Sometimes “The Holidays”. Tra la la la la.
In the midst of grief, the words loom large. They loom large even when it isn’t about intense grief but just…eh.
THE HOLIDAYS. Tra la frickin’ la.
I just spent the last month grinching out to my kids about my feelings regarding the holidays.
No thank you. I want no part of them. Yuck.
But I had to stop myself short finally, pausing to honestly consider why I say that.
The first response is obvious.
Digging deeper I realized that I didn’t care for the holidays long before he died.
The most obvious reason to celebrate the holidays is kids, and once ours grew up and went out on their own, Chuck and I didn’t celebrate them any longer, unless we happened to be visiting one of them. We always made a big deal of the season for the kids as they grew up. I’d bake 20 loaves of my mom’s special Christmas bread and Chuck would don his Santa hat and hang candy canes from the button holes of his denim jacket, and I’d put my Santa hat on and we’d Christmas visit all of our friends, dropping off those delicious loaves of newly baked bread with the icing still dripping down the sides of it.
Shoot, Chuck and I even donned long robes with head pieces one year so that we could portray Mary and Joseph in the Nativity play at the church we attended. Chuck held Baby Jesus most of the time; I wasn’t a very good Mary…(I believe I was shopping at the bazaar).
But I’ve always, always, always, hated the commercialism of the holidays. The stress. The gift buying. Yadda, yadda, yadda.
I get nostalgic, too, which I don’t like, so I’ve avoided November and December like the plague in the last few years, only making an appearance when necessary.
*and now we’re actually in a plague…*
So I asked myself the other day…self, is there anything you ever did like about the holidays? Is there something that I can undo about my grinchness? And my answer was yes.
I loved twinkly, soft, lights. The clear kind.
I loved them on the tree and hanging in front of windows and on the walls, with silence all around.
Or maybe while soft music played.
And just sitting and absorbing and feeling all the feels, with Chuck next to me.
I still love twinkly lights.
So I’m going to add some lights to a small tree this year and sit and feel the feels, even if some of the feels are sad and nostalgic and make me think of Chuck even more than usual and feel his absence and miss him and feel his Love for me, and mine, for him.
It’s all about shifting and changing up what works for us, don’t you think?
Add this. Remove that. Put this over here. Add new songs to the playlist made up of tunes Chuck and I listened to.
If all I want to do is put up lights so that I can create magic, then do that.
Sit. Feel. Absorb. Smile. Tear up. Remember.
May these holidays be filled with Love for all of us. However that translates for each of us.
I hope Love shows up for you. Even in the midst of this frickin’ pandemic.
This last picture is only to prove to myself that I wasn’t always a grinch. Also, our kids in case they read this blog.
I’ve only been a grinch…sometimes…