A week until Christmas… Bloody hell. I’m somewhat surprised that nobody’s actually asked me “what do you want for Xmas” yet. Partly cos people who know me know what sort of thing I like, I suppose, but usually it’s the sort of thing people would say in general conversation. Odd that no-one has.
Odd, and, I’d have said at some points, a bit of a relief. I’d have had no idea what to say – I don’t care that much about material stuff (Amazon long since replaced Santa), and the two things that would have most immediately sprung to mind are… impossible.
There was a point – until a few days ago, really – where I’d have said what I really wanted for Xmas would have to involve either time travel, which is impossible, or memory erasure, which is probably slightly less impossible, but hard to come by in the mundane world.
See, after this year, I’ve been a bit down, as you may have noticed, and would have wanted something that could have changed that by magic… I’d have bitterly wished for the ability to go back into the year and try to be there for Eris all of Easter weekend, get Seven to a vet in the spring, be there to stop Lesley getting messed up by that fight at her workplace, get my key and go into my mother-in-law’s house on the morning she had stroke, not in the evening…
If I couldn’t have that – which obviously I can’t – I’d want my memory edited. Vulcan mind meld, blue rose, drugs and ECT, MIB flashy pen thing, whatever… I’d rather not have remembered being so happy at talking Eris down on Good Friday, or having four cats before our Whitby holiday in May, or having let down so many people I care about, up to and including Lesley, who might have not been so ill if I had kept better track of when her prescriptions need renewing, and stuff like that.
What it is is that I’ve failed and let down so many this year… I used to be good at doing good. I used to be able to help and heal and cheer and all that, and somehow this year it all went wrong – and that’s what I get depressed about when I get depressed. Which isn’t today, believe me, I’m coming to the good bit.
I get depressed at not being good enough for those of you I care about out there. Oh, sometimes I get triggered by grief at old things (yes, I still get triggered about things from, like, 20 years ago), but mostly it’s guilt- I turn against myself for not being good enough at looking after those I care about. Friends, lovers, family, those kinds of people.
Lesley compares me to the War Doctor – John Hurt in the Dr Who anniversary special – who was “the Doctor on the day” or year “when it wasn’t possible to get it right.” But who tried and did what he could and bore the guilt… yeah, sounds familiar.
I said earlier that I’m not bothered about material things at Xmas so much – it’s more about the end of the year, end of this season of the show, as it were – so what is it that I want?
Oh, I want healing, I want to feel less guilty, and I want to have the pain eased from wounds that can’t heal. How? By being the one who’s good at healing and cheering and all that stuff. By being better at being me than I was this year… But how does that relate to what I want for Xmas?
Because I realised what it is that I want- I want my friends and family and all those people I care about to… be happy. If for even a moment I can make any of you smile and feel better. *I* want *you* to get what you want, for Xmas.
That’s my Xmas.
That’s what I want for Christmas.
I want those of you who are anxious to feel calm, those of you who feel unwell to feel better, everyone to get the treats they fancy… I want my friends and family – and, what the hell, this is the world-wide-web, everybody I don’t actively dislike – to have pleasure, and safety, and calm, and… To enjoy themselves, to feel refreshed.
Whether they’re celebrating a Christian holy day, a pagan festival, the passing of the darkest day of the year, the return of their favourite TV shows, the chance to get a few days off work, relaxing, partying, whatever!
Friends, family, loved ones… I want you to smile. I want you to feel good. I want you to forget your troubles. I want you to feel that way for even a moment over the festive season – longer is better, but even a moment is better than nothing.
I mean, I’m not going all “Peace on Earth and goodwill to all” on you, because I know that’s way beyond me, but I want those who know me, or read this, to get at least a moment’s respite from whatever gets them down.
I want them – you – to be merry and happy, and I want to have helped make it so. (Sorry, just watched the Patrick Stewart Christmas Carol, and my subconscious is throwing Picard up)
So nobody need ask what I want for Christmas; it’s all there: Those I care I about having good times and good vibes is what I want. Have those, and that’s a fantastic gift for me.
And I’m serious about this. I’ve a lot of letting people down to make up for by trying to lift others.
I may edit this later to ad some specific shout-outs, who knows.
I may even think of some pics and links and stuff to offer over the festive fortnight. Keep an eye out…