It’s many years since I spent a whole Christmas Day either with my own family or as part of someone else’s.
The first four or five years I hated the aloneness, the constant words from continuity announcers on television telling you that if you’re spending the day alone they’re thinking of you. I spent a lot of time in tears back then.
I felt as though I was a failure because no-one invited me to spend the day, or part of it, with them. The truth be known was that back then I knew a bunch of self-centred people who couldn’t find it in their hearts to express affection for someone.
Then I bought a camera and realised that I could spend the whole morning out taking photos if I wanted to and then was no-one else to consider. If I wanted to spend all afternoon on the sofa watching trash on the television dressed in my night clothes then I could. The best thing was I wasn’t tied to any particular kind of food or time to eat.
Then I got dogs and walked them down the harbour on Christmas morning smiling at other dogs as I’ve passed them. I’ve noticed the strained and unhappy faces of people as I’ve passed them by and realised that, for some people, Christmas is a time to be endured not enjoyed.
This year I’ll be doing the same as I’ve done for the past five years. I’ll pop in and have coffee with a friend on the way to the harbour, pick another friend up on the way there so we can walk our dogs together. Having a dog means that I don’t get to sit around in my night clothes all day but I still get to sit around and do my thing.
For a lot of people this year they will be facing Christmas in a totally different way. Coronavirus has changed to way we live and it is altering the way we can spend Christmas Day.
This year is the opportunity to turn everything around and do it differently in a way that suits you better. This is the year that talks within families have to be had and the decisions made may be be lasting and better.
Joy to the world? Maybe not but there may be smiles for some of us.