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Christmas Wishes

I was thinking about what I would wish for Christmas. I am not the biggest fan of the festive time, partly I think as a reaction to my difficult childhood. My mother had alcohol issues and my father did not really cope. I always felt Christmas was a time of uncertainty and sadness. Sometimes it was a dangerous time and it was always unpredictable. From a young age I could see the lunacy of buying presents nobody could afford to show the outside world a Christmas card image of a family and a home which could not be further from the truth.

As an adult and having children and family of my own, I have, over the years had to revisit this base line emotional response to Christmas. I have tried every thing, going away, staying home, seeing family, staying in. We have made big occasions and we have spent the whole day in our pyjamas. We have finally settled on a kind of long Christmas. An extended period of time in which we see family and friends, we decorate our home, open our advent windows and open presents on Christmas morning. We have a few traditions of our own The Fairytale of New York, played every day of advent, pantomime in Harrogate on Christmas Eve and Christmas pjs for Christmas Eve, Morning and Boxing Day.

I think, now I am in midlife, I have made my peace with Christmas, past and present, as for Christmas future, I am not sure. I often feel the need to reach out at Christmas to others, who, like me, did not experience the festive period as a magical time. The homeless, the lonely, the addicted and the broken. I think maybe, when my own family are a little older I may open my clinic on Christmas Day, an informal drop in for those who feel they would like some company.

Tinsel optional.

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