Happy Holidays! And I mean it! I don’t care which holidays you choose to celebrate and rather than list them all, I simply choose to wish you happy holidays! I do not need to be reminded about the origin of Christmas. I know the Christian story and the Mormon version of the Christian story. I also know seasonal stories from various cultures, to complicate things if I let it. The point is, I don’t let things get complicated this time of year. I see others struggling which does not look attractive to me.
Christmas time has always been fun for me regardless of what was going on around me. I chose to make it fun! Life in the home of my family of origin may not have been a safe place, but at Christmastime it became fun!
Dad worked hard all year to provide a big Christmas. When I was older, I got to fill the stockings and help place gifts under the tree. Then the most important event of the whole shebang happened. Dad got out his camera to take pictures of the tree loaded with gifts. He chronicled every Christmas tree with gifts as a milestone of his accomplishments. Even as a child I sensed the odd energy of this compulsion, but accepted that he needed that.
As a young mom, I dealt with the father of my children waffling between hating to spend money and the compulsion to make the gift giving look good. Again the energy seemed out of balance.
Raising the children alone subsequently, the challenge was to not beat myself up when I could not come close to the gift buying pressure of my father and my previous husband. It became obvious though, that what I was good at, was creating memories so we made gifts and brainstormed gift giving ideas and gave gifts to people outside our family and cooked and baked and played together! It was a fun time of gathering for the Cross Clan… any of us who wanted to join in.
Now… in Christmas time of 2011, the holiday is shifting for me. I do not have the gathering home. I am a guest. My role is diminished in size and scope and I am working to adapt. I’m baking cookies and playing the supportive role of assistant cook, hider of gifts, babysitter of the dominate shopper’s kids, my grandkids and stuff like that. It is a weird place and does make me wonder what next year will hold. I have been with my children, en mass, every Christmas but one in 35 years.
Perhaps next year, I will be in another country, trying Christmas alone. It won’t matter though as my life is truly a journey. One I am creating for myself on a daily basis now.