December is the one month of the year that seems to sneak up out of nowhere even though you know exactly where it lands on the calendar. It’s a very telling sign when you walk into your local shopping centre and that familiar serenading sound of Mariah Carey greets you at the entrance like a warm (and very familiar) embrace. Whether you like it or not, Christmas is here and so too is the propaganda telling you that this time of year is all about sitting around the table like a happy family, pulling on each other’s bon bons and wearing matching ugly Christmas outfits. Believe it or not, this idea of the perfect family Christmas that we are supposed to believe in is a nice idea, but sadly not a reality for so many of us.
For a lot of families, this will be the first Christmas that they are spending without someone significant at the table. Someone who has always been there but isn’t there now and may not ever be there again. It may be a loved one who has gone overseas and is travelling, someone who might be a shift worker or work FIFO, someone who has become estranged from the family or someone who has sadly lost their life by accident, illness or suicide. Whatever it may be, this time of year is far from perfect and can create huge amounts of loneliness, sadness and heart ache. If you feel like maybe you are one of those people, please know that you are not alone.
So this year, when someone says something that sparks world war 3 around the table and all hell breaks loose, try to maintain perspective and understand what is actually important. Don’t sweat the small stuff and remember to be grateful that you even have family around that you can fight with. Although it might feel like everyone will be around for ever, the day will come when you look back on the family chaos and fights fondly, where you would give anything just to be able to ‘have it out’ with them all again.