Christmas Alone?

Without Peter Combe, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas to me. I fondly remember the excitement of popping his classic Christmas tape in the cassette player, unboxing the tree and baubles and spending an afternoon happily arranging where all the red ones, and gold ones, and candy canes, and mini stockings would hang. It was in anticipation of the family get-together, the exchange of presents and the inevitable mounds of good food.

But this year, I’ve chosen to spend Christmas alone.

Many people instinctively recoil from the idea, but let me explain. My family are on the other side of the world; the press of a button away, in the world of the web, but too far and expensive to justify the flight back in the short window of time I’ve got. Friends in the UK have invited me to their celebrations, but it wouldn’t feel right.

Solitude in the tangled bush of Hook Island in the Whitsundays.

Instead, I am spending Christmas with myself and my memories. Life in London hurtles along at a breakneck pace, a blur of work and socialising and commuting. I write blogs and read articles and eat and sleep and exercise and almost never just sit down somewhere comfortable and think.

So, in the days before and after Christmas, I’ve pressed pause. I’ve changed in so many ways in the past 365  days, learning, developing, sharing and understanding more about myself and the world I live in. The friendships I’ve had are different to any I’ve had before, perhaps because of new shared experiences or because I’m just changing with time.

I’m thinking back to the moments of my year, from the frivolous evenings throwing around a frisbee at Halls or chatting shit in pubs, to the worry of a friend’s serious injury or the stress of a thesis and new job. From showing my parents and relatives around London and exploring new parts of it with friends to the frustration of cold, short, grey days and crowded sidewalks. It all makes up another memorable year, and I feel like the experience deserves a few days to calm down and sink in to my mind.

Sunset from Battersea Bridge

A frozen moment in an ever changing city.

I don’t like waffling on and pretending everything in the world is rosy. It’s not. People in other parts of the world are fighting for their freedom, or grappling with difficult circumstances. What we take for granted can be snatched in an unlucky moment or eroded so slowly we barely notice.

Right now, though, that’s not me. I have my health, friends and family; I am earning a living in a unique job and I am looking forward to a year in which my only fear is that the mundane will outweigh the extraordinary.

Wherever you are, I hope you have a great day, and I invite you to reflect on – and if you like, share – some of the moments that have made this year another meaningful one in your life.

Categories: music, photos, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Christmas Alone?

  1. I hope you have a lovely day. Sometimes it is good to be alone. Merry Christmas!

  2. Good post! I have also spent a few Christmases alone, it’s actually not all bad since it really gives you a time to reflect. To me the greatest realization of this year has been of easy it can be to connect with strangers and how seldom we do this in different parts of the world.

    I wrote something about it:

    Merry Christmas

  3. Blood-Ink-Diary

    David, you are absolutely right in conveying the space and time to ‘reflect’. You are experiencing the ‘humaness’ in being a human — it takes courage to look within and discover the egnima that we often cannot or do not desire to witness and embrace.
    Wishing you a lovely 2012. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Alana

    Thank you for sharing your many thoughts and reflections over the year. You have so much to offer, and it will only increase over the years.

    The GREED and desire for more “things”, more “stuff” is mind boggling at times. One rarely sees
    faces filled with joy or happiness. Alot of anxiety, yes. Not much contentment.

    Yes, I’m cybical; but I’m also a realist. Hopefully, society will make improvements in time. That is
    my hope.

    Good things happen when one reflects. I expect something really creative will occur, David

    I still love the old expression: No man ever stood so tall as one who bent to help a crippled child.

    Merry Christmas to you…and Maxmichael!


  5. Thanks for the replies, everyone. I see the sentiment rings true with each of you – and sometimes taking the time to stop and think can be tough, because it’s hard to know where it will lead. Alana, you may be right on the creative front – I’ve had a few sparks of inspiration already, hopefully I can help them to develop into bigger things!

  6. Blood-Ink-Diary

    Do share with us your sparks of creativity — would like to see what surfaced in the time and space you witnessed — you shall discover a treasure, perhaps?

  7. No, they’re too early stage to say anything about I’m afraid. Sorry to be so mysterious!


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