Saturday 20 December 2014

A Tale of Christmas Spirit

Christmas is here, a time for fun, family, and feasting. Especially feasting. This is the one time of the year I don't watch every single thing I eat. (People think I'm naturally thin. I'm really, really not.)

It also means that thems of us as do the organising are busy. This year I ran three Christmas Dos, all of which went generally well, except for the fact that dragging people out of the office to celebrate in a year when half the team has left or been made redundant was really a bit of a non-starter. Still, the ones who turned up to the two work dos enjoyed them.

The other one was a truly heartwarming experience. I won't go into too much detail out of respect for privacy, but one member of my group chose the Christmas meal to reveal an aspect of themselves to us that was clearly a great challenge for them personally, and took a lot of courage. (I also had no idea about this, proving that no matter how clued-in you think you are, there's always something happening that you don't know about.)

I'll admit, when I first got the email about their attendance at the group meal, my first thought was "Is this... possibly... a wind-up?" I then discarded this as being one of this first reactions to a situation that actually isn't very helpful. I sent what I hope was a light-hearted message of encouragement, and turned up early to the meal*. As the clock ticked on, and person in question did not appear, I started to hope that they hadn't backed out or had a nervous fit.

But then they arrived.

I have spent a fair part of the past ten years organising this group, though I'm far from the only one to do so. It's patronising to be proud of other adults, but if it wasn't, I'd say I was hugely proud of my group. We smiled, we made welcome, we were happy to see our friend. It was one of the best Christmas meals I've ever attended.

Afterwards we received a very sweet email, with one sentence I'll quote: "There was not a single iota of discomfort. I am still on a high from it."

No matter what happens, this Christmas is a success.

Peace, goodwill, and love to all humanity, in our many unique forms. 

* Well, early for me. I'd be the first to say that time-keeping is not my strong suit.

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