I am contented to be alone for Christmas

Christmas is two days away. My colleagues at the office are making plans with family and loved ones. There’ll be turkey, mistletoe, children flying in from all over the country and naughty Santa waiting for the lights to go out. We’re all caught up with the excitement in each other’s lives. I have no such plans and why don’t I feel depressed? Why do I feel as if I have won the lottery? The thought of me not caught up in that orgy of over-stuffing my face and distressing my stomach with a medley of conflicting foods and tastes and drinking myself in an intoxicated stupor, but sitting quietly in my home eating my ordinary vegetarian fare, probably from the pot to save me an extra something to wash, drinking herbal teas and not having to concoct excuse for why I no longer drink alcohol.

Am I in denial? Is this some form of depression? Why am I not feeling sad? I should feel sad being alone at Christmas? This is not the norm, I tell myself, what is the norm? Who determines what is the norm for me?   We  carry around many viruses of the mind that it’s hard to know what is healthy and what is a dangerous virus. The virus have taken a home in our system that it feels like it fits even though we feel the tightness burning us in various parts of our psyche but we ignore them and just go along.

My friends, God bless their hearts; we do care about each other. They ask either for curiosity or genuine concern what are you doing for Christmas?

“I’m not even a Christian,” I say.

“But aren’t you going to celebrate, are the children coming home?”

“No, no one’s coming home and I am not going anywhere?”

“So do you have friends to have Christmas dinner with?”

Äh…”

“What are you doing for Christmas?”

“I’m going to serve the poor on Christmas day and I’m going over at a friend’s on Christmas Eve.”

“That’s nice. I always wanted to serve the poor on Christmas Day but I don’t think my family will understand.”

“You do what makes you happy,” I say.

“I’m having Christmas dinner at my house this year. My sister is bringing the turkey and my brother bringing the …………” her voice faded as my thoughts wandered to my family back home to simpler times when we had a chicken dinner, some pepper pot, chow mein and black cake.  It was the day I’d get a whole chicken leg for myself and two little pieces of beef. That was plenty, wash that down with some ginger beer and some of mama’s best sponge cake and that was the best Christmas. Those were the days.

I think I had enough great Christmases, if I don’t have another, I don’t mind it. I carry Christmas in my heart, I feel it, I feel full and I feel connected no matter if I am alone in my room watching a Christmas movie on Christmas day all by myself. It’s not about who you’re with but how you arrange your mind.

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