The Changing Face of Christmas

Christmas, most people either

LOVE it  or HATE it.


My mother loved Christmas, cooking for weeks in the humidity of Brisbane, wrapping small gifts for friends and hiding gifts from me (not much luck with that one). Born nearly a century ago, she gave dried fruits, spiced gingerbread and fragrant toiletries. Our little family of three,with its silver tinsel tree embraced others .


friends friends

friends friends friends

friends friends friends friends

friends friends friends friends friends



I too, became a mother viewing Christmas through my children’s eyes. Christmas was reborn, bright and shining. In a world of escalating materialism, I tried to teach my children about the thought behind the gift. Then my mother died and the magic of Christmas vanished. On the outside things looked the same, tree, tinsel and cooking but I felt empty, a puppet going through the motions.

                                             erect the tree

                                                                     buy gifts for the teachers

                                                                                                           ensure everything is wrapped

                                                                                   buy the turkey


                                                                                                      set aside stocking fillers…

The nightmare passed, grief had washed me clean and the magic returned. My father died. I found myself an adult orphan. With his loss, Christmas lost its colour, bleached like road kill in the Aussie sun. My children entered adolescence and tropical storms took residence in our temperate home.

  • brands
    • appearances
      • shame
        • boredom
          • grief

We lost our way. I yearned for the years past wanting to bring those experiences into the present. Tipped, tossed and tousled each of us survived but Christmas still lacked lustre . Our family repeated the rituals hoping for salvation. Christmas was hard. It went on like this for a while.

children grew

scattered around Australia

then the world

Christmas shrunk

my husband and I sat alone on Christmas Eve

something changed that year

Amidst the mid-life changes, two busy people sat with Christmas. In the void, expectations, fear of being alone, the emptiness of the Christmas table blew away our unrealistic thinking. It created a gap facilitating change.

This year most of our family came together. We celebrated. A grandchild shared his first Christmas with us. Christmas, I believe takes on a life, reflecting our own, peaks and troughs travelling beside us. Facing our pain at this holy time, creates an opportunity allowing the magic to return.

Today Boxing Day, I hope you find yourself in the company of good friends. Enjoy the second day of Christmas. I’d love to hear your thoughts, feel free to leave a comment.

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