus on what or who is missing from your life is a choice. Most of you reading this will be spending Christmas somewhere dry and warm, cheesy to say perhaps, but if you have these things you are rich; celebrate.
A child having a fabulous time is a wonderful thing. Yes you may have a wobble, give in to it quietly, refresh your focus and return to the festivities. Hell there’s always Champagne, chocolate, mince pies, cheese, cake, pudding, Delia’s Eighteenth-Century Chestnut Stuffing, Sloe Gin… sprouts. Dive in.