We've bought cards and presents, and last night five of us went to choose our Christmas tree. We have taken our little boys to some amazing events, Christmas is happening. It's still very hard, it's so full of memories for us all. It's utterly exhausting, and a sometimes it has to take a pause in favour of doing nothing. My Christmas cards are yet unwritten because I don't know how to sign them off at the end, and I hate that I can't write 9 names, but they'll be done.
Part of the reason for our 'up' is that our young person in hospital is really seeming to be doing very well. They've been reunited with their little brothers recently, which has been a joy to watch and be part of. I am really excited at the prospect of our 19 year old coming home from University, and getting everyone together for the first time in months. They might be too cool to always admit it, but they all miss each other a lot...
After the excitement of Christmas is a natural dip. It's still dark and cold, there's no fun focus for our attention and Summer seems a long way off.
The dip after Christmas is a blow for anyone, even harder when life is hard enough anyway. Last year I wrote a post which got a lot of views, and I think it's pertinent to remind anyone who is struggling that it isn't forever, and that it'll never be easier for your loved ones and friends without you.
If you are facing your first Christmas without someone you love, here is how we managed to get through our first December and make Christmas happen for our other children.
We can do it, you can do it, we can all do it. Christmas can be full of smiles and memories to be treasured. All of the effort can prove time, energy and spoons well spent fivefold. Strap on that fin and keep swimming. It's worth it.
From all of us here at The Brick Castle
May your Christmas be the best that it can be xxx
Each month on the 15th I post the smiles I've collected through the month. They are the proof, reminder and reason that we carry on. It is always lovely to see your smiles. Please feel free to share them on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #TBCSmiles
Most of the our smiles during the last month have been provided courtesy of a trip to London to see Anki Overdrive and LEGO Shop Leicester Square, Winter Wonderland and Christmas!