Fr Jim Cogley
So many say that they hate Christmas but never ask the question ‘why’. How we recall our earliest childhood experiences of Christmas makes all the difference because it is these that we carry over into our adult experience. A childhood experience of loss around that time that was either personal or ancestral can translate into the belief that ‘Christmas is a sad time’. Where there was an abuse of alcohol that may even have resulted in violence and shouting, this can lead to a sense of foreboding in relation to later Christmasses. It is our original experiences that designs our reactions to the here and now. Difficult family dynamics from the past continue to play out in the present. Giving and receiving can be problem areas depending on whether in the past we received too much or too little. Comings and goings at Christmas in those bye-gone days can still colour our enjoyment in the present. For so many it is this one big holiday that carries meanings and implications from the past that needs to be disentangled before we can enjoy the event for what it is for us here and now.