From my childhood experiences, Christmas and New Year were special celebrations in my family and community. Families, friends and neighbours commune, play and dance together.
Recently, I reflected on these celebrations and how they are celebrated differently in the UK and Cameroon, Africa. My first Christmas in the UK was celebrated with my immediately family. In preparation for Christmas, I was proud to afford presents for my children from the Charity Shop. They were wrapped in beautiful individual packages with their names on it. The excitement of opening their presents on Christmas morning filled the house with joy and merriment. As my children opened their presents with laughter and wanting to know what each other got, I went into the kitchen feeling satisfied. Then one of my children, walked into the kitchen and complaint that some of the pieces from her presents were missing... I felt disappointed and quickly apologised and all was good.
As a mother, I made it possible for the celebrations to be very special. However, New Year is a tricky one being my first daughter’s birthday. She feels her birthday is not special because everyone celebrates the day.
The following years were celebrated the traditional way with the family being together, ate dinner and drinks; the Christmas tree decorations brightened the house, Christmas carols played in the background that followed by the family watching Disney movies, etc.
However, in 2016, there was a drastic change. The first Christmas that I spent away from my children. This time I spent it with my parents in Cameroon after over two decades. This was planned unexpectedly. My only sister my younger, passed away on 1st December and her funeral took place a couple of weeks after. It felt weird as I carried her around on a broch I wore. Amid the sadness, there was great joy being together with my parents and other family members as we were together physically. This reminded me of my childhood days with my siblings.
During this period, I had a realisation that influenced a massive shift within me. My older brother had passed away eleven years prior to my sister’s transitioning. Being the only child to my parents who are retired, it dawned on me that I had no one to confide in. My sister was my ‘go to person’ who was my sister, friend, mother, and everything.
In my adulthood I learned the fear of being judged. I was selective of who I talked to because I always got in trouble. My fallen siblings have children whom, I assume as mine, but I could not support them materially nor physically.
With ongoing struggles within my home, I noticed that my children’s emotional struggles. I knew it was time to take appropriate actions to help myself first.
Christmas and New Year of 2017 were spent while staying at the refuge or shelter. This was strange as my children and I were in an unusual environment. Surprisingly, we felt very happy and relieved. The staff were supportive, caring and handed us hampers that contained groceries that lasted for weeks unending.
The following three Christmases and New Years were celebrated traditionally with little twists to suit our desires.
This recent Christmas and New Year took another turn. I had bought all the Christmas decorations. My children did not show interest in putting up the decorations as they hoped I would. I had no interest either and none of the decorations were put up. They are still in boxes – am saving them for next year haha. My youngest child was away and that contributed significantly to the lack of interest to be so Christmassy. However, a couple of days after Christmas when he returned home, he wanted his bedroom to have some decorations and it was fun doing that together.
New Year’s celebration and my daughter’s birthday did not go as planned because she tested positive for covid. We dropped off items but could not even give her a hug, instead we had video calls and she was very retired and sleepy most of the time.
The New Year was celebrated with friends that felt extra special seeing people face to face after nearly two years. I danced and danced and danced.
Why Am I Sharing This?
Reflecting on your experiences helps you discover patterns in your life; then you can identify what areas you want to improve.
FEAR holds us back and we react to unpleasant experiences rather than responding to them.
You might be going through experiences where you struggle to manage your emotions. This significantly impacts your health and relationships.
When you decide to deal with the fears instead of avoiding it by fuelling the fears, then you discover aspects of yourself that you never knew existed.
In my self-discovery journey I experience having energies that I never knew existed. For instance, when I get on the dance floor, I dance unending.
PS – Do you react or respond to situations? If you need help to deal with your EMOTIONS, send me a message let’s chat.