Christmas is a complicated time for many. It is for me. My father died on Christmas Eve. Given the intensity of my feelings—both positive and negative—that cannot help but impact how I feel at this time of year.
The funny thing is that I always forget. I wake up on Christmas Eve depressed and grouchy and at first I always wonder why. Then I remember. And realize how it’s affected me for days.
Once I remember, I can make my peace with it. I light candles. I let myself remember the love. I remind myself I have overcome the effects of the damage he did. I let him go with love, honoring what he gave me that was good and wishing he had not been such a damaged, hurting soul himself. I bless his spirit and pray for its healing even as I blow out the candle I lit for him.
And then I go on with Christmas.
This year, I had a quiet Christmas with my daughter and then put her on a plane to see her friends. We are closer now than I would once have believed possible.
Christmas used to be difficult. I would feel as if I was walking on eggshells, sure I would forget something essential, or that a fight would erupt in my home. Then one day I realized I could create new traditions, that I didn’t have to do what everyone—or even anyone—else did. I could choose what was right for me. I could let it be imperfect and know that was still okay. I could take time to remember good moments of the past year and smile. I could count my blessings instead of my fears or sense of lack. I could send ecards (thank heavens for the internet!) to people who were important to me to whom I hadn’t sent physical cards. I could take time for moments that made ME happy—no matter what my family was clamoring for me to do.
I hope that today—and every day—brings you at least moments of peace and joy. And I hope that the year ahead brings all of us health, happiness, and much success.
Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),