Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

If I Make It Through The Holidays, It'll Be A Christmas Miracle

Dear Mom,

Christmas is making me nervous.  Real nervous.  I've started getting those vague, out of nowhere, intermittent knots in my stomach again.  I attribute this to the holidays.  I think I kind of realised it before, but just took it in stride how the "world" around me smothers itself with Christmas-ness.  I suppose I knew this, let's not be naive, after all--I've been complaining about the red and green onslaught following RIGHT on the heals of Hallowe'en for years now.  Every time I get in my car, I see the decorations all around.  At night the lights twinkle on front yards.  When I went out to do a little shopping the other night, the Christmas music was playing non-stop.  Did you ever realise just how sentimental Chritmas music is?  Well, it's a killer.  Every year for the past several years, I would buy a few new ornaments to go on my tree.  Every time I picked up a little package of ornaments this year all I could think about was how much you always loved my tree, with the white lights and the sparkling ornaments.  You said it was "magical."  So, I put the new ornaments back.  I walked across that parking lot, and it was cold, and dark, and the wind was blowing.  I see signs saying "Christmas Miracles" everywhere, but I don't feel it this year. 

There's no tree at your house yet this year.  I haven't got the courage to go over and open those boxes of ornaments and put them up. This year Chritmas kind of feels like those melancholy late night drives through a neighbourhood I'm not familiar with:  cold and quiet, with coloured lights silently blinking--all colour and beauty, signifying nothing.  


  1. It is going to be a very tough Christmas for you Karen. I really really miss my dad more every year. Christmas really stirs up the memories and I don't know why but the older I get the more the childhood memories of me with my dad come flooding back.
    Thankfully you have a strong bond with your dad , sister and Peter so you can all get through it together. You can all share stories about your mom and hopefully laugh at funny memories
    I crave stories or talk about my dad so much...and sadly I have no one around to talk or share memories or funny stories with.

    Keep busy and just focus on your kids. Make sure there is lots of egg nog with a tad of whiskey!!!

  2. ugh... and there you do it again. SNIFFFFLE!

  3. Perhaps it's a good time to add a new Christmas tradition, let the grandchildren decorate your dad's tree. If you really can't deal with your mom's ornaments this year, have the kids make some. Paper chains and stringing popcorn. There's got to be something that can be made out of handprints. It's always helped me to put the emphasis back on the kids so it isn't so glaring that my dad isn't there. ((hugs))

  4. Sadly what you describe is true for so many people, very very many.

    christmas is one of the worst times of year for suicide....

    Take it minute by minute and then it will all be gone and you can work on Valentines Day...(that was a joke)

  5. Christmas always makes us focus on pain, regrets, lonliness, etc. There is always an immense gap between the joy we long for and the disappointments in our lives. That's why when people say that Christmas is really all about family, I shudder. People set themselves up for all sorts of grief. It is always better to celebrate with loved ones, but the question to ask is, 'What am I celebrating, exactly?'

    I remember the first year when we moved across teh street...I got a different "look" at yoru parents house...loved the lights on teh house and the bushes...sadly this year, its all different. :(
    I understand exactly the feeling you have about the feeling of driving around in an unknown neighbourhood...i get that!
    Do you remember the year when my grandparents died at Christmas time, 4 days apart?? AWEFUL...this has chagned Christmas inmy family alot!!!!!
    I not sure who it was, but someone had a crazy idea, well not so crazy now, to change Christmas, everything we did, no longer...instead of the feast, we now have pergoies for dinner on Christmas..singin longer....we now have trivia contests...stuff like that. Helps a bit...but you know 13 years later, at Christmas, I still get a "nervous", an unsettled feeling and my mom still has a good cry...every year...and slowly we have brought back some of teh old traditions. The first few years, it will sting bad...really bad...but one Christmas...years from will feel like a "home Christmas" again. One day...but for now...*sigh* It bites.
    I love the idea of your kiddos (adn beams) making teh decorations for your dads tree!! LOVE that idea and that way you can keep the other stuff in a box for this year.
    Change bites.
    (again, I reading this at i 'excuse the very poor typing!)

  7. Yes, Pam, it will be a tough Christmas. My dad has lots of great memories of Uncle Bob. Once he, my dad and Peter were fixing the roof up in Peter's attic at his last house. They couldn't find a way to fit the jack in to hoist up the roof, so Uncle Bob got into the corner, put his back against the roof, hoisted up with that massive power he had--Peter heard the creak as the whole roof raised--and Uncle Bob shouted "NAIL 'ER!!!" Dad and Peter, were stunned for a second, then hammered like hell.

  8. Lisa, what a wonderful idea. It's true that when something drastically changes in our lives, we can't go back to the old way we used to do things, and have to forge a new path. I'm sure you realised that when you lost your father.

  9. Hey Berries, Valentines Day isn't so bad, except for the past few years my kids have been super sick with some bug, so we haven't done anything even remotely romantic. Enh, whatevs.

  10. good analysis Matt. Christmas is the most sentimental holiday of all, really. Therefore, it balances on the edge of a knife in a way (too Lord of the Rings?).

  11. Steph, that was a great comment. Yeah, I hadn't thought about it, but I don't think my dad has any Christmas lights up this year. I don't know if all that is going to make him feel better or worse. I really don't.

    Yes, you certainly had your big heaping helpings of heartache in your family, but you're right--you do have to move on and do something new.

  12. YOur dad still had teh lights up on the house, just not plugged...I happened to notice thi sone day while on my way crossingthe street. It made my eyes water up. Your poor dad...adn family for that matter.
    Moving on ...seems so...harsh...but inntroducing something different, kinda seemed not to sting so much. Its bites no matter what.
    We have had our share of crap-o-la and it has made me rather sensitive to situations like this. Your mom rocked!

  13. Awww. Isn't Steph darling? Now I'll have to hug her when I see her next.


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