It probably comes to a surprise to many considering my occupation and the fact that I plan so many things around December and January, but I really hate the holidays. Not just Christmas, but all of them really. It is really hard to explain. Part of it is emotional, and the other part comes from the fact that I worked retail for a while. It kinda gets to you this time of year. However, every Christmas, I put on a facade and make it through, especially since starting my business a few years ago. I love seeing kids happy, whether it is my own or others.
Last year, however, I pretty much gave up completely. Our tree didn’t even get up until a few days before Christmas, and that was only because we were having a holiday party here after Christmas. I just couldn’t do it. Most of my decorations stayed in their boxes. I couldn’t bear to put them out, to look at them, to remember where most of them came. My Grandma Kloeppel gave me the bulk of my decorations over the years. It started from when I was 11 or 12 and continued all the way until that last Christmas with her. Last year was the first Christmas time without her, and well to put it simply, I had a really hard time dealing with her death.
Then there was my mom. I wanted to see her desperately. It was eating away at me. My mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer that fall. She had a mastectomy last October and had just started chemotherapy. My mom and I have had our ups and downs, but our relationship was getting closer. I just lost my grandma who words cannot describe what a wonderful person she was and how much she meant, but I was afraid. I was afraid of losing my mom. The worst part was that I couldn’t even go out to visit, to be there, to be the dutiful daughter that I wanted to be. When she went for her mastectomy, I couldn’t get anyone to stay with the kids and exchange student. I had planned to go out twice after that. The first time, we were slammed with snow. As for the second time, we had started out, hit freezing rain and ended up in a car accident. That pretty much ended seeing her or my family over the holidays.
Finally rounding out my depressed state was that we weren’t sure my husband was going to be home. In fact, Christmas Eve, I bought everything to do the traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner myself because he usually did it. He ended up getting to come home, but it was very brief.
I just felt very alone.
So now it is that time of year again. However, things are a bit different. My mom finished radiation a few months ago and is doing well. I still miss my grandma, but last night, I unpacked all of the holiday decorations she got me over the years and have them proudly displayed all over my home. As for my husband, well it is pretty sure that he will not be home for Christmas, and it hurts a lot. However, I have other people in this house to think of besides myself.
My daughter is four. She is at that age where she is starting to get really excited. My son is ecstatic, and my two host daughters are like little kids with their enthusiasm. I can’t let them down.
Like I said, I am not a holiday person. I have been just going through the motions for years. This year, however, I have decided that it is all going to change. Maybe it will change so much that I might even *gasp* celebrate my birthday next month. I don’t know.
Right now, I am taking baby steps. We all decorated the tree together, and I am actually going to try to find some decorations for outside. With my husband’s attendance being a probable non-existence and me not being able to go back home and see everyone there until after Christmas, I have decided to have others come and share with us instead. So a few dear friends and my father-in-law will be joining us Christmas Eve. I am actually a bit excited.
I am not going to say that there are not going to be times this month that I am not going to cry because it’s already happened and probably will happen again. I might still get grouchy. However, my mission this month is to find that holiday magic, that Christmas spirit, that child-like excitement that my girls and my kids have. I will be posting more later.
If you are wondering why I am writing this, it is simply because I know I am not the only one who feels this way this time of year. So hopefully, I will not be the only one on this journey.