I’ve been struggling with Christmas the past several years. It was always such an important holiday for my mom and after she died, things changed. She died in August 2008 and that Christmas I just ignored it. It was too painful. But then the day came and I regretted my decision … but I got through it.
For a few years, it was great. We started having Christmas potlucks for all our friends who were without anyone else to celebrate with. There were some core people who came every year but it was always a little different. And then that fizzled out. So then it was my husband and I. We tended to have very low key days and it always left me feeling sad and lonely. Christmas 2019 was really challenging for me. I knew I was leaving my husband but I hadn’t said anything to him. I wanted one last Christmas with him.
Fast forward to the Summer of 2020. I had separated from my husband, moved to another town where I only knew a couple of people, we were just starting to come out of the initial lockdown from the pandemic and I started thinking about Christmas.
I’ll be honest … I shed a LOT of tears over thinking about all that I had walked away from and how different this Christmas was going to be. As it turns out most people are in a similar boat to some extent in that there will be no travelling … and we’re being hit with another province-wide lockdown. But I am an eternal optimist and refused to let it get me down..
A while after my initial “pity party”, it suddenly hit me. This was my first Christmas ever where I could do exactly as I pleased. I didn’t have to do a thing. I can sleep in as long as I want to. I can stay in my jammies (I never do that unless I’m really sick) and watch cheesy Christmas movies all day and listen to whatever Christmas music I want to. I have nobody to answer to. No expectations. I don’t have to do a damned thing!
So now I’m sitting here and it’s almost Christmas Day and instead of feeling sorry for myself and missing my old life, I am excited, grateful and looking forward to spending a day “under the covers” by myself. Who knows what kind of trouble I can get into 😉
But seriously …. How we look at things has such a huge impact on our lives. We can choose to look back with regret for all the things that are no longer (as so many of us have done this year) or we can look forward to a brighter future. Even after all the restrictions have been lifted, will things go to back to the way they were? I really hope not. For about a year or two before this all started, I had this overwhelming feeling that something had to give. The world as we knew it was spinning way too fast and while a lot of losses have happened this year, there have been some really wonderful things that happened along the way as well.
So let’s count our blessings … not just on Christmas Day but every day … be grateful for what we have and never take the ability to stop and hug people again for granted. I am a bit of a rebel and I hug everybody who is of the same mindset as I am … but I always respect those who want to keep their distance. For now, anyway 😉
Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays … whatever and however you celebrate. And let’s never take any of our freedoms for granted again.
With much love