Last year was not a normal Christmas. My husband and two boys had flu right through the Christmas period and nothing felt right. We didn’t take our traditional photo by the tree on Christmas Eve, my younger son missed his trip on the Santa train, there was no enthusiasm for unwrapping presents, they made a vague attempt to eat a Christmas dinner that was delivered to them.
I became nocturnal (but didn’t sleep in the day either), pacing the house at night, watching over my patients, frightened to sleep in case they needed me in the night. I lost half a stone through worry alone. My daughter spent all her time at my mum’s house or hiding out in my bedroom.
And through all of this, one thing kept me sane. The thought that next year we would have a normal Christmas.
A year ago, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined we would be anywhere but our old house for Christmas. My son would go on the Santa train, we would set out the sacks under the tree on Christmas Eve and take a photo (which we’d then use for the December page of our calendar, like we do every year), we’d have our Christmas dinner together with the family. It would be a proper Christmas.
But here we are at Christmas 2013 and it’s still not a normal Christmas.
We’ve got a pathetic little Christmas tree which isn’t in the right place for our annual Christmas Eve bedtime photo. We’ve got no other decorations, because they’re missing. The house doesn’t look very Christmassy at all. It’s a lovely house, but it’s not ours.
The kids’ collection of Christmas sacks which we have built up over time – a mish-mash of cloth and plastic, personalised and standard – is missing. Those sacks are nothing special, but they’re their sacks and it’s always exciting to see them come out every year. The kids’ faces fell when we told them the sacks were among the many items missing in the move. So we’ve replaced the sacks temporarily, but they’re just not the same.
It’s another funny old Christmas. Not a bad one like last year, but still not OUR Christmas like it’s supposed to be.
Roll on Christmas 2014. Please may it be a normal one.