Christmas 48 Days To Go…

I can hear the screams now, no don’t remind me. Not yet. it’s too early…. the odd dread people have for this season that I never understand. I count down the days. Christmas is my favourite day in the entire year.

I never really had Christmas as a child, the family celebrated it of course, but for me it was the way in which my hopes would be torn apart each year. My mornings were the same, I’d watch my brother open gifts and hope the ones I had were from my list, but they never were. Anything that was on my list always ended up in my brothers pile. I asked for a train set for years. Every year it was at the top of my list, I loved trains. And every year I didn’t get one, until when I was 12. On my list again was a train set. I went to bed hoping and wishing like all the other children and in the morning when we opened our gifts, my brother got a special one. He got a train set. This kind of thing had gone on all the time, I asked for a go-kart, he got it, I asked for a bike, he got it, but nothing made me more heartbroken than watching him get that train set. I watched him build it with our father over the days. I watched him play with it and I got banned from touching it.

That is what they did all the time. Through the day I would sit by my Nan and watch my brother and wonder why he got what I asked for. My dad would always tell me they couldn’t afford it for me.

My Christmas Day nights always ended the same way, year after year. My father would sexually abuse me and then I’d go to my room and cry it out into a notebook, sometimes I’d cry so hard I though it possible I could die from that alone. Those were my most sorrow filled moments.

I guess it’s odd that Christmas is my favourite day given all that, but I’ve come to realise my parents never took that day from me. They didn’t have what I had. I had my Nan. I’d sit curled up with her and watch movies on the television while I tried not to think about what my brother had. I’d sit with her at dinner time to ensure I got fed. I’d share her giant mugs of tea with her, her laughter, her jokes. We played board games. We sat away from everyone, the two hated outcasts. But she gave me love and warmth. Christmas Day didn’t start until she arrived.

If there’s anything I miss, it’s her sharing that day with me and now with my children. I wish she could be part of that.

I remember getting my first real Christmas present. I was 22. It was from my mother in law. There were gifts for me, I was surprised. I had sat watching everyone open their things and never realised she would buy me something. I was part of my first real Christmas. she put the wonderfully wrapped gift in my hand and I stared at it. I didn’t want to open it. I was afraid but excited inside. I just held onto it because that moment was worth more to me than anything anyone could give me. She asked me if I as going to open it and I was so shy. How do you tell someone they gave you your first gift? She’d think I was crazy. I didn’t tell her, but I did open it, but she gave me more than just a gift that year, she showed me what family Christmas was.

That is what I love, the family part. If someone asked my children about Christmas, it wouldn’t be extravagant gifts they remember, it’s the funny things. The year they wrote letters to Santa and left them trailing up the stairs and he replied to each one. The year we watched 24 Christmas movies, one a night. Midnight baking of mince pies and cookies. The special gift they get on Christmas Eve. The time spent hunting for each years Christmas decoration. The scene we make from marzipan to put on our Christmas cake. Making crackers and decorations, window painting and so much more. No amount of money could ever buy those memories.

This year I’m going to give someone else Christmas, because in all my hate and anger and jealousy, I released that my brother has never been given Christmas. He doesn’t remember the toys he got. He remembers the fights and the arguing and the beatings. He remembers the disappointment and heartache. When I talked to him a couple of days ago about Christmas, he said he wished he had a real family so he could do Christmas. He may have had the gifts of expensive toys, but he never had the fun or the laughs.

I guess I didn’t see that he lost out too.

It makes me a little mad when people moan about Christmas and all the money they have to spend and how they hate it, because it’s not true. we’ve already got our gifts. They are the people we spend Christmas with and memories we make. Nothing can beat that. No one says we have to buy all the latest gadgets and buy ourselves into debt.

This year Im going to Berlin for the Christmas markets 😉 I’m taking my brother. He might kill me when I’ve walked him for hours, and his legs want to leave, but I can’t wait to see the look on his face.

I want to give him his first Christmas.


17 thoughts on “Christmas 48 Days To Go…

  1. ~ Beautiful… every word.
    Here comes that word again, regarding you…
    Amazing. 🙂

    And I know Nans is watching…

    ~ Hugs ~

  2. The best Christmas I ever had was when I was 8 years old. My Dad had been hurt and out of a job. We were very poor. My mom took us out and we cut our tree. Decorating was so much fun. She had 20 dollars and 4 kids. We each got coloring books, crayons and m&m’s. That was the best Christmas ever!! I wish you the most awesome Christmas this year with your brother!! ❤

  3. I think it is truly wonderful of you to take your brother on his first holiday. I know you will create memories that both of you will cherish for the rest of your lives.

    I am one if those people that you don’t understand, haha. For my own reasons stemming back to my childhood I have extreme anxiety and stress at Christmas. But reading this blog I’ve had an epiphany. I need to channel my energy into making memories with my children and grandchild and not let the negative anxiety consume me.

    Wow, it seems so simple logical, yet I’ve let it happen for as long as I can remember. Thank you for bringing to light something so obvious that I have lost touch with.

    Thank you also for sharing yet another piece of your life with us.

    • I know you do, but personally I refuse to allow my Christmas to be taken from me and in turn my children and granddaughter. I won’t repeat the cycle, after all, life’s crapy enough, why not make those things that we can feel good.

  4. Yes, JD, Christmas is family and the memories we cherish with our children and grandchildren . And you have that! Hold on to it! Christmas will be special for me this year because of you!

  5. This is, beyond compare, the loveliest message of Christmas I have ever read. I love that it comes from you. My treasure. I am so blessed to have these things and more to share with you. Thank you 🙂

  6. I have a love-hate relationship with Christmas. As a child, I couldn’t wait for Christmas eve and Christmas day every year. As a grown-up, it turned into indifference. My family is big, they’re Greek, and they’re loud. So are our Christmases. Many a time have I complained that my family stifle me with their love. I’ve even pushed them away on more than one occasion in the past. I often wished I could just sleep through Christmas so that I could wake up to have missed the whole thing. So now I think of what my complaint used to be: My family smother me with too much love. Then I read this. And I feel like hanging my head in shame.

  7. I think anyone who knows me KNOWS how much I love Christmas!!! There is a special feeling in the air. The smiles area little brighter, people are a little nicer, the air even feels a little cleaner. Growing up I didnt have many “traditions”, not like my friends had. My parents were always busy with work and never had the time. When my first niece was born (and old enough to do things with) I started many tradtions with them. Every year we have our “Annual Christmas Extravaganza”. They consist of putting up the tree, decorating the house, making ginger bread houses or decorating cookies, getting on our ridiculous pajamas and fuzzy slippers and having our midnight peppermint ice cream run, going out looking at christmas lights while singing carols, making our own Christmas cards for eachother (the mushier the better). We always end our Extravaganza by adopting a family from the “Tree of Hope” and buying gifts for them and delivering them with our Santa hats on. If there is one thing that I hope my nieces learn in life is that it is far better to give, than to receive.

    It melts my heart when my nieces start seeing me take down the boxes of decorations and I get to hear them talk about the memories of years past and the curiousity of what this Christmas will bring. Christmas is a magical time, as a child and even more so as an adult if you look at it the right way. If I had my way, I would have Christmas 365 days a year. That is the way life should be all year long.

  8. Thank you for sharing these stories. I’m so sorry you went through that! you are such an inspiration though in so many ways. I’m sure you are inspiring many and making a difference for children who are going through what you did. Blessing and keep up being a blessing for others like you are for you’re brother.

  9. I cried as I read this. I’m so glad they never robbed you of the magic of Christmas. I never realized how much your brother was missing out on as well. Material things are not what make up Christmas. I remember little of what I got growing up, but I remember all of the little things. We always had a bowl of mixed nuts (not talking about my family, mind you!) on the table that the adults would eat as they sat around talking. We’d watch movies all day Christmas Eve. I remember the adults shutting us into the living room while they wrapped presents in the kitchen. I remember everyone gathering at my grandma’s house, it was always so full of people, noise, and love. Thank you for sharing this, I love how palpable your joy for Christmas is.

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