It was like holding my breath underwater, hoping the feeling would pass. Christmas cheer can’t be avoided though, it’s in the shops and on the cards I never wrote.
I binged watched Christmas Movies hoping to imbibe some of the Christmas spirit everyone talks about, but this year they seemed almost empty and contrived. I don’t think I’ve experienced that jolly feeling since my Mother died, and I’m still not really sure what it is?
I relinquished my right to be happy long ago when I saw shiny tinsel and colored lights lose their luster in the wake of grief. Don’t get me wrong, I still wear silly headgear and don my best smile, and for a time I do forget, but deep inside me somewhere the Grinch still exists, and he sometimes raises his ugly, green, jealous head. You know the “poor little me” and the “if onlys”.
At Christmas I seem to question so much and have to face the fact that nothing in my life is “normal”….but hey, that’s okay because I’m forging a new normal.
In this the year of a “covidian” Christmas, so many chose to go it alone and the neighborhood was very quiet. I didn’t hear the usual sounds of laughter in the distance or Santa’s sleigh bells as he speeds past shouting “ho ho ho”, throwing sweets for the children.
Perhaps this coming year the world will be a little kinder and softer around the edges, suffering can do that.
However, I did make it to the other side, unscathed, with just a little oven stroke from cooking in the midday heat. I felt smatterings of joy when I swallowed Christmas delicacies in the company of dear ones, and ate the surprise chocolates that someone brought as a gift.
Cooking really does take the edge off deep feelings, there’s no time for tears, only sweat, and it’s a good way to avoid difficult conversations. I’ve always been one to cry in the kitchen at parties, so it’s no reflection on the company.
Coming up for air, I feel the lights winking softly at me as I put the decorations away. I saw the sadness in my Mother’s eyes when the festivities ended and I have always vowed never to be so enamored by glittery baubles and tinsel.
I don’t know what I’ll be doing next year, it’s always a surprise, but I’ll enrobe myself in my best Christmas cheer and maybe let the spirits help me a little…