Christmas is “A time for forgiving and for forgetting” (according to Christmas ambassador Cliff Richards) but what if you don’t want to forgive? What if you can’t forget? Maybe it’s because it’s a Christian festival at its core, and the heart of Christianity is made of forgiveness. I don’t know, I was never a very good Christian, I recently went into a church just to use the wifi (churches have wifi now. Wild). The truth is, however, that people fuck up and they hurt each other, and sometimes that hurt is too much to get over. It is not your job to ease somebody else’s guilt. If they didn’t want to feel guilty, they shouldn’t have hurt you.
I say this as somebody who has spectacularly fucked up multiple times. I have hurt people. I have been lucky enough that most of those people forgave me, but I spend my life in their debt because they did. I did not expect their forgiveness, and I certainly didn’t think it was my right just because mince pies were on the table.
I am not judging people who can and do forgive. Emma Thompson did forgive Alan Rickman after all (ish) and I will personally never criticise Emma Thompson for anything (except her not being my best friend). I just think it is warped to evaluate the worth of a person who has been wronged on how quickly and willingly they “get over” that wrong. Some things don’t get forgiven, some things are unforgivable, and some people never learn. Christmas should not be a time for forced forgiveness. Yes, it might be a time for generosity, love, and friendship, but those things should not come at the cost of your morals, values or mental health.
We are only here for a stupidly tiny amount of time, we have about 90 Christmases’ if we are lucky. There is not time to consider the feelings of people who don’t consider yours. There is not time to waste being made to cry in bathrooms or to put on a brave face at dinner. Spend these days with the people who make you happy, who love you, who want the best for you. And if you look around and decide the only person who makes you happy is yourself, then spend it alone.
Don’t let the baby Jesus or Elton John Lewis make you feel pressured into doing anything else.