I was squeezing one last (alright one of the 5 last) Christmas shopping run in-between lunch last Monday and had dashed into a Woolworths near work to see if they had the salted almonds that the Woolies near my house had run out of. I mean it’d make life easier if everyone liked the same things but one parent of mine likes almonds and another peanuts.

As I dashed up and down the aisles trying to find the nuts (pun!) section, I flew past a conversation between two people who had run into each other in front the mint jellies; both exchanging their plans for the holidays. And the guy replied, “I am going away. I just need that time away from my family, you know.”

Bent over with my arse up in the air trying to reach one of the few remaining packets right at the back of the shelf, I couldn’t help thinking “yeah man, I need time-away from my nut-stressing lot too!”

The end of the year holidays can be as painful to many as it’s joyous.

While for many of us, December/January is our favourite time of the year where there’s a bounce in our steps, an easy smile on our faces, our cheeks flushed with joy (though that could easily be the alcohol), we’re generous with our spending, our shoulders are not sagged, we take our loads off for a few days and decide not to think about it about till next year – I think humans in my part of the world are generally their happiest in December. But it also can be quite a triggering and heart-wrenching time as well.

In the sweet fumes of baked gingerbread and fruitcakes and sticky pudding fingers and the loud NYE party horns, we sometimes find ourselves amongst the very same toxic humans we’ve spent our whole year trying to avoid and heal from. And because most humans generally bring their best to the Christmas table, one can be deceived (especially if you’re an emotional retard like this writer) that all is well.

Unlike that guy in Woolworths, many of us can’t afford a complete cut-off from those who we don’t want around us. Sometimes our relationships are entwined as such. Common friends with your ex-husband, estrangement with one parent who are still together. That one friend from your trio tribe.

I think we give December way too much credit than it actually deserves. We fool ourselves to think that it’s Christmas that brings in the magic. We think the twinkle, the sparkles, the bubbles, the merriness – it’s brung in by the season. Actually it’s brung in by us. By our willingness to ease up, let it go and enjoy ourselves. It’s brung in because we choose to put down our shields and guards, we choose to breathe and open our hearts and because we choose to love freely.

We humans give ourselves so little credit for our ability to create our own happiness. I’m sure if we wanted to, we could celebrate Christmas in March with just as much oomph. You see December doesn’t bring in the magic. The magic is in you. You are the magic.

You are the magic that happens to December every year, Dear Reader. This commercial society that runs us may fool you to think that it’s the tinsel they sell, their gift-wrapping, the nativity installation in the shopfront windows, the glazing on your turkey (goat curry for you Labasa lot!) is what makes the holiday season merry but actually it’s just you whose chosen to embrace it all with love.

2019 has been a difficult year for many of us and I know we’re all trying to heal in our own ways. Sometimes cutting out people who’ve done you wrong, who’ve made your heart creak in pain every night, whose filth and toxicity turn you into a person you’re not, out of your lives is not option.

Surround yourself with light, Dear Reader. Weave a circle of light around you and only let those who carry the same light in. Bathe yourself in so much light that you shame the darkness away from you. As we head into 2020, remember you can celebrate Christmas any damn day you want. Because You.Are.The.Magic.

Strength & Happiness always

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