Another Thursday, no guest post. But hey, I can post for myself, I am a big girl!!
It is such a difficult time of year. The hustle and bustle. The overspending, over eating, over drinking, over and over and over. I am not particularly a Christmas person.
I have often said, if I hadn't had children, I would just ignore Christmas all together. The holiday had always been rather depressing to me, even as a child. I was the youngest of 5 children. My siblings being 14, 12, 10, & 6 years older than me. I often felt like an only child. The three older kids all left home young, marrying young and moving away. I do not really remember any Christmases with them home. They didn't trek home like so many families do. They made their own traditions with their children, and outside of maybe one or two, we just were not together.
My mom worked in a nursing home. She, like me, worked swing shifts, and often worked holidays too. I do not ever remember resenting this. It was just how life was. My children have much the same feeling....there are many holidays that I am not home. This left my father and I alone a lot. This was not a bad thing. My dad and I were close. We talked a lot. We talked about intelligent things. I loved having my dad to myself a lot of the time. He taught me to speak French....though, not particularly well. I wish I had paid more attention to that now, now that he is gone. I would love to be able to speak French with more confidence and ease.
At Christmas time though, my dad would often turn sullen, melancholy. I would ask him what was wrong. He would tell me, he missed his family. His brothers had both died young. His sister rarely ventured from her home to visit us. He sometimes would go to visit there, but usually, he just was home with me. We would sit in the living room, by the lights of the Christmas tree, watching some TV special, or listening to Mario Lanza's Christmas album, my dad's favourite. He would often be crying.
As years went on, I too left home. I rarely came back for Christmas. I had my own baby and chose to make my own traditions too. But still, at night when everyone was gone to bed, I would sit, by the lights of the Christmas tree, and I too would cry. Not even sure why. Probably mourning the big family gatherings I never had. I had always wanted to have a family like the Waltons.....everyone just caring so much about each other, wanting to be together. I had tried a few times to bring my family together at Christmas.....for Heaven's sake, we all lived in the same city... my parents had even moved there too...but it never really happened. Sure we would get together for the meal, but soon everyone would drift away. There was no lingering and visiting......it left me feeling empty and even more alone.
This year, though, I am taking some vacation time. I am taking my children and going to spend Christmas with my mom. I have already told my sisters that I want us to get together for New Year's Day......I do hope that they honour this request. But even if they don't......I am going to go home, to be with my mom.......to spend the holidays the way they should be, with my family. And for the first time in a very very long time, I am excited about Christmas!!
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