Post-Christmas Wrap Up

So this is Christmas… and what have we done? Another year over, and a new one just begun…

Well lovelies, another one has come and gone, and, without fail, Christmas 2009 was nothing short of a tumultuous rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, laughter and tears, and realisation that the people you spend Christmas with says a lot about how you really define “family”.  I spent mine in the wonderful company of my dad and stepmum, sharing dinner and playing games with Sweet’s family, braving a blizzard, watching old 80s Christmas movies,  and talking to friends through fits of sobbing who left me feeling incredibly grateful, and got me back on track to being able to really enjoy Christmas after all.

I finally spoke to my nan, who’s still in the hospital, but in good spirits and absolutely thrilled to have had visitors on Christmas Day. Two girls I’d grown up with in England who lived across the street from us were in town for Christmas, and braved the icy roads on Christmas afternoon to visit my poor old nan in hospital.  This Monday, they’re taking her up some clothes and sorting out the house, and it just meant the world to both me and my dad to have two people who weren’t even family give up part of their Christmas to help somebody in need, when our own relatives wouldn’t even lift a finger.  It was unexpected, altruistic and demonstrated the holiday spirit more than I could ever say.

I received a bizzare card from my mother, once again an endeavour to make me feel bad about myself, which I almost let get to me – but I refused to allow it to affect me any more.  I put it aside and went ahead with spending Christmas with the people who really showed their love and care, and who make me feel truly lucky to have in my life.  Sweet’s family blessed me with amazing and thoughtful gifts, good times and memories in the making.  My dad and I shared a meaninful conversation summing up all the bad Christmases we ever had and vowing that from now on, we were going to focus on what was really important in our lives, and enjoy the seasons to come with the people we love.

Sweet and I exchanged gifts (this boy got me the BEST gift ever – a Doctor Who t-shirt!!), snuggles, and words that made me feel that no matter what else is going on in the world, whatever else is going on in our lives and whatever the state of my family situation might be, what’s really important is the family you make for yourself .  This time next year, I’ll be officially “integrated”, with a mother, father and sisters-in-law I already love dearly.  I’ll be married to the person who’s taught me how to be thankful in times of adversity, believed in me, and pushed me to get to where I am today.  I’ll be ringing in the holiday season with my dad, counting our blessings to have each other, and I’ll still be spending it with girlfriends I love just like I would my own sister.

This year, I’ve learned that you don’t have to become the product of your past.  Just because you may have been made to feel by numerous people who were “supposed” to love you that you’re worthless in times gone by, doesn’t  mean you have to resign yourself to believing it.  You can choose to become the person you want to be, and if you’re lucky enough to have people believing in you, you can make your own reality independent of anything you’ve ever been told before.  Just as you can choose to spend not just the holidays, but birthdays, weekends and any other time you like with the family you choose for yourself.  Significant others, new families, blog friends who’ve done more from far away than some people next door, and friends who’d do anything for you – these are the people who truly count, at Christmas, and in life.   This year things may not have fit the traditional mold, but I’ve learned that that’s okay. I’m heading into the new year more sure of myself, more determined to do what I can to make this world a better place, and to continue to push myself, and most of all, more appreciative of the people I have in my life who’ve done so much for me.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and I want to say thank you to all of you for reading, encouraging, supporting, commenting, sending me things in the post… I feel blessed to have you in my life.  Happy holidays to everyone, and I genuinely wish you all the very best for the new year. 🙂

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25 comments

  1. What a nice post! Christmas is all about spending time with family. I had so much fun with Jordan this Christmas. It was so much fun to watch him. We stayed over at my parents and that was a lot of fun. I’m glad you had a good Christmas!

  2. Your Dr. Who shirt is so cute!! And you got a snuggie? That’s adorable!

    I’m excited for you guys to come by on New Years and hopefully for us to squeeze in a vintage shop run around before the holidays are out.

    And you are absolutely right- you are a product of whatever you want to be a product of. I’m so glad you’re choosing to focus on your blessings, when you have a strong foundation of happiness other people can’t mess around with you as easily & it just gets easier and easier to stay grounded in what you know is true.

    It’s tough work, but you’re pretty tough stuff! =)

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Yep we we’ll most definitely be by on new years – and yes!! Shopping please!! 🙂

      Thank you so much for being such a huge part of pretty much my life turning around, and for always being so wonderful 🙂

  3. Emily… I’m gutted i don’t live in stevenage anymore, i’d have gone to visit your nan the day she went into hospital… I love hearing about how strong you are becoming against all the bad things in life, the future is bright for you I can tell….!!!

    and just a quick question… How many Siddall’s are there?? I had a peek at your photos… Theres an endless supply!!

  4. Haha, I love the genuine look of outright glee on your face while wearing the Dr Who t-shirt (caught part 1 of the Christmas special yet?!) Your smile is so freaking cute.

    And sounds like you have a pair of friends truly possessed with the holiday spirit. God bless people like them, honestly.

    1. Haha yes I was definitely VERY happy when I unwrapped that one 🙂 (and the best part was he ordered it before I talked about my wishlist on my blog!!)

      I did watch the Christmas special! Round my dads, the second we knew it’d finished in the UK he hit the computer and got a copy – just watching the Confidential now!! 🙂

      And yes they are two very wonderful girls, it makes me so happy knowing there are people like that in the world 🙂

  5. I agree. It took venturing out on my own and, actually, finding Sean to really grasp that I could be whatever I wanted, no matter if no one from my past thought it was possible. It took finding in him and my in-laws exactly what I’d be wanting for my whole life to really grasp that I am whoever I decide to be, and I’m not forced to be what the negatives in my life have long decided I will amount to… if that makes sense? It took really getting away from the people who had already put into their minds and mine that I could never this, or I would never that, or I would always be the girl who couldn’t whatever.

    It’s very empowering to reach this point where you realize that you’re old enough, strong enough and have the support system to shake off the past and say.. this is who I am, no matter if you thought it would happen or can see that, and frankly eff you. LOL. So GOOD for you!

    P.S. I maybe have the same pink snuggie… I wish they were more micro-fleece-y though!

    1. Wow you pretty much just described my life exactly – I’m so glad someone else has come to a similar point of recognition that no matter how many people fill your mind with negative thoughts about yourself or your abilities, finding people (mine were my boy and the in-laws too!) who saw something in you and realising actually yes, you can be something and you are worth something, to actually move forward… I want to give you a great big hug right now!

      Haha and yes I got a pink snuggie too – except it’s GINORMOUS!! I was thinking someone should come up with some kind of snug-poncho where you just put it over your head, and you’re surrounded by blanket on ALL sides – and it still has sleeves! 🙂

  6. Never let yourself be defined by your past. Always remember that sharing DNA does not make you family, thats something thats formed in the heart. I spent Christmas and the next day with my family — the ones I’m related to and the ones I chose for myself.

    1. I think at the end of Christmas day, I found myself exclaiming to my boy that “just because I’m related by blood doesn’t mean I HAVE to have this person in my life, do I?? If they’re a negative force on my life, it’s okay to not take part… right?” I had quite a bit of difficulty in coming to terms with that this year, but found enormous relief in coming to the realisation that family are the people you form in your own heart – you’re right. It sounds like you had a lovely Christmas too 🙂

  7. I got a Snuggie too! I can’t wait to see what next year holds for all of us – it sounds like despite adversity and trials, you have a really solid grip on love and what’s important, and THAT will get you far. xoxo 🙂 I’m so glad you’re in my life!

  8. I am so jealous you got a Snuggie! I didn’t get one and will probably buy one soon, just to spite my mother. 🙂 It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas and I’m so happy you were able to put your mother’s comments behind you and focus on the spirit of Christmas!

  9. Hi Peanut I loved our Christmas together, even the crying! You’re right about Christmas-time being for spending with the people you love and love you back and I hope you know that my “family” and I are happy to have you be a part of our family now (even though it’ll only be ‘official’ next year) xo

  10. Those snuggies are enormous. I think I would like one since I am always cold! It’s like my body runs a couple degrees colder than everyone else or something!

    I am glad you didn’t let that card from your mom get to you. It is so sad that she acts that way, but it sounds like you are getting better and better at not letting it ruin your day/holiday/etc.

    Oh, and Sweet’s comment is the sweetest. You are one lucky girl – you certainly have found a great man to build your life with!!

    1. I have 🙂 And yes I think this next year will be very different – coming to terms with being okay with not having my mum in my life is very new, as is the realisation that it’s okay to cut out negativity from your life – but I think next year will be a very interesting one indeed. And I’m always colder than everyone else too – I’ve taken to wearing the Snuggie on my front and my dressing gown on my back so I’m completely insulated!! 🙂

  11. A dr. Who t-shirt!? I may have to find one for my dad.

    I’m glad that despite some antics from your mother you were able to enjoy the holidays which you definitely deserve.

    Also, you look so effin’ cute and gorgeous in all your photos. Just thought you should know =)

  12. “.. you don’t have to become the product of your past.” Very encouraging. I often feel like who I am is somehow mapped to who I was earlier in life. I suppose the important thing is that, while my past was the journey I took to arrive where I am now, the direction I take tomorrow is not mandated by the direction I took yesterday. Each day is a new opportunity to explore a different path. Memories of yesterday are exactly that- little tidbits of recollection stored away in our minds. They don’t govern our direction today- nor do they resign us to be a product of our past.

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