Christmas again, I am not a big fan of yuletide celebrations, many people dread this time of year. I am trying to approach my own family Christmas plans with grace. I won’t quite manage to conjure amazing grace but I am aiming for some sort of good enough grace. This time, which I always think of as the silly season, can be a difficult time and perversely the way it goes is the merrier I am, the merrier other seem to be too – so I draw on my reserves of grace and we’re merry’ish.

So what does merry look like?
A couloured paper tissue hat.
No bah, no humbug.
Relentless smiling.
Christmas pudding.
No eye rolling.
Laughing instead of muttering.

I am not not expecting to behold any tidings of great joy, simple joys will do – that my family is able to gather together is a joy to me. It’s a miracle of our making.

We’re almost set up for disillusionment by a high dream of a happy family, a dream that is particularly prevalent at Christmas. That picture of an ideal family has us imagining what we could or should be like together. In my family we never quite achieve it. Each of us is a little too set in our ways to be what one sibling or another wishes we would be. On Christmas day I hope we leave each other room to be ourselves while being a family – our annoyingly individual quirky prickly and lovable selves.

We’ll jingle some bells and jangle some nerves. We’ll open Christmas presents, remember those who have been with us on Christmas’es passed and we won’t speak of Christmas to come.

The cracks I mentioned in the title of this post? You might have heard Leonard Cohen sing that “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” So, Merry Christmas it is, as cracked and merry as you can manage, I wish you as much merryiness as you desire. I hope there is time for grace, laughter, grieving and longing, and cracks to let feelings seep in or out as needed.