Because “it’s expected” loses its appeal


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For the first time ever Mrs Paul and I will have Christmas Day to ourselves.  The families’ in-laws and us now do turn and turn-about.  Maybe at some stage our own children will find they want to spend the day in their own homes – but not just yet.  So this year Boxing Day will be Christmas Day.  Which is not the first time.  But being just by ourselves will be a first.

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What to do …

* Onsies and a duvet day!
* Television (family tradition: no tv Christmas Day)!
* Slobbing on the sofa!
* Sleeping!
We are both excited with the anticipation!

There was a little guilt initially.

We know of a few “singles-not-by-choice”.  I thought we should be “reaching out” to them (as we were so available).  Mrs Paul said a firm no.  And she is right.  Why do something neither of us would choose – why make the day “work” – why not enjoy the  experience of being at home doing nothing together because everyone else is busy doing what must be done – simply because it’s Christmas Day?

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We have even talked food.

Because the shops are full of tasty delicacies.  All pre-cooked and pre-presented and ready to pop in the oven to warm.  But we decided no.  It’s all show and little substance – but with mega calories dripping from each small mouthful.  So we opted for some tasty bread, a cheeseboard and pickle or fruit (or both).

And maybe a few mince pies … and maybe a bowl of ice-cream somewhere in there as well … maybe a lovely hot-soaky bath … a facemask and foot spa … and siestas …  definitely siestas!

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(and I am again drooling at the indulgence!)

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We have seen FB pics of all the partying.  All the festive socialising crammed into one short month.  The expectation that Christmas is all about having fun and fun means parties and parties means happy smiling faces and drink and food and money spent and more money spent.

We used to do all that so there is no “Bah humbug” from us.  But now … it all takes up so much energy and time and cost (and heartburn and lack of sleep).  And for what … ? Because “it’s what we do” – because “it’s what I do” – and all the “bah humbug” towards those who don’t (like us) who used to – but choose not to anymore.

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Church lives a frenetic pace these few weeks as well.  We used to do that as well.  Advent stuff.  Party stuff.  Fun stuff.  Extra services.  Carols and candles.  Midnight mass and back again the following morning –

Before being let off the leash to start “proper Christmas” – no criticism there either – we used to do that but choose not to nowadays.

I think God Soft Hands Jesus doesn’t need me to be up there praising the baby and squinting for the cross.  Makes it all a bit “annual ceremonial sacrifice” – like choosing the best unblemished pigeon for a few coins – before wringing its neck (so I am okay for another year).  But then again I did all that for years as well.  So who am I to judge?

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Maybe it’s an age thing.  That “having to do” because “it’s expected” loses its appeal.

Not just in religious matters but in life and living and loving.  Maybe it’s the confidence to say no as well as yes.  The perspective to allow rather than enforce.  The evolution towards love that sets free rather than “love” that (needs to) bind close.

Just as we adults find each other “easy” or “difficult” (meaning something different to each who thinks the other easy or difficult) – little ones don’t.  They do or they don’t – and usually they do – if they are set free.

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I have found little ones are expected to “kiss goodbye” when they leave (or we leave them).  But – given the choice – would simply wave or hug (or kiss) depending on mood and person.  Which is why I never insist on that “obligatory kiss” from any of our little ones.

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A small thing but one that gets remembered – just as I remember having to do obligatory kisses to family oldies as a little one.  Yeuchh!!

Four days to go and we are excited because we are free this Christmas Day!

And we fully expect to be loving the moment(s)!

Wahoo!!

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