I love Christmas. I love how beautiful this lovely flat is, now it’s cosy and Christmassy and lit with fairy lights. I love that I can come home from work late at night and my fantastic husband has put a big tray of comfort food in the oven for me and stuck a Lego Lady Galadriel on top of the Christmas tree.
But this isn’t how I imagined this Christmas would be.
A year and a half ago I imagined there would be a baby here for this Christmas, about six months old perhaps, not really understanding what’s going on, but cooing and chewing up all the wrapping paper. Getting their first tiny tastes of turkey. I’d be buying exceedingly tacky little outfits, becoming even more insufferable on Instagram.
Time went on a bit.
OK, I thought. I imagined there would be a newborn here for this Christmas. Holding them up to the Christmas tree, unfocussed eyes staring at the pretty lights. Going to the Christmas markets with a tiny mite in a sling strapped to my husband’s chest. Insufferable Instagramming present and correct.
Time went on a bit more.
Oh, all right. I imagined I would be hugely pregnant for this Christmas. A cute little bump – well, knowing me, a bloody enormous one, seeing as I wouldn’t even remotely stop myself from scoffing every pig in a blanket I could get my hands on.
Time just carried on going.
Fine! I imagined I would be newly pregnant for this Christmas. Maybe queasy with morning sickness, but filled with a joy that had nothing to do with the holiday season. Perhaps able to tell my mother and my husband’s mother the good news with their presents on Christmas morning.
And now we get to today. I’m looking at my beautiful Christmas tree in my lovely flat, and all my potential Christmases are just floating away behind me.
This Christmas will be lovely. There are decorations, and advent calendars. There will be presents, and turkey, and family. I know I’m so lucky to have this much.
But still there’s a part of me that can’t help but think of what we’re missing.