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Copyright © 2017 by Jo Barlow
A Very Happy un-
26th December 2017
Saying you are not going to do anything for Christmas feels a little like I imagine it would be if you had just announced you had given up your well paid and respected job, have bought a camper van and plan to go driving around the world. Everyone thinks you are mad, but won’t say it – well not to your face anyway. Although I have a feeling more people would understand the desire to travel than the desire to stop the Christmas ‘celebrations’? But I didn’t celebrate the 25th, and very surprisingly for my past Christmas record, it was a lovely day.
I had told the kids (and Dave) ages ago that I was not going to be celebrating it, but that they could do what they wanted to as I would not stop them. The kids chose to either go to their partner’s family, or my parents, and have Christmas with one of them. There was a part of me telling me that this shouldn’t be right-
I didn’t buy Christmas presents, nor send any cards or say Happy Christmas to anyone. I did buy each of my children a fluffy clothing item for winter solstice and gave it to them on the 21st Plus for Roan (who is only 11) I got a PS4 game he wanted to give him on Xmas eve (I felt too unkind giving him nothing when I had brought presents for all the older kids when they were his age). But that was it. No stressing over shopping or waiting for items to arrive in the post, no making myself skint and us struggling to buy dinner and pay the bills for the next few weeks just so people can have an extra present they don’t need which is supposed to somehow be a sign of our love. As society said so.
So we took the kids to my parents on Christmas Eve, I still got given some items when I requested not to have anything -
My parents actually gave me a jigsaw puzzle, so that evening while Dave was watching some junk on telly, I numbed my mind into a meditative state by jigsaw! I was totally in my own little world for a few hours-
On the 25th we didn’t wake until after 11, got up and took the dog for his favourite walk in the local woods, had some lunch and I fell asleep again! Dave watched some TV, cooked dinner (yes we had a delicious bean casserole with lamb noisettes) then later went over a friend’s house to see them. We spoke to each of the kids – who all seemed to be having fun-
I didn’t miss any of it, my stress levels have been half what they are for a normal Christmas, I don’t have to take anything back to the shops. Put decorations back in the loft or tidy mess. I still have the same amount of money in my bank account. I didn’t have to pretend-
A no stress, un-