Have a peaceful time this Christmas!

Maureen Kennedy
Maureen Kennedy

Christmas is nearly upon us and for some it will be the usual joyous occasion. For others it’s the time to grit teeth and bear it as you fulfil your obligations within the family.

For some people, this Christmas will be different, maybe because it will be the first time without a loved one who has passed away. That empty space at the table for Christmas lunch will be painful but it’s the

greatest compliment you can pay someone to ask them to take that seat.

And of course this might be the first Christmas that one of the family wants to spend elsewhere.

Either with their new inlaws, with their new partner or children or simply to go away with friends.

And why not? There are no laws that govern where you spend the festive season!

Last year Clare and her husband wanted to spend Christmas day in their own home as it was their daughter’s first ‘proper’ Christmas. Clare’s mother-­in­-law Joan was not happy. She had ‘always’ done Christmas at her house with all the family. As a compromise, Clare bravely said she would do the meal for all of them but it would be in the early evening not lunchtime so that she could spend the day with her daughter. The rest of the family were okay with this as they were glad they wouldn’t have to drag their children away from their presents to go to their mums. But Joan was not happy and made her feelings known but Clare stuck to her decision. As if that wasn’t enough, Joan proceeded to ‘comment’ upon everything Clare had done including the lack of a real Christmas tree, the fact she had bought so much ready made food and the number of presents she had bought for her daughter! It really upset Clare and there was inevitably an atmosphere. Although it is just one day of the whole year, Christmas is a special time of year but it doesn’t mean to say that families all get on and no amount of Christmas spirit is going to change that. So, if you really would rather do something different, then do it. But give the family a bit of notice rather than just spring it on them and perhaps offer to do something else with them during the holidays or arrange an alternative celebration for another time.

Whatever you do, I hope you have a happy time.