Today I received a Christmas letter from my aunt in Wales, telling me how things have been going for her and her husband and my cousins this past while, and a card from my brother and his girlfriend in Spain. It's been at least six months since I spoke to either —perhaps even a year— and it was lovely to hear from both, though it also left me feeling a little sad that we don't see more of one another. No big family Christmases for me; we're too spread out. Busy, separate lives and all that. It made me think, though, how special it is to have this time in the stillness of winter to pause and think of such distant loved ones, to have an occasion to prompt us to get in touch where it might otherwise be put off repeatedly, indefinitely, not because we don't want to get in touch, but because it's difficult to know where to begin when there is no given occasion and because there's always the laundry, work, the shopping, the dog to be walked, immediate friends... The celebrations at this time of year mean many things to different people —unfortunately including stress for many— but surely this is one of the most precious and universal values of Christmas? A time to share our caring for one another, though we may fail to do so for so much of the rest of the year... Sniff. I think I will have to go watch A Christmas Carol, though I think my choice is between The Muppets or Mickey Mouse versions!
Or maybe I should go to the direct source and finally read the book.
“I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.
Their faithful Friend and Servant, C.D.
Best wishes for Christmas and New Year - Lucy