The holidays are A LOT: a lot of tasks to complete, a lot of money to be spent, and a lot of memories. We all have memories of holidays in the past that were good, bad, sad, horrible; involved people we love, we miss, we are mad at. All of this gets thrust at us and sometimes it feels like we don’t have a choice about how to deal with it. But we do………
I have mostly good memories of Christmas. We piled in the car and headed to our grandparents’ house. There was a lot of food, presents, cousins, grown-ups talking. I loved my grandparents so I liked going, for the most part. Of course, as I became more busy socially, there was always the problem of leaving friends. No cell phones, remember, so a whole day without being in touch was hard. I had to wait a whole day to find out what Deb got for Christmas. Did she get the Beetles album? The new boots? But, like I said, it was mostly good.
Problem is, in my Christmas memories my dad was there and he is now gone. This will be the 2nd holiday season without him. Also the 2nd year he is not here for his birthday. I’m so sad about this. He was horrible at buying gifts for all of us girls. Fair enough. So one year he stumbled upon a great gift idea: a lovely, plush robe. Score!!! Well, from then on, every time he wanted to get us a gift it was a robe: long, short, blue, purple……..he had scored big points with the robe one time and he was sticking with it! The last robe I got from him hangs proudly in my closet! He forced himself to go to the mall (which he hated), wandered through the strange and awkward women’s lingerie department and settled on a pretty light blue robe. It was a labor of love, just because I had told him “Daddy, I miss getting something that YOU picked out just for me.” So he obediently schlepped up there got the blue robe. Labor of love. Memories.
Be gentle with yourself during the holidays. There are good memories but also sad ones. There are too many gifts to buy, too much traffic, too much food and alcohol. Pick and choose carefully. It’s okay to say NO THANKYOU to any or all of it. It’s okay to stay home and cry or watch old Christmas movies (You’ll shoot your eye out). Call old friends if you want…or don’t. Just design it in a way that feels good to you.
Think I’ll go put on that blue robe.
Happy Holidays….or not~