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A very aspie Christmas




'Come in! Come in! and know me better, man!' said the Ghost of Christmas Present.

And there, summarised by the spirit who wishes to enliven and embolden the hearts of all mankind we have the reasons most aspies hide from Christmas: we do not want to come in and we do not want you to come in and we really, truly, do not want to know you better.

Well, maybe at another time of the year, but at Christmas any comings and goings are likely to be from one safe place to another, with quick trips for absolutely unavoidable human conflict mixed in. And I actually love Christmas!

At least, I love the lights and the decorations and the cold, dark outside comparing with the warm gold of the inside. All that other stuff, where you get together with other human beings and are much more social than any other time, it galls me.

At Christmas we all love each other and our hearts warm up in ways we don't manage the rest of the year. We pat small children on the head and listen to their tales of reindeer; we help little oldlings across the road and stay for hearty good cheer as they tell us something or other, in oldlingese. We go into shops and are maddened to buy at the sight of all the staff in their Christmassy jumpers and the repetition of Christmas classics on the radio.

We are held up by the idea of Christmas, carried abreast as if it were a giant, tinsel-tossed wave taking us to untold shores of jollity and good humour.

Or rather, we take a look at all this and put that one foot back inside the door before anyone notices we have shown our face.

I have never quite figured out how this change in personality which signals Christmas spirit is meant to take place. I have plenty changes in spirit, I'll have you know, usually occasioned by other people and my inability to interact with them, but as yet none of those spirits has sent me out into the world in a fervour of reckless sociability.

But if I am confused by Christmas splendouring of hearts, then other people are much more perplexed at my apparent indifference to drawing them in and being drawn. I have no need to be drawn into anyone's heart, be it figuratively or (saints preserve us) physically. If you draw me in, you will be Dealt With - be warned.

I have never made a secret of my love of solitude so why is it so surprising that I wouldn't change my feelings for Christmas? After all, at times of change and great stress, do you feel like rushing out into the street and finding acquaintances to love? Well, maybe you do, maybe I shouldn't have asked, but I don't.

Keep your hugs, your mistletoe, your bottle of good cheer which I can't drink anyway. Keep your best cake and hand-made mince pies (I lie, give me those). Keep your expectations that I will join in and be one of you, just for the season.

I am not one of you, no more than I was in November or will be again in February. I am one of me instead and quite happy with it.

I have no Bah Humbug about me, though. I do love Christmas and am happy if you love it too. Just, let me be like the spirits as they take Ebeneezer round the snow-filled streets of his childhood and let me also tread unseen and unheard as others have their warm welcomings.

To me, the glow of the window in the dark street is far more welcoming than the sight of the door opening as you beckon me inside.

Amanda




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