Christmas is traditionally a time for families to be together. This can heighten emotions, especially loneliness if you are single as the focus is on happy families at this time of year. It can really highlight the fact that you don't have that special someone to share it with and that can be hard to deal with.
I actually think I'm a good parent when I've had a couple of drinks. I laugh more. Loosen up a tad. Let my daughter eat lots of cocktail sausages. I construct creative meals out of buffet foods- piling up her plate with crisps and cake (so she has a good balance of savoury and sweet). And I have fond memories of my own Mum being pissed...
We all write it, a simple phrase that echoes a desire to remain connected to people who are personally or professionally important to us. Throughout most of our lives it may not mean much, but as people get older and potentially their number of contacts diminishes, keeping in touch takes on a whole new meaning.
Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK have divorced parents and I'm one of them. The majority of the year I don't even think about the fact that my parents live in different houses with different people. After all, it's been that way for the last 15 years. But at Christmas time their separation is suddenly significant.
It's been over a year now and, as I hoped and feared, it's been the most fun/interesting/terrifying year I've had for a few decades. On the whole, it would have been cheaper to buy a sportscar and less time-consuming to have an affair with a 25 year old, but, as I can't drive and am happy with my fella, this 45 year old's mid-life crisis is a "follow your dream" business startup.
In my house I am made to feel like the biggest nag in the world suggesting a family dinner round the table - by all five of my men! My two eldest tell me that 'it's boring' sitting at the table. My four year old contests just because that seems the thing to do and hey, if his big brothers are saying it then it must be right.
If you've been dating someone new for the past few months, chances are that you'll be meeting their family this holiday season. Meeting the parents (and the grandparents, and the siblings and the family friends....) is always nerve-wracking and there seems to be even more pressure to make a good impression this time of year. Here are four ways to make a great first impression this holiday season.
They are going to be feeling frustrated, confused and completely overwhelmed sometimes if not most of the time so it is important that you know some hurtful things that they say to you, they do not mean so don't take it too personally as it is just the illness talking and they will most likely apologise sincerely for it sometime after it has been said.
Gradually as I began to get better, you would read aloud longer passages and poems to me as you had done when I was a child. You had always kept a commonplace book of snippets of poetry, prayer and anecdotes that had particularly struck you, entitled 'Consolations'. I devoured the collection as if it were ice-cold water offered to a parched traveller.
Making a teeny-tiny human is the greatest thing your brother/sister ever did. They didn't do it for you, obviously. But sometimes, in a perfect moment with your niece/nephew on your lap, it feels like maybe they kind-of did.When my nephew, Charlie, puts his little hand in mine, the whole world makes sense. His existence is joy.