It’s the holidays again. Joy to the world. Too much? I love the holiday season. But this year, in particular, it feels different. It’s hard to put into words, but I’ll share some insights and also because, well, this is a blog post and words are kind of important.
As a child, this time of year was always magical to me. I loved Christmas, spending time with family & friends, the food, the shopping, decorations, the music and all the festivities. Almost forgot the lights. I have a fond memory of my dad and I driving past rows and rows of homes decked out in their Christmas lights. Outdoor lights have gotten much more fancy since then. The folks in my current neighborhood do not mess around.
Another holiday memory is my birthday. I’m one of the lucky ones who has a birthday during the holidays. Contrary to what most people believe, I loved it. Oh yeah, most of my friends were with their families. I did get some combo gifts but it comes with the territory. It is not as fun now that I’m an adult but I choose to continue to celebrate my annual 29th birthday each year. My mom made a point of making or buying a cake, and the family would celebrate with me Christmas night. My father’s rendition of “Happy Birthday” still makes me giggle. So I share the day with Jesus. I could think of worse things.
When I was young, my parents owned a restaurant, so I did not see my dad often because he worked nights. Now that he is retired I see him as much as I can. Celebrating the holidays as a family meant and still means a lot to me. It’s not that way anymore. The family is fragmented now. Children grow up; those children have children, people move, parents get older, life changes. One thing remains — The holidays are still the holidays.
Of course, we have our crap to deal with as a family. Doesn’t everyone? In my house, we have different recollections and memories of the holidays. I choose to remember all the good times because my memories are just that. They were filled with amazing food, gifts, more amazing food, loads of laughs, our traditional Italian cookies, and even more amazing food. It’s getting a bit tougher to create new memories, but I have faith.
I have come to terms with some things this year, and that’s fine. It’s bewildering to me at times that you can be surrounded by friends and family and somehow still feel isolated and alone. This year I am making a conscious effort to celebrate this season. It sounds almost ridiculous to call it a conscious effort, but that is the best way I can explain it. I decorated, put outdoor lights up, finished my shopping early, purchased tickets to a couple of events, attended holiday parties and plan to attend a few more. I also splurged on a few items for myself. ‘Tis the season.
I am single this holiday season yet again which is okay. Having a plus one at this time of year can be wonderful. Last year, I was dating a man who told me multiple times just how much he hated the holidays. I accepted that at the time for whatever reason. Crazy I know as I am a lover of anything Christmas. How’s that for a sign that we were doomed to fail? Hey! No one messes with my falalalala…la…la…la……LAAAA!!
It’s a new time; it’s a new life and I’m feeling… okay… I’ll stop there.
I have decided to focus on the good. I am going to share ten things I’m happy with this holiday season. Feel free to do the same:
- Spending time with my parents
- Family (even when we don’t all see eye to eye)
- My voice (literally, not metaphorically — for a while there I thought it would never come back)
- Maintaining a sense of humor even when I want to lose my s*#t
- Good times with my friends
- New opportunities in and outside my career
- Working out
- Eating healthy and sometimes not so healthy
- Not stressing over being alone at this time of year because, in reality, I’m not alone, far from it, even though at times it feels that way.
Be grateful for what and who you do have in your life this holiday season. Santa isn’t the only one who can make wishes come true this time of year. Enjoy, stuff grudges and issues down the chimney, and be merry for goodness sake. The holidays can be a magical time just with a bit more responsibility and a lot of grown-up beverages. Kidding Mom!
Feel free to come up with your ten things and share or keep them to yourself. Either way. The holidays are a great time to reflect on the good in your life no matter how big or small.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone!!