33. Christmas

In the past I have found Christmas a bit stressful, I think there is a weight of expectation (real or imagined) that as the mum you have to ensure that everyone is having a fabulous time, that the Christmas Cake would make Delia Smith drool, the lunch is a feast and the presents perfect.

This year was not the same.  After the past 4-5 months I was really relaxed.  If the cake was a disaster so what, Nick had made it not me, if the sprouts were over boiled… no one would die and if the presents weren’t perfect it wasn’t going to be a big deal as this Christmas my folks and two of the three children were going to be here and that is all that mattered.  We saw friends and shared the good news from the Primrose Clinic, we went for walks and we watched old movies.  When I said “oh I’m sorry I haven’t done…..” there was a chorus of “No, Christmas is ruined….” followed by gales of laughter.

The tradition is that we spend Christmas Eve preparing for the feast – Radio 4 is on and I particularly like listening to the Festival of Carols from King’s College, Cambridge.  I’m not particularly religious or spiritual, I don’t think I’d be described as a person of “faith”.  I just like listening to the stories and singing along whilst chopping up vegetables and getting things ready.

In the past I’d have asked for all sorts of different things for Christmas – this year I wanted to be well, to have my nearest and dearest and a huge diamond with a Ferrari (no… just made that up!) and.. the Rainbow Diet book by Chris Woolams.  This book was going to be my Bible from now on.

Jewel red cabbage, par boiled potatoes dipped in semolina, sprouts with pancetta and chestnuts… it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Tip:  You don’t need to be wonder woman and have nothing to prove.  When people offer help, accept it with both hands and if they don’t offer – ask and if they still don’t then tell them to.  These days I wonder where I have left my specs, wonder where my keys are and wonder what I went upstairs for.  


Author: fionaosmaston

I live in Plymouth, Devon with my husband Nick and near my parents Sandy and Sheena. Our three children, Marcus, Phoebe and Miles are grown up. I am a geographer and love teaching Geography. My current role is as an Assistant Vice Principal in an inner city comprehensive school where I lead on coaching and initial teacher training. In August 2017 I was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma and following a skin sparing mastectomy and endrocrine/hormone treatment I am now awaiting a final reconstruction. These views are my own and writing this story has helped me come to terms with where I am in this interlude of life which has been dominated by breast cancer.

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