It’s funny how, in my mind, most Christmasses blend into a happy blur of the same family traditions. I do remember certain Christmasses, for example the Dafter’s first Christmas when she was up all night long and in the morning she and her 6-year-old brother had each cut a new front tooth! (Cue the song, “All I Want for Christmas…”) But this Christmas has been very, very special and I think will always stand out in my memory. It’s been such a long, tough year and the Dafter has been so very unwell with ME. One of the worst things about her illness has been how isolated she’s been. I can count the number of times she has seen another person her own age in the past three months on the fingers of one hand. Meanwhile, she reads on Twitter and Facebook about how the other kids she knows are busy doing carol concerts and going to parties – things she used to be able to do. I was so worried that Christmas this year would be depressing for her and for all of us.
But I shouldn’t have worried. First of all, the Dafter’s own nature made her decide to enjoy Christmas no matter what. Secondly, we have been showered by good wishes and attention from our friends and family – not to mention the many Christmas wishes that have come to us via this blog!
And, because we weren’t zooming about to myriad Christmas activities, as a family we’ve had a chance to really talk about the true meaning of Christmas. The Dafter said to me, earlier in the month, “I’m going to have to take a long-term view this Christmas, because even if I do get books and art supplies, I know I won’t be able to use them right away. But I’ll keep them for when I’m better.” Also she said to me, “The one thing I most want for Christmas is something that you can’t buy for me.” She didn’t have to tell me what that was.
We have appreciated the closeness and love we have in our family even more than we usually do, this year. And we’ve had some laughs together:
Even though she, and all of us, came down with colds (and for the second year in a row, the Dafter had a cold sore for Christmas), we’ve had a great time. The best thing this Christmas was a short spell, just before Christmas, where she and we had a glimpse of healing to come. She was able to leave the house for four days in a row, was able to do art on two of those days, and on one day was able to walk more than the usual 100 yards or so. “This is the Christmas miracle I’ve been praying for,” she said, so grateful to experience again a small amount of the abundant energy she used to have. Her fatigue levels have since gone back to what they were, but I’ve said to her, “Your job is to remember what that feels like, and know it will come again.”
Parcel after parcel arrived, from various parts of the world, and come Christmas Eve the number of presents under the tree was looking rather excessive!
Notice that we also saw the SUN on occasion, a rare treat lately!
And finally Santa made an appearance in the Playmobil advent calendar – although he hid behind the tree to surprise the family:
Come Christmas morning we were spoiled absolutely rotten by our family and friends. Here are some of my presents, lucky woman that I am. Note the gorgeous tea cosy from a generous knitting friend, and the beautiful mitts made by the talented Roobeedoo:
I’d like to think that we have always been grateful for the love that comes with the presents and cards at Christmastime. But this year we really were able to look beyond the Stuff we were rubbing our hands over, to the true meaning behind these offerings. Michael and I had expressly forbidden the Dafter to make us anything for Christmas, as she always likes to do, because we knew she would put pressure on herself and that would not help her health. However, she sneakily wrote a beautiful Christmas card to us, which was the top present of all.
We also had some fun, perplexing the Dafter with a large, very light box (a fluffy pillow). She in turn decided to bury a small creamer for me in much newspaper, inside another large box! Shades of my Grampa.
Michael made us a delicious Christmas dinner. We prayed that we will be able to recall all year long the feeling of security and of being loved that we experienced this Christmas.
I like the angel chimes that turn when the heat of the candles rises up.
Tilly has enjoyed a new spot this Christmas. Do you see the lovely felt runner (a present from dear friends a few Christmases ago)? It’s a little too long for our table, so we let one end rest on the unoccupied chair at the end. Unoccupied unless Tilly is there!
And we made it to the panto again this year! The Dafter had said “It’s not Christmas without the panto – we must go!” So we bought the tickets back in September. An hour before the performance, she was collapsed in her bedroom and I was struggling to get her dressed. But we managed, with the help of the wheelchair, and some bread and chocolate given to her at key points. We went with our neighbours, as is our tradition, and a good time was had by all.
And here she is, having made it back home. Isn’t she lovely? (Note the Harris Tweed bag.)
Last but not least, Michael has been to visit Our Son, who gave us presents this year, and enjoyed ours. They had a good visit, and we have so very much to be thankful for on that front as well.
I hope you’ve all had a very peaceful and enjoyable Christmas. Thank you so much again for all the warm wishes that have made this Christmas special for us. Not long now until New Year’s!