Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
“Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.
We pictured the meek mild creatures where
they dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.
So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
“Come; see the oxen kneel,
In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,”
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.
It has been a rather long time, hasn’t it? I’m not going to offer the standard lengthy explanations or excuses this time. Simply, it all gets to be a bit difficult sometimes, and when it’s especially difficult, I don’t have the energy or desire to talk about it. On the one hand, a blow by blow account might be of some help to my fellow CFS sufferers who follow this blog, but it can also be a major hindrance. Anyone who proclaims himself or herself to be a poster child, representing all CFSers, is arrogant and ignorant to the extreme. There are similarities, but also major differences, in how the illness manifests itself in each of us, and in what does or doesn’t work for symptom relief.
Since the start of the Advent Season, I’ve also felt the need to draw inward and keep the weeks leading up to Christmas private, just for our little family here. Christmas is always a special time because it has such deep meaning for us, but this year is especially significant. This is our first “normal” Christmas as a family, not to mention Richard’s first since 1959, and my first since 1979. By Christmas of 1960 he was a student nurse, as was I by Christmas of 1980, and that was that for each of us and the Christmas season as we knew and loved it. Daughter has never known a Christmas that didn’t involve trying to fit in some kind of celebration around shifts, so it’s all very new and wonderful for her this year, too. Richard’s exuberant, boyish excitement has buoyed me along on my worst days, and I’ve been quite caught up in it on my good days. I’m naturally much quieter and far more reserved than he is, but you’d have to be made of stone to not respond to his mood!
Energy levels dictate that our preparations and celebration are a bit more low-key than they were when Daughter was a child, but I think that she`d be the first to tell you that that isn`t a bad thing. Ahem. Christmas used to throw up all over the house when she was small, but now it makes its appearance with a lot more dignity and good taste! I ran completely out of steam while finishing up the Christmas cards, but by that point the bulk of the preparations were done, so PHEW! The resident hunter and gatherer has done a stellar job of getting in the provisions, (enough for us and a small army!) and the internet helped with most of our gift buying, so it has all been quite easy from my perspective. And darned enjoyable, I must say!
But, of course, there are always things to be taken care of on the day before the big event, so I must away and start seeing to some of those. This evening will be Christmas movies, mulled wine, nibbles, and general togetherness – bliss!
Being the night owl that I am, I`ll be back after midnight, I hope, with my official Christmas greeting. But for those who have better things to do than hang out on the internet on Christmas Day, I wish you an utterly joyous Christmas, doing whatever it is that makes the day special and meaningful for you and your dear ones. xxoo