Not everyone needs the same sort of Christmas - for some Christmas jollity may be hard to fathom

Written by Jo Carroll.


Christmas is almost upon us.   And you’ve time to read columns!! I’m impressed.

Or maybe you’re alone for the festivities, and have nothing to do for the next few days other than make sure you’ve enough milk to see you through.

I’ve done Christmas alone – from choice.  It was wonderful. The town was quiet. I walked along our lovely High Street and everything was hushed.  There was more life in the afternoon: children with new bikes and scooters wobbled past my front window. They took no notice of me, settled by my fire with a heap of books and knowing I’d not be disturbed (my idea of bliss!)

Not everyone has choices.  Some will be overwhelmed by family and wish they could be alone on an island.  Some love the chaos and are able to be kind to great-great-aunt Gertrude even when she spits out the sprouts.  Some will be up all night playing Santa and by the afternoon will be praying for it all to be over.

Some will be alone, nothing but the telly and maybe a book or two, and will hear the jollities next door with pangs of nostalgia or regret.

Some, with different creeds and beliefs, will wonder what all the fuss is about.

Some – and I have my own reasons to think particularly of you – will have known trauma at Christmastime.  The contradictions of your memories and the jollity around you is particularly cruel.

You walk along the High Street, with its lights and baubles and music leaking from every shop - and you feel invisible in the middle of all this jollity.

You may even have been given ‘advice’ – to go away this year, to shape your celebrations differently, to forget the wretched festival altogether.  No doubt your friends have your best interests at heart – but you are the only person who can, somehow, decide if this season makes any sense at all.

May you find comfort, somewhere, among all the tinsel; may you sleep calmly when it is done.  I hope we all have the Christmas we need, and may the New Year bring us peace.

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