Christmas: a time of happy bawling by Lucy Robinson
Christmas: a time of smiling and laughter! Merriment and joy! Or, in my case, repeated and persistent bawling. I can't help it. Generally, I start crying on December 1st, which is the date on which I think it reasonable to crack out the Kings College Carols album. I put it on and I listen to that little boy singing the opening verse of Once in Royal David's City, and I'm completely done for. And I'm not talking a brimful eye, I'm talking proper, sobbing, ugly-crying. The works!
The following are also guaranteed to bring about wailing:
- The smell of Christmas trees
- The sight of the very bad Christmas star that my housemate and I made years ago when we both had broken hearts
- Nativity plays (I played Mary when I was seven. It was a big deal. I had to sing FIVE solos)
- The smell of Christmas cake mixture
- The Snowman. (The old version. I don't need to watch it to start crying - just writing about it has set me off!)
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I'm sure you're getting the gist. I am a compulsive Christmas crier, and each year it gets worse.
So what the chuff is going on? One simple word: nostalgia. Nostalgia meant little to me until I reached the age of twenty-four, when all this crying began. Prior to that age I was too closely connected to my childhood to feel that gut-wrenching happy-sadness that now assails me when I remember it all. Now, though, at the ripe age of thirty-four, I find that when one of those corridors to my past is opened by an unsuspecting little something - a smell, a tune, a decoration - I have little option but to cry it out.
I'm lucky to be able to cry happily at Christmas. I'm lucky that my memories involve innocent things like the magic of candlelight and carols; walks in the woods and family lunches with the dogs and cats trying to steal our food. Many of the tears shed by others at Christmas are for sadder reasons, and for that reason I always make a quiet donation to charity. No fuss, no names, and often only a few quid when I've been really hard up - but enough to remind me how lucky I am to be able to have good things to cry over at this time of year.
!!Festive Giveaway Time!!
For a chance to win a signed copy of my latest book, THE UNFINISHED SYMPHONY OF YOU AND ME - which seems to have brought tears to many eyes (although lots of laughter too, so don't worry) tell me what makes you cry at Christmas. Happy tears or sad tears - join me in my festive bawling and win a book!
Lucy Robinson x x