I remember writing last year that Christmas was going to be a very low key affair with no socialising. But as it is the time of year when I'm affected by winter sadness I've always been inclined to make Christmas an 'event'. To raise my spirits before dreary January sets in. Decorate a sparkling clean house. Shop, bake, cook and entertain. Party time. So far I've shopped. The house is far from sparkling. The decorations are down from the loft but remain in the box.
It's MyMan's birthday on Christmas day. Traditionally I've always made the first half of the day Birthday time with gifts and cards. Then after the traditional lunch we've enjoyed afternoon tea and cake with the opening of Christmas presents. Sometimes just the two of us. Others with family or friends. Sometimes away from home. MyMan has always said he thinks 'Christmas is not worth the effort'. In the days when he used to go out and about he would buy me gifts. He would get several small presents. Some were daft, scented, funny or thoughtful. I'm like a child at Christmas. I loved opening them. And appreciated every one. He used to make an effort to enjoy the season because I did. I still try to make an event of his birthday. But we haven't exchanged Christmas gifts for years. I miss that.
Over the last few years he's continued with the view that Christmas is not worth the effort. But now he makes no effort at all. I am tired; physically and mentally. I'm still trying to make some effort but I question whether it is really worth the energy I am expending on it. It brings him no cheer. And I can't be cheerful when there is no one to share in joy or laughter. And yet if I don't make the effort then his depression has defeated the two of us.
He made a real effort last year and we did have a couple of small social events. One at home and one with local friends. But each event caused additional stress and tension. His anxiety at socialising builds so much I no longer derive pleasure from the events. It just highlights how much we have changed. I never know till we actually come to walk out the door whether or not he will come with me. I feel even more of a carer when we are out together. So it's not a relaxing way to spend an evening. I need energy to cope. There is no way I would socialise without him over the festive season. So it does look like being a very quiet 4 day weekend.
At the end of last year he said how he would 'go mad' if he didn't have a break away from home. I was hopeful that I would be able to book us into our favourite Devon hotel for a Christmas break this year. We used to enjoy the holiday season there. But it is not to be. Home is where he feels able to cope. He's not happy but he is happier at home. Preferably quietly at home. Maybe, hopefully, next Christmas we'll feel seasonally cheerful . . .