Forum home The potting shed

Christmas of yesteryear



  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    I want a medal as a member of the SAD club. My birthday is on the 7th January. My Mum always thought the right day to take down the Christmas decorations was the 6th. So I would get up on my birthday to a totally bare cold house. Worse still, it was always the first day back at school after the Christmas holidays. image

    No wonder I still get down in January to this day. It's starting to bite at me already, sleeping for longer, losing motivation. I hate it!

    I read recently that the medical profession has for years ridiculed the suggestion that SAD is linked to hibernation. (Despite many sufferers thinking it might be). Seems the latest research is now suggesting they were wrong and it really is the instinct to eat more, sleep more and switch-off from everyday tasks in some people that may be the cause of it.

    I know I get just like that then feel down about it because I find it hard to keep up with even the most basic everyday tasks like doing the ironing, whilst the rest of the world is carrying on like normal.

    The Christmas bit of is this thread got me thinking though, I very much kept the traditions of my Mum's idea of the perfect Christmas going. Made me wonder if it was a 1940's style of Christmas as she remembered it from her childhood, or a 1970's Christmas that I remembered from mine that my son will want to celebrate in the future - I guess more and more gets added and some forgotten as time goes on. image


  • Don't think there's any such thing as 'the perfect Christmas' - every Christmas is different, people are different, seasons are different, things happen (like the Christmas morning the pigs got into the Misses B's garden' - recounted elsewhere). 

    However, it's when we have a few days respite from work to show family and friends that we love them, and that even if we take them for granted a bit during the year we don't mean to. 

    It's a time to reflect on our own good fortune and to share with others who are not so fortunate in one way or another, and it's at time when, at the darkest and most barren period of the year, we can look forward to light and life in the future (whether that has religious symbolism or not).

    It is good for humanity to make time to share and reflect on our lives together and it is natural to gather together when the days are short and the nights are long in order to enjoy each other's company, and I'm sure this is why the tradition of a mid-winter 'festival' is so important to those of use living in the northern hemisphere, whatever we call it.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,275

    Gemma - please don't feel you need to put on the perfect Christmas. Easier said than done I know. Christmas has a tendency to be a tough time for me too, and no doubt for many others for differing reasons. With my anxiety, I struggle with the socialising aspect. Its the unpredictable nature of Christmas, I much prefer routine as I know where I will be,with whom etc. I really hate crowds so a dull,boring festive period is heaven in my book.

    The SAD aspect is very much real in my view. Us humans like to think we are above nature, but a few centuries of modernity cannot change the hard-wired evolution that has come about over tens of thousands of years. We only need to look in the garden to see other life forms either dying off,hibernating or flying south in the case of birds. As products of nature ourselves, why would we be any different? Long nights and short days is going to affect the brain chemistry of some of us more than others. But I think we all feel it to a greater or lesser degree. 

    Which brings us back to Christmas and why it is celebrated when the year is at its darkest. Our pagan ancestors chose to have a big party in order I believe to compensate for the short days. Christmas has simply hijacked that. Modern life dictates that we can't migrate south or sleep until March, we have to carry on with society's expectations. I empathise though and please feel free to PM image

  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,538

    Couldn't agree more fishyimage I married into a family where they all did a Christmas party turn and expected guests and incomers to join in. My idea of perfect hell. Not that my family ever experienced a perfect Christmas, even by its own standards. We were, in the words of the poet, "half the time ... soppy stern and half at one another's throats". Nowadays my perfect Christmas is sitting by a log fire with a decent glass of something, a couple of old friends and two overfed pets farting quietly in their beds (the pets not the old friends. Well, maybe the old friends too).

    Many cultures keep the winter blues away with fire and lights and noise and dress the idea up as religion or somesuch. Up Helly Aa in Shetland, Diwali in India, Chinese New Year.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    Amazing to find other SAD sufferers, I've felt like an alien half my life because of it. So many people I talk to say 'I get down at this time of year'. I can't get dressed some days! I've even followed a career where the work starts in March and is done by October, else I would have just been useless at keeping going at it.

    Feel free to PM me too Fishy, my son, my OH and I all don't really do 'sociable' just isn't in our nature. I know about anxiety too.

    Fortunately mum's perfect Christmas was close family and very close friends at home, plenty of home cooking and staying in. Very much like the pagan party. I can't wait image. Still dreading January though, planning not much in the garden but plenty of wintry country walks to keep me going until spring. image


  • LynLyn Posts: 21,341

    I was born in January, I love life whatever the month.

    Its what this country does, have seasons. I suppose when you start to get old you are grateful for any months.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • I'm a January baby too Lyn and RB  - I look forward to  the hazel catkins and snowdrops - I regard them all as being there just for me (but I suppose I'll have to share them with you now image)

    My daughter has suffered with SAD, it was part of the ME she endured for most of her teens and twenties - fortunately her health is much improved, she has a job she loves and everything is much better for her now - but her husband and I still keep an eye on her in the winter - she finds that a regular dose of Selenium ACE really helps image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

     I was country born and bred and love the seasons. I love a harsh winter and never stop loving life.image

    I try to fight it every year. One of the warning signs for me is a change in sleep patterns. When the clocks change I start to go to bed later and get up later. In the worst years I can have totally reversed sleep by January, up all night, sleep all day! Been doing well keeping that in check this year, been sleeping in a bit longer but making sure I don't go to bed too late. 

    My plan for this January is to get out walking and do some photography. Embrace the month rather than curl up and want to hibernate, which is the way I can get to feel some years. I hope it turns out that way but there is a limit to how much control I have over the condition. This year being out every day in the garden I possibly can seems to be giving me the upper hand though. image

  • Gemma - in my experience with SAD it is important to control your body clock rather than let it control you - so you're on the right track.  Daughter says one of the most important things in her life is her alarm clock! image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    That's really interesting Dove. I had no idea the body clock issue was a shared thing with the condition rather than just one of my own experiences of it. image


Sign In or Register to comment.