Christmas in Brazil

Christmas always makes me feel uneasy. It raises questions of home and belonging, and it comes with a historical baggage of expectations, hard to deal with at times. It is that time of jolliness and warmth and the fear of, oh god, what if the time comes and I don’t feel warm or jolly at all. The expectations of how one should feel are nerve-racking, at times.

Despite all this, the closure of a year is in the air, and even if against our will we become pensive and reflective about what has happened, and what will come.

I chose to get on a plane in London, travel for 12 hours across the Atlantic to come spend these times in Brazil with my husband. I write this in a beautiful little chalet that we have rented in the mountains of Rio de Janeiro, with the Cristo Redentor observing us, looking after us. It is bright and hot as hell, and I look at my husband, reading in the hammock, and tell him I love you, and sorry for being a bit of a pain at times, in these Christmassy days where the expectations can be stifling and where a mix of longing and melancholy from the past has a tendency to trickle into our present lives.

I am an adult, I tell myself as I look at him, the man I chose to spend my life with, as I look out at the imposing and marvellous Rio mountains that I chose to make my view in these days of mixed emotions. I am an adult creating my own Christmas, my own today and tomorrow, and wow this feels good, to acknowledge that all the past things happened for a reason, that we are no longer the children we were, and that we can be jolly indeed, because being alive, choosing our paths, what a jolly gift it is.

I want to send warm wishes to all the people I love and have ever loved. Make your hearts warm and vibrant, make your paths alive.

Feliz Navidad. Merry Christmas to you all.

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12 2015

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