4 min read

The most wonderful time of the year

In order to be OK with Christmas I redefined what it is. My Christmas is not your Christmas and that's cool.
Sunrise over the city of Liverpool taken from across the River Mersey.

hello camera

This week’s photos are from a day trip to Liverpool back when that was something I did. Sunrise over the Mersey to return at dusk in the fog.

You can get prints of the photos in this weeks newsletter on my print store or you can tip me on Ko-Fi so I can buy film for my camera.

Christmas Reframed

It’s the most overwhelming time of the year tra-la-la. Christmas! The lights! The sounds! The fam! “Have a good one!” Define “good one”? <definition> Nope. That is not a good one for me, so am I failing by your standards? If so, I shall now internalise your judgment of my inability to “have a good one” and enjoy a descent into depression. “Have a good one.” You can take your good one and shove it up your stocking. “Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men!” <Roy Kent> no! </Roy Kent>

breathes

I’m actually not doing too bad so far this year with Christmas. The neighbours put up their lights mid-October. For a second I was outraged and almost tweeted! But I thought, “No. No. Just winter lights. Chill. Definitely the season for chilling.” I defused the outrage by reframing what I saw. This is how I tried to survive Christmas last year. I wrote a long discussion about tradition and how illogical Christmas was so I rejected it all. I came to the conclusion that it’s all made up so why care what others think? “But it’s traditional!” That just means you are tied into a system of control. Free. Your. Mind. hops over a Yule log

This is what I do. I question. I think it’s an autistic thing of being curious and not taking things at face value. I questioned religion as I was brought up Catholic but I rejected it because it’s not logical to me. Not for me but if it works for you cool. I questioned why I felt different to everyone and discovered I am autistic not shy or being a dick or a picky eater or trying to look cool wearing shades in doors. I’m disabled. I’m autistic. Most recently I’ve questioned the gender binary to discover I am non-binary. I wear a skirt and feel empowered for doing so because it represents who I am. I question in things that I feel need to be questioned.

Fog moving over a docked tug boat viewed from the back of a Mersey Ferry.

Christmas this year is looking OK anxiety wise. I’m not worried about buying gifts. I’ve done my Christmas shopping already. I only have to buy for one person, my wife, and it’s sorted. I’m not visiting any big cities after dark so I don’t have to worry about flashing lights or chaotic crowds. I don’t have to worry about Christmas parties or office nonsense. Previously I would have compared myself to others and felt like I was missing out or a failure for not having loads of friends to hang out with before Christmas. I’m sort of becoming OK with that as I accept that I am different. Your way of life is not my way of life and that’s a good thing. I accept that difference is good rather than bad. I’m a big ship slowly making a course change. It takes time, but I am changing.

Of course, Christmas anxiety may have not caught up with me just yet because I’ve got anxiety over leaving the house in my non-binary finery (skirt & tights). I’ve got bigger things to be anxious about for the time being. I hope that isn’t what is going on and that I am instead coming to terms with difference and Christmas.

Challenge your ideas and the ideas of others if you need to. Push back against tradition if it is bad for you. Reframe what Christmas means to you to be OK. I hope you can do that in a safe environment free from judgment. Have a friends-giving before Christmas then traditional KFC for Christmas Dinner just like they do in Japan. 'Tis the season.

Previous Christmas posts.

Fog flowing over the city of Liverpool at night.

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