I don’t know about you, but this year has felt decidedly unfestive until the day was upon us – but even then, the mild weather made it feel less like Christmas and more like an autumn day. My manager is panicking that it means a late winter and his beloved plants will die, whilst friends are worried it means that holiday plans won’t be as warm as they hoped.
But don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my day with my family rather than being at work, although I really wasn’t upset in 2015 when I worked across the festive period, because it was worth helping out those who found they had nowhere else to go but stay at the hostel I work at. Last year I was so preoccupied from morning until night with making other people’s days as nice as possible, that I didn’t have time to feel sad that I found myself alone with no presents to open until the evening.
That changed this year. I woke up and was perfectly fine, because it was just another day. I called my dad, wished him a Merry Christmas, told him I planned to go see him for a long week in May, and said I’d speak to him properly as soon as I can because he had to go and sort out his guests. I got a shower, started styling my hair for the day, logged onto Grindr to see what messages I had left over from the night before, and then I started checking social media.
I’m all for people sharing their lives however dull or exciting it is, because everyone knows I share some really boring aspects of my own, and I don’t think people should ever stop that. However, it was upon checking these things that this sense of loneliness had set in. It was the fact I hadn’t stayed over at any relatives houses because I like to stay at mine. I hadn’t been left any presents to open on my own in the morning, it never occurred to me to even buy myself something, and I was faced with the prospect of having to wait until early afternoon to open anything and feel part of the day.
I was supposed to arrive at my grandma’s for 11:30, but I found myself there at 10:15, and offering to help her out which is always a manic thing to offer. She appreciated the help and I was honest with her, that I didn’t come with the intention to help, but I was happy to, I had come because I just wanted company. Of course, it wasn’t until nearly 12:30 when the family all sat down to open presents, and this year I got things I’d actually use, because most of them where either DVDs of films I enjoy watching, or things for me to use in the kitchen (or pretend I’ll use).
I whispered to my sister that I had felt down in the morning and she always comes through for me. I had my niece and nephew to play with, I had my mother to wind up – which is always easy – and my grandma was still grateful for all the help I’d given her before others had come.
I suppose my point here is that, luckily I had people for me to rely on to not feel the gloom all day long, but there are others that didn’t have that and I hope they pulled through knowing fully that Christmas is just another day in the calendar and that it’s not always going to be so lonely. Hopefully next year winter will be on time, and not so mild, and that it actually feels like Christmas day!