Christmas preparations have been a torment to me, because my baby son Hugo died earlier this year. I have been wishing the festivities would hurry up and be over.
A friend challenged me to find the beauty in Christmas. “Yeah, whatever, there’s no way I’ll be able to do that” I thought at first. But, never being one to decline a challenge, I opened my eyes and realised that there is some beauty in Christmas.
No matter how much I might wish it, Christmas is not going to disappear. Getting continually stressed about Christmas joy – and my lack of it – was doing me no good at all. So, finding some beauty in the season – however tenuous it might be – has had a benefit.
In no particular order the Christmas beauties are:
I am a sucker for anything brightly-coloured and sparkly (I love sparkle!) and, of course, everywhere is covered in brightly-coloured sparkly things in the run-up to the big day. The decorations can make even the most drab building look pretty.
Stars are a huge feature of Christmas decorations. I have a bit of an obsession with stars due to their significance to me with Hugo. While I know the stars relate to the guiding star that is said to have guided the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem, I like to pretend they are celebrating my special little boy.
People being kinder to each other
The shops might be scenes of materialistic carnage, but conversely Christmas can also be a time when people make an extra effort to think of others. People contribute to food banks to make sure families in need have enough to eat; volunteer their time at homeless shelters and old people’s homes; or donate to charity the money they would have spent on Christmas cards.
There is beauty in all of these gestures.
Charities are for life, not just for Christmas – please remember to support them during the rest of the year, too.
I’m partial to mince pies, and like to get my fill of them. I like to think the mince pies find the beauty of Christmas in my tummy. Or my tummy finds beauty in them. Either way, they are yummy.
Elves on Shelves
While I still think they’re rather creepy, photos of elves who are usually not on shelves but are often in all sorts of bother have made me smile. Whether the scenarios have been dreamt up by the parents themselves or copied from Pinterest, many of them are pretty ingenious and funny.
First prize still goes to Whore in a Drawer. Funny and naughty. Naughty beats ingenious in this instance.
I have found some beauty in Christmas, but I still cannot generate any excitement for it. This Christmas, and every Christmas after will be missing Hugo, my first born, my precious boy.
I continue to do my best to avoid the happy Christmas telly ads. Christmas songs now have an added resonance (Mariah Carey warbling “Baby all I want for Christmas is you”) being a particular stab. Our house is still unadorned by Christmas decorations.
Our plans for Christmas Day involve wine, chocolate, and season 5 of Parks and Recreation.
It will be just another day to us, another day thinking of what should have been.
The true beauty of Christmas that will now never be.