Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Than Joyful; Christmas Can Be More Stressful

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Than Joyful; Christmas Can Be More Stressful

Article excerpt

Byline: SUE CRAM Feature Writer

SPARE a thought this Christmas for those who may be finding the upcoming festivities confronting and difficult.

This is an emotional time of year for those who may have just split with their partner, or suffered the recent death of a loved one. Their absence is acutely noticed on special days like Christmas and birthdays.

It's stressful too for those

under financial strain and people suffering from chronic mental or physical illnesses.

And for parents who can't be with their children.

Christmas was always an important time to my mother, who would start planning in November and ensuring that all family members would dutifully gather in Melbourne on or before December 25 for a traditional Christmas Day feast.

After she and my father separated the trips home for Christmas became a little more burdensome, as we had to have two Christmas meals a one with mum and one with dad.

I would be bursting at the seams on Christmas night, wondering what all the fuss was about anyway.

One hot, north wind Christmas Day I misguidedly attempted to have us all sit down together for lunch. My ambushed father stormed out into the blustery,

deserted streets with me running after him, but to catch up with him. He was an athlete, a racing cyclist, and he flew like the wind through the back streets of Port Melbourne.

I felt ashamed that I had attempted to engineer the situation without consulting the people involved, and ruined Christmas lunch for everyone.

A few years later we were all able to sit at the one table and share the special meal, but it took time and I had failed to respect that.

Christmas is hardly the season to be jolly for those suffering from depression, or who have found themselves homeless; no turkey with all the trimmings for them, or for women who have fled from violent homes with their children and found themselves living in a shelter. …

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