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. 🙂