In this county it blankets everything.
All businesses stop, hardly anyone goes out and the country becomes almost unrecognisable.
Some look forward to it's coming with happiness. Some view it as a bleak time, holding fear, isolation and even danger. Some just seem to get buried by it.
I've been asking myself why we 'do' Christmas. Us personally that is. It seems to have become the season of opportunity: businesses to get a little peak in sales, employees to get time off, most of us to eat too much nice food, the church to outreach.
This isn't one of those "what's the hidden meaning of Christmas" posts, and it's not a "Christmas humbug - I'm so miserable" post either. I guess for me, just as I saw a gap between what happens in a substantial portion of church and Jesus, I'm seeing a gap between Christmas and Christ. I'm not sure this is a train I want to step off, but this year I don't think I'd have done stuff like trees and lights if Chris hadn't wanted them. When I was a kid it was a chance to obtain the things I could never afford outright on my own, and to a degree after we were married and had no money that was true again.
Some of this IS affected by what's happened to us.
In our garden there are 2 pieces of slate, one with Sarah and the other with Laurence written on in white paint. The slate with Chris's dad's name has faded and the name become indistinct, partially washed away over the last 2 years. The slate with Sarah's name is still virtually untouched and intact. So it is with us. 2 1/2 years on we still feel much like we did at the beginning, at times. I don't know about this business of time healing: I think instead you just get used to having the load in place and most of the time it sits there without being too obvious.
This is too maudlin for Christmas day. Time to get the family up and feed them croissants.