Christmas is over. Waving my little white flag while my Scrooge-like spirit, says AMEN. I love Christmas. For so many exceptional reasons. And I love to write amidst the hustle bustle. But this year was different. I had little holiday heart or festive form. It was by far the worst one to date. So I am not afraid to openly admit that I am incredibly relieved it has come to a close.
Before you roast me over an open fire, let me explain. I get it. No one needs to tell me that things could be worse. Because yes, of course they could. But they could also be better…easier. Life is relative. We can only gain perspective by the reality that we’re living. And our reality comes from experiences that require a comparison in order to make sense of it all. I, for one, can hardly make sense of this previous holiday season. It was truly a month of massive misfortune. A car accident. Two painful injuries. Tremendous illness. Multiple ER visits. A hospital stay. Stitches. Shots. Projectile vomit. Explosive diarrhea. Very little sleep. And a partridge in a pear tree. Yes, this kind of stuff happens. And it happens all the time. But when it’s compounded into one month….ONE MONTH…you definitely start to wonder who may have cast the evil spell. But friends, I’m over it. OVER. IT. I can’t take anymore mishap. I’m on a one-way track to being a crazy person casualty. For each unfortunate event that has landed in my lap, the distress grows deeper inside. I’m doing all I can to simply shake my head and try to laugh at the absurdity. Because if I don’t then the flood gates will open and I might not be able to pick myself up off the tear-stained tile. So I keep moving. With caution. Because I’m exhausted. I’m overwhelmed. I’m frustrated. I’m stressed out. And despite the holly jolly season, I’m feeling lonely and weak.
As if the holidays don’t already come with immense expectation. But when even the smallest tasks that surround the season can’t be met without some kind of setback, you tend to lose the cheerful essence and merry enthusiasm. It becomes more about survival and less about celebration. I realize that Christmas is so much more than presents, parties and pretty lights. At least in this household, we recognize what the true reason for the season is. But even with our religious understanding, we struggled. And that’s probably been the largest disappointment of them all. The impact of life’s poorest luck got the best of me and I let it steal my spirit.
As we speak, our family still hasn’t “celebrated” Christmas together. The tree currently stands with carefully wrapped gifts tucked neatly underneath. Maybe it’s the sad six-foot size of the tree because we’ve never bothered to purchase one that fills the living room of this house better. Maybe it’s the fact that someone has either been crying, puking, pooping or sleeping [for the past week] and leaving little to no time when all four of us were alive and well and in the same space together. Or maybe it’s because we just gave up on Christmas before it even came. I can’t be held entirely responsible for the sour spin on the season this year. My husband was just as genuinely guilty of the grumpy Grinch-like attitude and he didn’t tear any ligaments, get rear-ended, fall victim to illness, require stitches, visit the hospital or have to clean up all the atrocious bodily fluids. So what’s his excuse?? No clue. And I’m far too tired to try and track that one down. But whatever it was, I’m throwing in the towel on our sad and sorry state with a claim that we’ll do better next year. After all, you win some. You lose some.
We can’t always be sure that the season will bring us good cheer. Because life just isn’t always rosy Rudolph noses and a bowl full of jelly laughs. But here comes that reality, perspective and a little bit of reflection. As I sit back and literally stare straight ahead at the gifts that sit untouched; maybe…just maybe, a traditional celebration was not what this Christmas was supposed to reveal [to me]. When God sent his son to give the people of this world a sense of hope, peace and good will…He did so with sacrifice. This month came with a lot of sacrifice; physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. But in the still and silent moments of meditation, I think I can appreciate just a little bit more of that wondrous night when a gift that we often overlook, was born. Yes. This Christmas was most certainly more about survival than celebration. But it was all revealed with regard rather than regret. And I think that might be the seasonal tale I needed to tell in order to restore this humble heart.