Who put the word ‘merry’ next to ‘Christmas’?

The problem with Christmas is that it’s based on the notion that having dinner with our extended families is a jolly good thing.

I wonder where that idea came from.

In general, the families that we have come from do not give us all that we need – and that is healthy. It is what gives us the momentum to leave home and find happiness and fulfilment in other ways.

If the family from which we have come has done well-enough, it will have enabled us to become resourceful adults who can form friendships, become part of communities, engage in meaningful work and…er…create families of our own.

But at Christmas we do a very strange thing. We put aside the things that really do nourish us and go back to the people and the environments from which we needed to move on.

(‘Move on’ is the right expression for those from happier families.  ‘Escape’ is more apt for the rest of us.)

The strangest thing about this – the brandy butter on the Christmas pudding of this seasonal phenomenon – is that we make out this is special and wonderful and we’re all having a lovely time.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Comments: 4

  1. Is it not possible to at once love your family and be independent of them? I can’t wait to go home for Xmas with mine and hope one day that my little one will feel the same – a healthy distance between us, but plenty of time spent together… If the answer is no, then drink plenty of mulled wine to get you through!

  2. I didn’t say anything about love – there’s a difference between loving people and being able to function happily together. As for the mulled wine tip – YES! Thanks for your comment.

  3. Oh yes, I hear you. I do see my family in small dozes. I stopped doing the family Christmas thing a few years ago (my parents have long passed). Christmas is too important to me, I spend December seeing all my family and friends but come Christmas eve, I’m on a plane heading somewhere where I can do whatever I want!

  4. Ah! Well done Ricki. You’ve obviously got Christmas sorted. I’m full of admiration. I shall sit at your feet and learn your tips.

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