A Christmas reflection

I always liked Christmas. Something mystical, magical and special about this time of year. But do we need religion to celebrate?

As I humanist, I am always aware that people might question why atheists and other non-believers celebrate Christmas a mixture of tradition and familiar obligations force people together at this time of the year. Sometimes causing tensions and arguments. Why would you want to spend a wonderful time with people you barely speak or have absolutely nothing in common?

I visited my old church and had lunch in their parish centre. People I have known for over thirty years sat and gossiped and chatted over their food.

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I began to realise that we have moved further away from the true meaning of Christmas that ever before. No room in the inn for the homeless, young, disabled and young people. Described by one church member of ‘teenage yobbos’ when talking about the youth that must have be behind the recent drone incidents at Gatwick Airport. Her predictions have been proved wrong so far.

My view of Christmas is based (like some Christian traditions) in pagan origins. The belief that the old year has ended and we celebrate the coming year with greenery, fire, food and celebrations. A celebration of Yuletide.

We look back at the year 2018. What a bad year for some and opportunities for others to create mayhem and mischief while those less fortunate are cast aside.

Attitudes have changed. Christmas has changed. I believe we should change and open our hearts and lives to those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

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Grieving

I have never been able to be sad for the things I haven’t had. It’s like sad that you haven’t had a sister. Well I have never had a sister and don’t know what it’s like so to me that is said. It what you have known and lost that makes sad

I didn’t even meet or know dad’s side of the family. He never told us that the had relations living in the south. I didn’t know them so not know what you haven’t had doesn’t make you upset.

Today, well to be exact this evening has been this worst. I am dreaming that she is still with me and that I am saying to her in the dream that it is impossible as you are not around. It the subconscious mind trying to patch things together in your memory and make some sort of resemblance of order in your life.

And then somehow dad appears and he has been dead over 21 year and things get very confusing and muddle because I know in the dreams that they had passed away and I am stilling coming to turns with.

Today I found a diary of mine of late 2012 which I asked: “What will it be like when she is no longer around”. It was interesting theories and emotions about mum and certain people were so true. Yes, it is scathing in some parts but I said that I have spent quality time with mum which is the main thing that mattered. Even in 2012, I knew I had done the right thing.

As I had said before losing my father happened so quickly before I started my teacher training so I really didn’t have the time to grieve which screwed me up a few years later.

The mental torture of losing a loved one cannot be cured. Emotions can be suppressed with booze and medication but there is a lot of screwed up people out there who haven’t properly grieved for a loved one. A numbed pain only goes away for a few hours while you are stoned or pissed. This is the equivalent of trying to put on a plaster on a major wound after surgery you might think it will go away and ignoring it does make things difficult in the long run.

Grieving is a natural process. At the moment I cannot be bothered with small things in life. This is a process that mentally you have to go through. Great speech Philip, but doesn’t make anything better,  different and easier to handle. It only gets easier to handle things less painful each year. Especially around mothers days and other occasions things that connect with mum and myself like Christmas’.

I have good friends and loads of people who I can fall back on and that makes a difference. I have been for them when they have needed help and when I am feeling like crap they help as well. I just take each day as it comes and not try to suppress the tears and emotion.

First Christmas

I know a lot of the people who are my friends aren’t big fans of the Royal family (more Royle family). I always listen to the Queen’s Christmas Day broadcast. It was the Queen that did mention that it can be a difficult time for those people who’s first Christmas it is spending it without a loved one.

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When you have spent every christmas, bar one, with your own mum it does become a little strange for her not to be here. She would have been falling asleep after dinner when I was tidying up. Except it was me that was falling asleep about 5pm after I had eaten and my food had settled. I think the mulled wine played it’s part wonderfully.

I spoken to a few people who have gone through the same. You expect them to walk through the door or someone to give you a phone call. Mum a few times used to set a place for dad at tea time ready for him coming in from work.

I think the worst bit has been waiting for my phone to ring to say I needed to go up early morning as they were having getting difficulty getting mum out of bed or the district nurse would call to say that the needed me to pick up something from the local pharmacy for mum.

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The phone has stopped ringing and sometimes it was ring three or four times a day, some days even more. I didn’t mind it because that was I was there to do it. I was her carer and her son. But you don’t know really how you miss something now that it is now long there. You cannot miss something you have never had or experienced.

So I have the first christmas over. It was the same when dad died. After a few years you get into a difference routine and and different place. Your plans change. So what ever happens next year I will see. If I spend it on my own again that will be up to me. Or if I get invites like I did this year I might take one of the them up. Who knows? But I won’t forget those who have passed. You never really lose them entirely as you always have the memories you made with them.

Monday

Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Pink Wednesday and Green Sunday. What is going on in the world? Companies desperate to get us to part with our money or credit even in the run up to the biggest shopping time of the year Christmas.

My good friend Gregory and I only ever once stood in a queue in the cold to buy the new iPhone 4s. Now things have changed you can have then delivered to the comfort of your own home and not have to wait in long cold queues.

I sat at 11pm last night and did some Christmas shopping in the comfort of my living room. But has the time for going out to the shops in decline? I would always thought as much when online shopping really kicked off. I thought there would be less people on the streets things would be lovely quiet but how wrong I was on Saturday afternoon at a local out of town retail park. I even waited until 4pm thinking it would be really quiet. Not at all. Still obnoxious people and screaming children.

We are encouraged each year to spend and people do go out just for the sake of saying that they did buy something. Regardless if they actually really wanted a certain item in the first place.

Some people need to take a serious look at their lives. Finding the the difference between our wants and needs has been blurred for decades.

Christmas Message

I was thinking about what message or post to write for Christmas. I came across this post from the British Humanist Association of which I am a member. I think it puts it very succinctly of what I wanted to say this year.

Happy Christmas!

November

It’s that strange time when it’s dark and Hallowe’en gone and we are putting up with the fireworks going off. Some of them going off in the middle of the day when it’s not even dark. What’s that all about?

I have given myself three months to sort out my house and at the moment it seems to be two steps forward and then three back. All the rubbish I have accumulated over the past 18 years since owning a house seems to be calling for me to sort it out. Stuff I haven’t used in years and things that no longer have any use. The VHS versions of film I once purchased remain in my house have now become obsolete. Who will need them and keep them in the future?

I live in a two-bedroomed house not a hanger. The house has steadily changed into one seen on channel 4 documentary where the person they are interviewing cannot bear to be parted with a fraction of their sometimes bizarre worldly goods. A recent programme had highlighted the plight of someone with fifty-one guitars in his house.

So let’s get sorted in time for Christmas. Yes I have said the ‘c’ word as soon as November has arrived.

Get the sprouts on Muriel.